[V8] Re: 5-car garage NAC

Coleman, David David.Coleman at blackrock.com
Tue Nov 23 08:49:45 EST 2004

Good read, but what the heck does this have to do with the Datsun's size
(which actually is quite small)??

> -----Original Message-----
> From: v8-bounces at audifans.com 
> [mailto:v8-bounces at audifans.com] On Behalf Of Roger M. Woodbury
> Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 7:45 AM
> To: SuffolkD at aol.com; v8 at audifans.com
> Subject: [V8] Re: 5-car garage NAC
> --1600 and 2000 cc front hinged hood tiny tiny car....
> Nope.  Not tiny at all.  My wife (at the time) and I bought 
> two 1967 BMW 1600's.  They were brand new in 1967, and were 
> at the time quite revolutionary.  The  1600 came only in a 
> two door version and was a bit smaller than a Volvo two door 
> sedan.  Not as tall, but extremely comfortable for four 
> adults to travel in.  The added benefit was that they would 
> run away and hide on almost anything else on the road that 
> didn't have eight cylinders.
> BMW had been making these cars for several years or so, and 
> there were other variants...an 1800cc and 2000cc four door 
> version that came in several other varieties.  BMW wasn't 
> importing their cars at that time. Rather the importer was 
> the legendary Max Hoffman, who earlier had been responsible 
> for importing Mercedes, Porsche and others (It was Max 
> Hoffman who convinced Porsche to produce and import the 
> Porsche Speedster).  Anyway, in Europe the BMW sedans had 
> some variants, and a few made it here.  There was the BMW 
> 1800 TI and BMW 2000 Tilux....the same car, the 2000 being 
> MUCH more luxurious with leather and other goodies.  Then 
> there was the 1800 TISA, which was a wild, prancing, snarling 
> rally car for the road.
> Hoffman convinced BMW that bringing in their sedans was a 
> good idea, and the 1600 was the first major push for BMW 
> automobiles in the US.  It was quite revolutionary, with 
> fully independent multi-link rear suspension, and remarkably 
> smooth four cylinder overhead cam  engine of 96 horsepower.  
> The trunk lid had what is not, the de rigeur tool box, and 
> the trunk itself was very large for a small car.
> My wife (at the time) had had a Mustang 
> convertible....TERRIBLE car which I hated profoundly.  It was 
> a small six cylinder with four speed, and when the fuel tank 
> was eroded by the  elements and the exhaust pipe, I demanded 
> that she get rid of it. We went car shopping and lo and 
> behold!  found the BMW 1600, which I had NOT heard of up 
> until that very moment.  We took a test drive and were 
> absolutely hooked:  $2600, as I recall.  The buy of 
> automotive history, or so it seemed.
> We took that car on our vacation trip through Maine, and when 
> we got back, to Massachusetts, I took the car to the dealer 
> for its mandatory first service.  While in Foreign Motors (it 
> was in Brighton back then, on Commonwealth Avenue...dunno if 
> it is still there, or just in Natick), the enthusiastic 
> salesman showed me the "latest 1600"....on the rear, opposite 
> the BMW and "1600" nomenclature was the word:  ALPINA. Under 
> the hood was the familiar silver valve cover but instead of 
> the black sheetmetal round air cleaner, along the side was 
> this oblong gray box in front of two 40dcoe Weber 
> carburetors.  I was invited to drive the car.  Late the next 
> week, I drove my pristine Austin Healey 3000 MkIII to Foreign 
> Motors, and although I couldn't afford to, I traded for what 
> was one of only a dozen or so Alpinas ever  imported.
> We did a lot of rallying and autocrossing in those days, and 
> I absolutely flogged the BMW....but no matter how hard I 
> drove it, it just ran and ran. 
> 135 horsepower, as I recall....and almost outran a Maine 
> state trooper one night on a twisty road not far from where I 
> live now....his big Plymouth with 383 cubic inches could 
> catch up on the straights but as soon as things got twisty, 
> the Alpina was GONE.  I didn't know he was a statey, just big 
> headlights in my mirror...
> After I got back from Southeast Asia, I sold the Alpina in 
> favor of something more practical....VW beetle, I seem to recall.
> But the cars were really wonderful, useful, roomy, 
> comfortable and economical to travel in.  Expensive by the 
> pound, though, much like BMWs of today.  It was all worth the 
> price of admission, but I would purely love to have that 
> Austin Healey today...its would be worth a fortune in the 
> shape mine was in in 1967.
> Roger
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