As early as 1963 there had been discussions about a new and smaller BMW. Thoughts began to focus on a short wheelbase two-door version of the New Class saloon. This plan had particular merit because it would help to re-establish the sporting image that BMW had enjoyed in the 1930’s but never recaptured since. The shorter wheelbase would bring handling advantages while the lighter body would improve performance, and of course the two-door configuration would look more sporting than the four-door New Class type.
The two-door model did not take long to design. The New Class wheelbase was shortened from 100.4 inches to 98.4 inches, Wilhelm Hofmeister restyled the passenger cabin to suit, and the front of the car was given a minor facelift. Most of the running gear came directly from the existing four-door saloons, although there was a narrow track rear axle, which made front and rear tracks equal on the two-door model. The decision was made to launch the car with the 1,573cc “1600” engine and, decided to call it the 1600-2. The additional figure 2 standing for its two doors and distinguishing it from the four-door 1600 saloon.
The 1600-2 was announced in March 1966 and was immediately acclaimed as a winner. The lighter body made the car nearly as fast as the 1800 sedan, while the excellent handling added a sporting ingredient, which was lacking in the larger car. The motoring press was unable to resist comparisons with Alfa Romeo’s sports cars, which suited BMW’s needs perfectly.
At the Frankfurt Motor show in autumn 1967, they announced an even more sporting version – the 1600ti – with a 105 hp twin carburetor engine. And by this stage BMW were already considering the possibility of giving their two-door vehicle yet another engine in the shape of a 2-litre relative of the 1600ti’s four cylinders. Not long after the 1600-2 was announced, Alex von Falkenhausen had a 2-litre engine dropped into an example of the car for his own use. Completely independently, BMW’s Planning Director Helmut Werner Bonsch had exactly the same conversion carried out for his car. Neither man knew of the other’s car until one day in mid – 1967 when both cars were in the workshops together at BMW. Both were enthusiastic about their 2-litre two-doors, and between them decided to put a formal proposal to the BMW Board that such a model should be considered for production.
Their cause was greatly helped by developments in the USA. BMW had never meant very much in that market before the mid-1960’s, and the marque had been imported only in small numbers. The company was well aware of the value of sales success in such a large market, and until this point had not had a model which appealed to American customers. In 1966, all that changed. The new two-door 1600-2 models received rave reviews in the American motoring press, and all of a sudden sales started to gather momentum. Wanting to capitalize on this success, importer Max Hoffman urged the Bavarians to let him have another model in the same vein, and preferably one with even more performance. The only model in that range was the 1600ti. Unfortunately, the twin-carburetor engine could not be made to meet the new Federal exhaust emissions regulations, and so it could not be sold in the good old US of A. However, the 100hp 2-litre engine in the 2000 coupe had been made to meet the regulations. The solution was simple, BMW Sales Director Paul Hahnemann was well aware of the US market requirement, and so he supported the proposal for a 2-litre version of the two-door car, despite opposition the sales argument won the day and the 2002 was born. There were three distinct “generations” of the BMW 2002 range during its eight and a half year production life. The first generation cars were built between 1968 and 1971. The second generation, or model 71, cars were built between 1971 and 1973. And the third generation, or model 73, cars were built between 1973 and the end of production in 1976. Within each of those generations, the 2002 range was further subdivided into a variety of different models.
1965: 2000 CS (Coupe) announced.
1966: 2000 CS launched in the UK.
1966: 1600-2 Shown outside the Munich Opera House on 9th March.
1966: 1600-2 Officially launched on 17th March @ Geneva Motor Show.
1967: 2000 CS available in RHD with Automatic “CSA” option.
1967: All models changed from 6 Volt to 12 Volt electrics.
1967: Full Convertible launched (total 1682 made).
1967: 2.0 litre versions launched (with brake servo & hydraulic clutch as standard).
1968: Twin Carburetor “Ti” versions launched in September at Frankfurt Motor Show.
1969: Dual Brake circuits added.
1969: Turbocharged 02 entered the Touring Car Challenge Series & won ETCC.
1971: Saloon models got new designation to 1602, 2002.
1971: LHD Cabriolet (Baur) and now Touring versions available.
1971: Tii Mechanical Fuel Injection versions “Tii” arrived with 130 Bhp.
1971: Automatic gearboxes available as expensive DM1350 option).
1973: 2000 Touring re-named to 2002 Touring, received facelift in September.
1973: RHD version of Cabriolet available in the UK in February.
1973: New plastic front grill, Square rear lights, and improved trim levels.
1973: 2002 Turbo launched (Europe’s first production Turbo car) @ Frankfurt M.S.
1975: All models ceased production except 1502, making way for new 3-Series.
The Baader-Meinhof Gang
Bayerische Motoren Werke was the third largest manufacturer of cars on Germany, but by the mid-sixties the company was in financial trouble. Its cars were well built, yet plain. They were also distressingly easy to break into and hot-wire. Though the Baader-Meinhof Gang stole as many Mercedes as BMWs, they were forever linked to the little Bavarian cars in part because of the popular reworking of its name — from Bayerische Motoren Werke to Baader Meinhof Wagen.
Such was the presumed connection between the gang and the cars that when police would receive a tip that members of the gang were in a particular area, the would often set up a road block and stop only passing BMWs. Often the gang members would be able to drive unmolested past the roadblocks in their freshly stolen Mercedes. Two members burst through police barricades driving a stolen BMW 2002. They exchanged fire with police officers and one of them was killed.
Frustrated BMW owners took to placing bumper stickers on their cars indicating to police that the driver was not, in fact, a member of the Baader-Meinhof Gang. “Ich gehöre nicht zur Baader-Meinhof Gruppe” (“I do not belong to the Baader-Meinhof Group”) read the stickers, which were a practical statement as much as a political statement on the terror of West German state caught in the grip of anti-terrorist mania.
The BMWs began to shed their staid reputation among Germans early in the seventies, benefiting immensely from the new connection to the Baader-Meinhof Gang. Among younger Germans, the BMWs became hip and cool. Perhaps not coincidentally, concurrent with the rising prominence of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, BMW turned the corner financially and went on to become one of the world’s most prominent, respected, and financially successful auto makers.
THE BMW GLAS CARS:
The Glas Cars
This coupe was not only elegant and relatively cheap, but still very powerful and is considered the model best gelungene among all of the firm automobiles GLASS herausgebrachten.
Was presented the 1300 GT at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1963. Design and manufacture of the body over the company Frua in Turin.
Was built in the 1300 GT from March 1964 to September 1967 and the 1700 GT from May 1965 to September 1967. There were a total of 5,378 cars, including only a small number of units produced convertibles built. Of these, about two-thirds of 1300 GT and 1700 GT third. The prices ranged between 11,600 – 13,850 DM and, – The price of DM convertibles were only about 1,000, – DM higher than the comparable coupe.
The coupe was still one year as a 1600 GT from weitergebaut BMW. Besides the typical BMW-face “, it received engine, gearbox and rear axle of the BMW 1600 Ti. been maintaining the rest of the body and the front axle. Was built in the BMW 1600 GT from September 1967 to August 1968 a total of 1,255 times. The BMW 1600 GT cost 15,850 – DM and was replaced in October 1968 for only 10,900 more – in the sell-out “squanders”.
GLASS 1300 GT:
Coupe, 2 +2 seats (also: Convertible, 2 doors), four-series four-stroke engine with water cooling, 1290 cc, 75 hp (from Sept. 1965: 85 HP), 2 flat Electricity 35 carburettors Solex RH, four gearbox (also with five-speed gearbox available ), Einscheibentrockenkupplung, rear-drive shaft with a shared, self-supporting all-steel body, independent suspension front and rigid axle with leaf springs / Panhardstab rear disc brakes front and rear drum brakes, 6V plant, length: 4055mm, Width: 1550mm, height: 1280mm (Convertible: Height: 1350mm) , Wheelbase: 2320mm, track: 1260mm front + 1200 rear tire 6.25 S – 14 (from Sept. 1965: 155 SR 14), Weight: 900kg (Convertible: 940kg), total permissible weight 1200kg, maximum speed: 170km / h (with 85 hp: 174km / h), consumption: 10.5 Liter/100km, Fuel tank capacity 55 liters
GLASS 1700 GT:
Coupe, 2 +2 seats (also: Convertible, 2 doors), four-series four-stroke engine with water cooling, 1682 cc, 100 hp, 2 flat Electricity 40 carburettors Solex RH, four gearbox (also with five-speed gearbox available), Single dry clutch, rear-drive shaft with a shared, Self-supporting all-steel body, independent suspension front and rigid axle with leaf springs / Panhardstab rear disc brakes front and rear drum brakes, 6V plant, length: 4055mm, Width: 1550mm, height: 1280mm (Convertible: Height: 1350mm) Wheelbase: 2320mm, track: 1260mm front + 1200 rear tires 155 HR 14, Weight: 920kg (Convertible: 960kg), total permissible weight 1200kg, maximum speed: 183km / h, consumption: 12 Liter/100km, Fuel tank capacity 55 liters
BMW 1600 GT:
Coupe, 2 +2 seats, four-series four-stroke engine with water cooling by 30 `right side tilted, 1573 cc, 105 hp, 2 Double Flat Carburetor electricity Solex 40 RH, four gearbox (also with five-speed gearbox available), Single dry clutch, rear-drive shaft with a shared, Self-supporting all-steel body, independent suspension front and rear disc brakes front and rear drum brakes, 12-volt system, Length: 4055mm, Width: 1550mm, height: 1280mm, Wheelbase: 2320mm, track: 1260mm, tires 155 HR 14, Weight: 970kg, maximum GVW 1330kg, maximum speed: 185km / h, consumption: 12.5 Liter/100km, Fuel tank capacity 55 liters.
GLASS build engines that could, had it with the four-1000s demonstrated. And power reserves had this engine even by a tester certified that the 30% was greater dimensions than he actually be müßste. What the 04 but still lacked stylistic design, was only 2 years after the publication of the 1004 through cooperation with the Italian car designer Pietro Frua from Turin reality. It was once again the ILO, this time in 1963, again as a vehicle of GLASS, “a thoroughly class-and race thoroughbred sports car” celebrated its premiere. This year was the year of large-GLASS automobiles, because while a Lim with 1500 cc was presented. The specialized world was surprised by the competition speechless. How could the GLASS in this short time two such vessels make series? The GLASS 1300 GT coupe and a convertible roadster inspired hundreds with this sports coupe, this body shaped Italian paired with German technology, was the big throw GLASS succeeded.
This synthesis was possible because Frua completely free to construct a body could, at the uncompromisingly sporty elegance was designed. The drive worried the famous four drilled, 1300 cc and equipped with 2 oblique electricity Solex carburetors. At 5,800 rpm. The engine made 75 hp and reached with an unloaded weight of 830 kg with a top speed of 175 km / h. The price was at 11,600 with imagination, DM respectively. With the GT GLASS clearly moved into the circle of upper middle class and even for Porsche, the GT GLASS a serious competition since the 1600 ccm he Porsche performance was by no means inferior.
In March 1964 ran the production of the 1300 GT in 1965 was the performance of 85 hp increase, the hood got a Lufthutze, while the 1700 GT on the market, with 100 hp and 8.4 kg / hp still full of temperamental was. The GT was based on national and international sporting events Feared an opponent. By the end of 1967, 4200 coupe and 365 convertibles built. From June 1967 BMW began with the production of the 1600 GT, which in the convertible version, however, only 2 units were built. With the production of the GT GLASS went a little individuality on the German car market is lost.
After the takeover by BMW as after all GLASS-set models, it was next to the Goggomobil and the V8 just to see the GT, from the GLASS-estate continues to be produced.
Since BMW after the war, yet no real sports in the program had offered the GT is almost at. From GLASS-share remained only the body and the front axle, while the engine, gearbox and rear independent suspension from the 1600 Ti were used. The grille has been with the typical BMW kidney equipped. The engine of the 1600 Ti suited precisely in the engine compartment and filled it completely. Also, the rear axle loads much more space under the trunk had to admit and wandered into the trunk. Overall, the rear axle better curve properties on uneven ground, but also showed a strong inclination to lower taxes, while the GLASS here was completely neutral. The BMW engine with 1600 cc makes 105 hp at 6,000 rpm. and made the BMW GT so that the fastest car in its class. He accelerated from 0-100 km / h in 10.5 seconds (compared Porsche 912 = 12.5 sec). The final speed of 190 km / h was a long drive translation achieved, but at the same time resulted in lower gears to a less favourable gradation. The interior has remained virtually unchanged. The price of the vehicle amounted to nearly 16,000 DM in June 1967 launched the production of the BMW GT 1600. In August 1968, production was reinstated. In total, during this period 1,256 GT built. These included also 2 convertibles, of which a vehicle for the former BMW’s major shareholder Quandt was built. This vehicle was from Allianz Centre for Technology, Munich restored to experience in the renovation of a collector car to collect.