At the end of the 1950s, things were anything but rosy for BMW. At the end of the 1950s, things were anything but rosy for BMW. The customer demand for compact vehicles with more comfort could not be met and for the large sedans there was little demand. This situation was also recognized in Munich and the engineers began at the end of 1957 with the development of a new model, for which they wanted to cooperate with an Italian coachbuilder. In the summer of 1958, finally, the Austrian importer and car designer Wolfgang Denzel presented a small car based on the 600 with body of Michelotti, which met with great interest among the makers in Bavaria and finally went into production as 700.
This began in August 1959 with the coupe, followed shortly afterwards by the sedan version with higher roofline, more space in the rear and a little smaller notchback. In this sits a 0.7-liter two-cylinder boxer engine, which was derived as already in the 600 and the Isetta of the BMW motorcycles. The entry-level version with 30 hp followed from 1960 on a stronger variant with 40 hp aside, which was used exclusively in the Baur manufactured Cabriolet from 1961. A fully synchronized four-speed gearbox transmits the forces to the rear wheels. Empty the Cabriolet brings 680 kilograms on the scales, making the driving dynamics quite decent.
Baur made a total of 2,592 copies of the 700 Cabriolet for BMW until 1964, of which 211 came with modified headlamps and export bumpers to the US market. Compared with Coupé and Sedan a small number, because here a combined number of over 180,000 vehicles ran off the line. In Germany the Cabriolet costed from 6,950 DM when new in 1961. Today it is one of the sought-after classics of the brand and achieves significantly higher prices.
One of these Cabriolets from the year 1962 is currently for sale in the Netherlands at Auto Leitner. With just 44,000 kilometers on the tacho the open four-seater shows in dark blue with red leather seats after an extensive restoration. After a long time in Austria, this vehicle entered a private museum in the Netherlands. Auto Leitner now calls 42,500 € for this car.
Images: Auto Leitner