[V8] Re: 5-car garage NAC
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.
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