BMW’s long road to recovery in the postwar era was interesting to say the least. Before the war, BMW had a moderately successful series of luxury and sports cars with its 326, 327 and 328 lineup. However, the market for those cars in Germany didn’t exist in the early 1950s and the technology was quite dated, so BMW found itself reliant upon an Italian-designed and licensed bubble car — the Isetta — to sustain early sales. Of course, with their motorcycle expertise, the air-cooled twins that found their way into Isettas were reliable (though not sprightly) units.
Though economical, a family sedan the Isetta did not make, so starting in 1957 BMW stretched the two seats into four and created the 600. With just shy of 600cc from an enlarged rear-mounted engine borrowed from a R67 motorcycle and a four-speed manual gearbox driving a new semi-independent trailing arm rear end, the 600 was a serious step forward for the company. The improvements were masked behind a familiar face (which still served as the primary door, as with the Isetta) and the 600 was not a sales success, with just shy of 35,000 produced. Intended to compete with the Beetle, it offered little respite from Volkswagen’s steamrolling sales success.
1959 BMW 600
To remedy this, BMW continued to develop the 600 chassis into the larger and more conventional 700 model. Launched in 1959 as BMW skirted attempts by Daimler-Benz to purchase the Munich-based firm, the 700 heralded BMW’s first true postwar sedan. Yet in spite of the conventional sedan proportions, the 700 retained the motorcycle-based air-cooled flat-twin in the back, driving the rear wheels. Back when BMW’s naming conventions matched their engine sizes, the eponymous sedan’s power was upgraded to nearly 700cc and 30 horsepower — 50 percent more than the 600.…
A few weeks ago I looked at a quite rare 2002tii Touring that was available for import from Europe. Uniquely styled and a very late production tii Touring, the seller was looking for around $35,000 plus importation fees – which, truth told, can get pricey. So, what about a resto-mod 1600 Touring that has been thoroughly upgraded with a 2 liter motor, 5-speed transmission, air conditioning and a helping of Alpina details for a few thousand dollars less?
Nearly 4 years ago, Paul wrote up a 1957 Auto Union Munga, rare to see at all in the U.S. and with some practical updates. In fact, it wasn’t really a Munga at all anymore; the body had been taken off and mounted onto a 1968 Beetle chassis complete with the 1600 flat-4. Now listed as a 1958 model and missing the centercaps, it appears this very same vehicle is back up for sale. What does the title of this feature mean? Well, for those in the know, the genesis of the Ur-Quattro started with a bunch of Audi models that were outpaced on a test drive through some snowy roads by a military-spec Volkswagen Iltis. So, the Iltis was really the Ur-Ur-Quattro – but in fact, the Iltis itself was heavily based upon the earlier Munga from the 1950s. That’s right rally faithful, your precious Quattro was an antique long before it was a trend-setter! Okay, so it’s an over simplification, but it is still neat to track the history of these cars and where the designs came from:
The BMW 2002 is a legendary car that defined the small sports sedan category by most accounts. Compact, rear wheel drive, and with enough power to have fun, you could drive the 2002 at 9/10ths most of the time without crashing at breakneck speed. Try pushing today’s cars to their limits; imagine if you could get a new M4 into a 4 wheel drift on an exit ramp – what speed would you have to be going? Probably faster than the original top speed of the 2002 is my guess, and the ability to drive a slow car fast is what makes some older cars so appealing. But for some people, that base small sedan just isn’t enough, and they go about upgrading the original car. I’m certainly not opposed to this, as it’s something I did with my Audi Coupe – take a later model, higher output motor that is in the same character as the original motor and Viola! Instant happiness. I can only imagine the smiles that this S14 motored 1968 1600 generates then:
The 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. For those air-cooled VW fans in the know, this was a great year for the venerable “people’s car.” It was the year VW introduced a 12 volt electrical system to the Bug, along with a host of other improvements, such as rear back-up lights and a bigger 1.5 liter engine for US customers that was good for 53 bhp. This particular Beetle for sale in Georgia has been restored and is a good one to snag if you’re looking for a turn-key example.
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 40,422 mi (150 mi on engine rebuild)
Price: $16,995 Buy It Now
Despite its wonderful lowered stance and slightly oversized rubber, this ultra-clean 1967 Volkswagen Beetle is the product of an exacting restoration that returned it to almost factory-fresh condition. If you’ve been watching the auctions and price guides, you know that these early Beetles are on the move, and this one has the right look to make it a wonderful addition to your collection.
The soft Zenith Blue paint is your first tipoff that this car is something special. Everyone paints them some bright hue, but the guy who restored this one wanted the details and the quality to speak for him, so he went with subtle instead. Fit and finish are excellent thanks to a combination of legendary quality from the factory and a careful restoration that cut no corners. All the early VW design cues are there, from the flat windshield to the small marker and tail lights. The paint was done about three years ago and has been stored indoors since then, and it shows. The shine is just right and it’s not loaded up with metallic, so it has a correct 1967 look that’s immensely appealing.
Karossiere Baur has a long history of partnering with BMW. Most noted for their open roofed conversions, they had a hand in crafting some unique cars, ranging from performance icons such as the BMW M1 and Porsche 959 to oddball machines such as the BMW E36 3 series sedan with a folding canvas roof. One of their most sleek designs was based on the Neue Klasse, or New Class series in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This four seat, open top 1600 is one of but a few hundred that still survive worldwide and strikes a clean, elegant pose in comparison to the somewhat cumbersome profile of the Baur cabriolet with an integrated roll hoop.
Original 1970 BMW 1600-2 Cabriolet AKA Vollcabriolet/Baur Cabrio with Certificate from BMW. 1 of only 1692 ever built from 1968-1971 (only about 250 left Worldwide). 1.6 Liter/1573 cc Engine, (4 Cylinder, 63KW/85HP SOHC)
This car is part of a Private BMW Collection. Fresh Service and New Tires. The Convertible was restored in Germany many years ago and is still in excellent condition. The Restauration is documented and all documents and paperwork come with the car. Clear Florida Title in hand. I have included over 120 pictures in the following link. All pictures where taken on April 5th, 2012.
The librarian in me loves the fact that this 1600-2 comes with a certificate from the BMW Archives. It is nice to see a rare beast such as this Baur convertible treated to such a nice presentation. The asking price of $45,000 is strong money for most 2002 models, let alone a 1600, but like a well kept 2002 Touring tii or a Turbo, this 1600-2 Baur is no ordinary BMW. This car’s Agave green paintwork is an almost spot on reminder of the hue on my father’s 1967 Volkswagen Beetle he owned when I was growing up.…