AR136 BMW Album
If you told an owner of a top-of-the-range BMW that his car was descended from a Wartburg, he would vehemently deny any such connection. But we are not referring to the postwar East German Wartburg of course; we mean a much earlier car firm, based in Eisenach, which changed its name to Dixi and obtained a licence to produce Austin Sevens in Germany. In 1928 Dixi was taken over by aero engine and motorcycle maker BMW. Thus began BMW’s involvement in car manufacture, producing classic sporting cars in the 1930s. A difficult period after the Second World War meant that car making did not re-start until 1952, with large luxury cars, alongside renewed motorcycle production. Needing to make cheaper and more popular cars, BMW built the Isetta bubble car under licence, then after near financial collapse in 1959, the firm went on to make better and larger cars, including the ‘02’ series in the 1970s. BMW then created their numbered ranges, which would eventually run from the 1-series to the 8-series, with X-series SUVs and Z-series sports cars as well. By the 21st century BMW was a market leader in well-engineered prestige cars. This is a big story to cover in our compact Auto Review format: with many hundreds of BMW models produced down the years, every one of them cannot be described in detail or pictured in these pages. We apologise in advance if your favourite BMW model is not covered in detail! There is more on Isettas in Auto Review 35 and 123, and on the postwar EMW in Auto Review 102. ISBN 978-1-85482-135-8 £5.95
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