Wednesday, November 11, 2009

1969 BMW 1600-2 (1602)

Here's something you don't see often in the US, a BMW 1600-2 (aka 1602).

This was the forerunner to the 2002 and, like the 2002, was the brainchild of BMW's US importer, Max Hoffman. Hoffman convinced BMW that a 2-door version of the 1600 sedan would sell well in the US. BMW turned to Italian stylist Giovanni Michelotti (who designed the Triumph Spitfire and TR4, among others) for a design. The design turned out to be a classic and the car (in 1602 form and later 2002 guise) was sold from 1966 through 1976.

The 1602 sold modestly in the US. Car and Driver magazine called it "the best economy car ever offered to an undeserving American public." (I love that quote.) It was reasonably quick, 60 MPH came in 11 seconds, and economical. But when Hoffman convinced BMW to drop their 2 liter engine in the 1602 body, thereby creating the incredible 2002, it was phased out of the US lineup.

The entire BMW "Neue Klasse" (New Class) series of cars rusted horribly. When it outlived its usefulness, a 1602, being less exciting than the 2002, was usually scrapped or scavenged for parts rather than restored or preserved.

This car has had a recent paint job, but the seller doesn't mention whether there was any bodywork done. The dashboard has a few cracks in it, but overall the car appears to be in nice shape.

Located in Colorado Springs, CO, click here to see the eBay listing.

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