The NSU Prinz is an automobile which was produced in West Germany by the NSU Motorenwerke AG from 1958 to 1973. The first post war NSU car, the Prinz I, was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1957 accompanied by the advertising slogan Fahre Prinz und Du bist König, after a pilot run of 150 preproduction cars, volume production began in March 1958. The Prinz I was available as a 2-door saloon featuring a roof line. The doors opened wide enough to permit reasonable access even to the rear seats, the noisy two-cylinder 600 cc 20 PS engine was located at the back where it drove the rear wheels, initially via a crash gearbox. Later versions gained a four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox, there were just two grease nipples requiring attention, positioned on the steering kingpins. The engine was commended in reports for its fuel economy. Although noisy, the engine offered impressive flexibility, recalling NSUs strengths as a motorcycle manufacturer, the Prinz II was released in 1959 with better trim and an all-synchromesh gearbox.
A 30E export version was equipped with a 30 hp engine, the Prinz III was launched in October 1960 featuring a new stabilizer bar and the 30 hp motor. NSU received government approval to build the Prinz in Brazil in the late 1950s, the Sport Prinz was a 2-seater sports coupe variant. It was designed by Franco Scaglione at Bertone studios in Turin,20,831 were manufactured between 1958 and 1968. The first 250 bodies were built by Bertone in Turin, the rest were built in Neckarsulm at a company called Drautz which was bought by NSU. The Sport Prinz initially was powered by the 583 cc Prinz 50 straight-2 engine, from late 1962 a 598 cc engine was fitted. The NSU Spider was a Wankel rotary powered 2-seater roadster based on the Sport Prinz platform, one of the revelations of the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1961, the Prinz 4 replaced the original Prinz. Its new body closely resembled the fashionable Chevrolet Corvair, but was of much smaller. Like the original Prinz, it was powered by a two-cylinder air-cooled engine in the rear, the Prinz 4 was much improved and continued to be a well-engineered car, like its predecessors.
The engine carried on the tradition of eccentric rod driven camshaft inherited from NSU motorcycle engines, four-cylinder engines adopted the more conventional separate starter motor and alternator. In 1968, Britains Autocar road tested a Super Prinz, the test car achieved a top speed of 113 km/h and accelerated to 97 km/h in 35.7 seconds. The home grown Mini 850 reached 97 km/h in 29.5 seconds in an equivalent recent test and managed to beat the NSUs top speed, the testers concluded their report that the car was competitively priced in its class and performed adequately
A low-floor bus is a bus or trolleybus that has no steps between one or more entrances, and low floor for part or all of the passenger cabin. Buses with partial low floor may refer as low-entry bus in some locations, Low floor refers to a bus deck that is accessible from sidewalk with only a single step within a small height difference, caused solely by the difference between the bus deck and sidewalk. This is to distinguished from high-floor, a bus deck design that requires climbing one step or more steps to access the interior floor that is placed at a higher height. Being low-floor improves the accessibility of the bus for the public, particularly the elderly and people with disabilities, in North America, both types are commonly called low-floor, as the majority of the vehicle has a low floor, without steps at the doors. Some manufacturers use the initials LF or L in their model designations for fully low-floor models, in some countries, LE, short for Low Entry, is used by some manufacturers in their model designations for low-entry buses.
Some full low-floor buses have a rear axle, while the rear axle is not an issue on a low-entry bus. Many low-floor buses, including the Irisbus Citelis, has the engine in a cabinet at the rear of the bus. Van Hool have a series of side-engine mid-drive buses that puts the engine off to one side of the cabin longitudinally between the first and the axle, to maximize usable cabin space. The same concept was utilized by Volvo on their B9S articulated chassis, for smaller buses, such as midibuses, the low-floor capability is achieved by placing the front wheels ahead of the entrance. Accessibility was previously achieved in paratransit type applications, which use small vehicles with the fitment of special lifts, the inception of small low-floor buses has allowed the development of several accessible demand-responsive transport schemes using standard off-the-shelf buses. A disadvantage of the low floor is accommodating the buss own wheels, with the low floor, the wheels protrude into the passenger cabin, and need to be contained in wheel pockets of waist height, and this occupies space which would otherwise be used for seating.
Seating layout for a low-floor bus therefore requires careful design, Low-floor buses usually include an area without seating next to at least one of the doors, where wheelchairs, walkers and where allowed even bicycles, can be parked. This is sometimes not the purpose of this area, though. Despite the space existing, operators may insist that one or two wheelchairs or pushchairs can be accommodated unfolded, due to space/safety concerns. Depending on how close to the curb the bus is parked and wheelchair design, many vehicles are equipped with wheel-chair lifts, or ramps which, when combined with a low floor, can provide a nearly level entry. An interesting implementation of the low floor design exists in Australia and these buses combine a smaller low floor area with a small underfloor bin for some luggage. Whilst these buses do not provide an amount of luggage space. These buses lack the ability to have a center door, many bus rapid transit systems employ a level boarding by using high-floor buses stopping at station style bus stops
The Alpine A310 is a sports car built by French manufacturer Alpine, from 1971 to 1984. The successor was the Alpine A310, initially powered by tuned 17TS/Gordini four-cylinder engine, the maximum power reaches 127 PS, thanks to the use of two twin-barrel 45 DCOE Weber carburetors. The first model of the A310, built 1971-1976, was a car with a four-cylinder engine and six headlights. In 1976 the A310 was restyled by Robert Opron and fitted with the powerful and newly developed 90-degree 2,664 cc V6 PRV engine, as used in some Renaults, Volvos. The car was first shown at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, the prototype A310 had louvres across the rear windscreen, these were not carried over to the production model. Early models had a NACA duct mounted near the window atop the front fender, four-cylinder cars received two, mounted closer to the front of the car. The A310 was labor-intensive, having been developed for small-scale artisanal production - a car took 130 hours to build from start to finish, the front axle came in for some criticism, although in 1974 the balljoint mountings were replaced by rubber/steel bushings which somewhat improved the longevity.
While many bits of the A310 came from the Renault parts shelf as expected, others are more surprising - the steering rack is from the Peugeot 504, the basis of the A310 was a hefty tubular steel backbone chassis, clothed in a fiberglass shell. As for the previous A110 the entire body was molded in a single piece, like the ill-fated De Lorean DMC-12, which used the same PRV powertrain, the engine was mounted longitudinally in the rear, driving forward to the wheels through a manual five-speed gearbox. The driving position was low and sporty, although the front wheelwells encroached on the occupants feet, the V6 received a black plastic rear spoiler as well, useful for keeping the tail planted but somewhat marring to purity of the originals lines. With 150 PS on tap, the A310 PRV V6 was Renaults performance flagship capable of 220 km/h, the tail-heavy weight distribution gave handling characteristics similar to the contemporary Porsche 911. Beginning with model year 1981, the suspension was shared with the mid-engined Renault 5 Turbo.
Rather than the previous three-lug wheels, the A310 received the alloys used for the 5 Turbo, albeit without the painted elements. In the models of the A310 a Pack GT which was inspired from the Group 4 A310 racing cars would be developed, it gained wheel arches and larger spoilers front,1977 - French Rally Championship The A310 had great success in French motorsport as a Group 4 car. In 1977 Guy Frequelin won the French Rally championship, A3101600 Series 1 Media related to Renault Alpine A310 at Wikimedia Commons
The Fiat 126 is a city car introduced in October 1972 at the Turin Auto Show as a replacement for the Fiat 500. Some were produced in Bielsko-Biała, Poland, as the Polski Fiat 126p until 2000 and it was replaced by the front-engined Fiat Cinquecento in 1993. The 594 cc engines were available in early 1983 production. A subsequent increase took the size to 704 cc in new restyling model Fiat 126 Bis. In Italy, the car was produced in the plants of Cassino, by this time 1,352,912 of the cars had been produced in Italy. The car continued however to be manufactured by FSM in Poland, even after the introduction of the 126 Bis, the original model continued to be produced for the Polish market. The car was produced under licence by Zastava in Yugoslavia. In 1984, the 126 received a facelift, giving it plastic bumpers and this model named Fiat 126p FL. In 1994, the 126p received another facelift, and some parts from the Fiat Cinquecento, the 126 ELX introduced a catalytic converter. Despite clever marketing, the 126 never achieved the popularity of the 500.
The total number of 126 produced is,1,352,912 in Italy,3,318,674 in Poland,2,069 in Austria, and an unknown number in Yugoslavia. For a brief period in the early 1990s, a German company called POP offered versions of the 126 BIS. Two models were offered, a lesser equipped one called the POP650, the car was produced in Poland under the brand Polski Fiat 126p between 1973 and 2000. To distinguish it from the original Italian car, the p was added to its name. It was produced by Fabryka Samochodów Małolitrażowych in Bielsko-Biała and Tychy under Italian Fiat licence, throughout the 1980s the 126p was continuously modified. Some owners upgraded to a 45 Amp-hour battery from Fiat 125p to improve the cold start reliability, due to a relatively low price it was very popular in Poland and was arguably the most popular car there in the 1980s. Its very small size gave it the nickname maluch, the nickname became so popular that in 1997 it was accepted by the producer as the official name of the car. It was exported to many Eastern Bloc countries and for years it was one of the most popular cars in Poland
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen, built in 1885, is widely regarded as the worlds first automobile, that is, a vehicle designed to be propelled by an internal combustion engine. The original cost of the vehicle in 1885 was 600 imperial German marks, the vehicle was awarded the German patent number 37435, for which Karl Benz applied on January 29,1886. Following official procedures, the date of the application became the patent date for the once the patent was granted. Benzs wife, financed the development process, according to modern law, she would have therefore received the patent rights, but married women were not allowed to apply for patents at the time. Benz unveiled his invention to the public on July 3,1886, about 25 Patent-Motorwagens were built between 1886 and 1893. The Benz Patent-Motorwagen was an automobile with a rear-mounted engine. The vehicle contained many new inventions and it was constructed of steel tubing with woodwork panels. The steel-spoked wheels and solid rubber tires were Benzs own design, steering was by way of a toothed rack that pivoted the unsprung front wheel.
Fully elliptic springs were used at the back along with a live axle, a simple belt system served as a single-speed transmission, varying torque between an open disc and drive disc. The first Motorwagen used the Benz 954 cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine with trembler coil ignition and this new engine produced 500 watts at 250 rpm in the Patent-Motorwagen, although tests by the University of Mannheim showed it to be capable of 670 W at 400 rpm. It was a light engine for the time, weighing about 100 kg. Although its open crankcase and drip oiling system would be alien to a modern mechanic, a large horizontal flywheel stabilized the single-cylinder engines power output. An evaporative carburettor was controlled by a valve to regulate power. The first model of the Motorwagen had not been built with a carburetor, rather a basin of fuel soaked fibers that supplied fuel to the cylinder by evaporation. Benz made more models of the Motorwagen, model number 2 had 1.1 kW ) engine, the chassis was improved in 1887 with the introduction of wooden-spoke wheels, a fuel tank, and a manual leather shoe brake on the rear wheels.
Bertha Benz, married to Karl, chose to publicize the Patent-Motorwagen in a unique manner,3, supposedly without her husbands knowledge, and drove it on the first long-distance automobile road trip to demonstrate its feasibility. As well as being the driver, Benz acted as mechanic on the drive, cleaning the carburetor with her hat pin and she refueled at the local pharmacy in Wiesloch. As the brakes wore down, Benz asked a shoemaker to nail leather on the brake blocks
From 1931 to 1939, Daimler-Benz AG produced three cars with rear engine as well as a few prototypes. The production numbers remained low for each of these models. At the beginning of the 1930s, inspired by modern streamlined shapes, such a move allows a reduction in the volume of the front compartment. At the same time, the rear provides a lot of space above. Moreover, when engines are mounted, the drive shaft is eliminated. The most famous development was with the Tatra cars under the leadership of Hans Ledwinka. In 1930, Daimler-Benz AG entrusted Hans Nibel with the development of a small rear-engined car based on the same principles, there were attempts to row across built four-cylinder engines. In 1933 Mercedes built a vehicle with a front similar to the VW Beetle later, the D referred to the three-cylinder diesel engine OM134 with an output of 30 hp, but due to high noise level, this vehicle was again rejected. From this type,12 test cars were assembled The Mercedes-Benz 130H was an automobile built in Germany in the 1930s.
It was presented in February 1934 at the Berlin Car Show, conceived by Hans Nibel, chief engineer of Mercedes Benz, the 130H was inspired by Edmund Rumplers Tropfen-Auto. It followed on the Rumpler-chassis Tropfenwagen racers, which ran between 1923 and 1926, created in 1931 by Nibel, it had the 1. The backbone chassis owed something to Hans Ledwinka, and suspension was independent at all four corners, Daimler-Benz put the 130H in production in 1934. Due to its suspension, handling proved poor, although perfectly adequate on German roads at the time, the motor had a power of 26 PS and was able to propel the small two-door sedan at a speed of 92 km/h. The synchronised four-speed gearbox is accommodated in front of the rear axle, the front axle was equipped with two transverse leaf springs. The car was sold as a sedan, a sedan or a convertible. Due to its extreme unbalance, the car had very awkward handling, because of the low sales volume, the model was discontinued in 1936. Nibel followed the 130H with a more powerful 150H, with chassis designed by Daimlers Max Wagner, the Mercedes-Benz 150H was a prototype sports racing automobile built in Germany in the 1930s.
It was derived in 1935 from the 130 with only two seats and a powerful engine, with 1498 cc and a power of 55 PS
The Renault 4CV is a rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive, 4-door economy supermini manufactured and marketed by the French manufacturer Renault from August 1947 through July 1961. It was the first French car to sell over a million units, the 4CV was of monocoque construction,3.6 m in length with front suicide doors and using Renaults Ventoux engine in a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. CV is the abbreviation of cheval-vapeur, the French equivalent to horsepower as a unit of power, the name 4CV refers to the cars tax horsepower. This was in contrast to Louis Renault himself who in 1940 believed that after the war Renault would need to concentrate on its traditional mid-range cars. Jean-Auguste Riolfo, head of the test department, was aware of the project from an early stage as were several other heads of department. In May 1941 Louis Renault himself burst into an office to find Serre, by the end of an uncomfortable ad hoc meeting Renaults approval for the project, now accorded the code 106E, was provided.
In November 1945 the government invited Ferdinand Porsche to France to explore the possibility of relocating the Volkswagen project to France as part of the package under discussion. On 15 December 1945, Porsche found himself invited to provide Renault with advice concerning their forthcoming Renault 4CV, earlier that year, newly nationalised Renault had officially acquired a new boss, the former resistance hero Pierre Lefaucheux. He had been arrested by the Gestapo in June 1944, the Gestapo transferred him to Metz for interrogation, but the city was deserted because of the advancing allied front, the Germans abandoned their prisoner. The government insisted on nine meetings involving Porsche which took place in rapid succession, Lefaucheux was a man with contacts. Porsche was accompanied on his visit to the Renault plant by his son Ferry, the first prototype had only two doors and was completed in 1942, and two more prototypes were produced in the following three years. Later Pierre Lefaucheux, appointed to the top job at Renault early in 1945, in 1940, Louis Renault had, according to one source, directed his engineering team to make him a car like the Germans.
An important part of the 4CVs success was due to the new methodologies used in its manufacture, Bézier had begun his 42-year tenure at Renault as a tool setter, moving up to tool designer and becoming head of the Tool Design Office. As Director of Production Engineering in 1949, he designed the transfer lines producing most of the parts for the 4CV. The transfer machines were high-performance work tools designed to machine engine blocks, while imprisoned during World War II, Bézier developed and improved on the automatic machine principle, introduced before the war by General Motors. The 4CV was ultimately presented to the public and media at the 1946 Paris Motor Show, it was known affectionately as the quatre pattes, four paws. The 4CV was initially powered by a 760 cc rear-mounted four-cylinder engine coupled to a three-speed manual transmission. In 1950, the 760 cc unit was replaced by a 747 cc version of the Billancourt engine producing 17 hp. Despite an initial period of uncertainty and poor sales due to the state of the French economy
The Renault Caravelle is a sports car which was produced by the French manufacturer Renault between 1958 and 1968. Outside of North America and Britain it was, until 1962, Renault was envious of the growing success in North America of the Volkswagen Bug/Beetle and were looking for ways they might match the Volkswagens success with their own Renault Dauphine. Renaults chairman, Pierre Dreyfus and since the concept had been born at a convention in Florida the car became known within the company as the Renault Floride. The Floride name was considered unsuitable for 49 of the 50 states of the USA, for this reason an alternative name, was from the start used for North America and for other major markets where the principal language was a form of English. The Floride was unveiled at the 1958 Paris Motor Show, a small rear-engined design by Pietro Frua at Carrozzeria Ghia, it used the floorpan and engine of the Renault Dauphine sedan. The Floride was launched in the United States and Canada as the Renault Caravelle a year after its introduction in Europe, the car was offered as a 2+2 coupe, a 2+2 cabriolet and as a convertible, the latter being a cabriolet with a removable hardtop.
At launch the Floride, like the Dauphine on which it was based, the power unit on the Floride was fed using a Solex 32mm carburetor as against the 28mm diameter of the Solex carburetor on the Dauphine. The Florides making their French show debut on the stand at the 1958 Paris Motor Show came with a power output of 37 hp SAE.6,1 to 8.0,1. Power was delivered to the wheels via a three speed manual transmission with synchromesh on the upper two ratios. For a supplement of 200 New Francs customers could specify a four speed transmission on the slightly heavier coupé version of the car. Having regard to the cars power-to-weight ratio most customers chose to pay extra for the four speed gear box, the main Billancourt plant, built on an island in the middle of a river, was particularly ill-suited to further expansion. A new plant had been opened at Flins in 1952 and a second would follow near Le Havre in 1964, Renault now persuaded Brissonneau to abandon their own automobile project and adapt their facilities for assembly of the Floride.
In October 1959, ready for the 1960 model year, the Floride, along with the Renault Dauphine, appeared with significant suspension improvements. The addition of extra rubber springs at the front reduced roll and auxiliary air spring units at the rear gave the rear wheels a small degree of negative camber and increased cornering grip. In March 1962, the Caravelle received a new 956 cc engine that would be used by the new Renault 8 from June. It had a cooling system as well as a new front suspension, new rear geometry, new steering. Moving the radiator behind the engine freed up an extra 12 cm of space behind the front seat, maximum power output increased to 48 hp. The Caravelle name replaced the Floride name in all markets from 1962 onwards, in 1964 another R8-derived engine of 1108 cc was introduced to the Caravelle, producing 55 hp
Renault 8 and 10
The Renault 8 and Renault 10 are two rear-engined, rear-wheel drive small family cars produced by the French manufacturer Renault in the 1960s and early 1970s. The 8 was launched in 1962, and the 10, an upmarket version of the 8, was launched in 1965. The Renault 8 ceased production and sales in France in 1973, by the Renault 10 had already been replaced, two years earlier, by the front wheel drive Renault 12. They were produced in Bulgaria until 1970, and a version of the Renault 8 continued to be produced in Spain until 1976. In Romania, a version of the 8 was produced under license between 1968 and 1971 as the Dacia 1100, in total 37,546 Dacia 1100s were built. The 8 design looks similar to the Alfa Romeo front-wheel drive prototype tipo 103, because Alfa Romeo. Renault was marketing Alfa Romeo cars and Alfa Romeo was building the Renault Dauphine, Ondine, in total 70,502 Dauphine/Ondine and 41,809 R4s were built by Alfa Romeo. The R8 was released in June 1962 and was based on the Renault Dauphine with which it shared its basic architecture, the R8s engine followed the pioneering example of the recently introduced Renault 4 by incorporating a sealed for life cooling system.
A distinctive innovation on the French produced cars was the fitting of four-wheel disc brakes, when in 1965 Renaults Spanish affiliate introduced their own version of the Renault 8 for the Spanish market, it came with drum brakes. The 8 was powered by an all new 956 cc Cléon-Fonte engine developing 44 PS, for 1963, Renault offered an automatic transmission of unique design and produced by Jaeger. It was first shown at the September 1962 Paris Motor Show, the clutch in the system was replaced by a powder ferromagnetic coupler, developed from a Smiths design. The transmission itself was a mechanical unit similar to that of the Dauphine. The system used a push button control panel where the driver could select forward or reverse. The system was thus entirely electromechanical, without hydraulics, pneumatics or electronics, benefits included comparable fuel economy to the manual transmission version, and easy adaptability to the car. Drawbacks included performance loss and a somewhat jerky operation during gear changes, the transmission was used in the Dauphine and the Caravelle.
A more powerful model, the 8 Major, was released in 1964, a still more powerful version, the 8 model R1134 Gordini, was released that year, with a tuned engine of the same capacity but developing 90 PS. The extra power was obtained by a head and twin dual-choke 40mm side-draft Solex carburetors. A four-speed close ratio manual transmission, dual rear shock absorbers, the R1134 Gordini was originally available only in blue, with two stick-on white stripes
The Hino Contessa is an automobile which was produced by Hino Motors from 1961 to 1967. The Contessa was developed largely from the 1947-1961 Renault 4CV powertrain under license to Hino Motors, offered in both coupe and sedan bodystyles, it replaced the Hino Renault, which was the Renault 4CV manufactured by Hino for Japan. It was adapted into a pickup truck called the Hino Briska. The PC series coupé was designed by Giovanni Michelotti, while the generation was longer and wider in both coupé and sedan bodystyles. Unlike many cars found internationally of this period, using rear drive and rear engined powertrains. The name contessa is Italian for a countess,47,299 of the PC-series Contessa were built, between April 1961 and the second quarter of 1964. With an 893 cc version of the Renault-based GP engine, max power is 35 PS which provides a top speed of 110 km/h, the first Contessa originally received a three-speed column mounted shifter, a four-speed manual became optional, utilizing an electromagnetic clutch apparatus called Shinko-Hinomatic.
The gear change came in for a amount of criticism. As Hino had a relationship with Renault at the time. The drivetrain and suspension were carried over from the Hino Renault, the main improvement over the 4CV was that the Contessa 900 was a full five-seater, making it a much stronger competitor. The engine was slanted to the left, and utilized a crossflow cylinder head, the rear suspension used swing axles. The first Contessa was never intended for export, although foreign language brochures were printed up for the Michelotti-designed Contessa 900 Sprint Coupé, aside from the stylish bodywork, the 100 kg lighter Sprint benefitted from an Officine Nardi-tuned engine with Weber carburetors and 45 PS. The Sprint was introduced at both the 10th Tokyo Auto Show, and the Turin Motor show in 1962, and followed at the New York Auto Show in 1963, top speed was claimed to be 140 km/h. So that there would be no doubts about its provenance, the plates at the bottom of the door apertures read Hino-Michelotti.
The Sprint had a floor-mounted shifter, with design by Giovanni Michelotti, the second generation Contessa debuted in September 1964. While considerably longer and heavier, the PD Contessa had a more powerful 1,251 cc four-cylinder engine with five main bearings. With a four-speed manual transmission, top speed is 130 km/h, a handsome coupé version was presented in April 1965, the coupé benefitted from an upgraded engine with twin carburetors and slightly higher compression and 65 PS from November of the same year. With chassis code PD300/400, this version was marketed as the 1300S
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, usually known under its abbreviation BMW, is a German luxury vehicle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It is one of the luxury automakers in the world. The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index, headquartered in Munich, Bavaria, BMW owns Mini cars and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW was established as a business entity following a restructuring of the Rapp Motorenwerke aircraft manufacturing firm in 1912 named Aerowerke Gustav Otto, after the end of World War I in 1918, BMW was forced to cease aircraft-engine production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty. The company consequently shifted to production as the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted in 1923. BMWs first significant aircraft engine, and commercial product of any sort, was the BMW IIIa inline-six liquid-cooled engine of 1918, known for good fuel economy, with German rearmament in the 1930s, the company again began producing aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe.
The factory in Munich made ample use of forced labour, foreign civilians, prisoners of war, the few Me 262 A-1b test examples built used the more developed version of the 003 jet, recording an official top speed of 800 km/h. The first-ever four-engine jet aircraft flown were the sixth and eighth prototypes of the Arado Ar 234 jet reconnaissance-bomber. Through 1944 the 003s reliability improved, making it a power plant for air frame designs competing for the Jägernotprogramms light fighter production contract. Which was won by the Heinkel He 162 Spatz design, the BMW003 aviation turbojet was under consideration as the basic starting point for a pioneering turboshaft powerplant for German armored fighting vehicles in 1944–45, as the GT101. Towards the end of the Third Reich, BMW developed some military aircraft projects for the Luftwaffe, the BMW Strahlbomber, the BMW Schnellbomber and the BMW Strahljäger, but none of them were built. By the year 1958, the division of BMW was in financial difficulties.
It was decided to carry on by trying to cash in on the current economy car boom exploited so successfully by German ex-aircraft manufacturers such as Messerschmitt, BMW bought the rights to manufacture the Italian Iso Isetta. BMWs version of the cars were to be powered by a modified form of BMWs motorcycle engine. This was moderately successful and helped the company get back on its feet, since 1959, the controlling majority shareholder of the BMW Aktiengesellschaft has been the Quandt family, which owns about 46% of the stock. The rest is in public float, BMW acquired the Hans Glas company based in Dingolfing, Germany, in 1966. Glas vehicles were badged as BMW until the company was fully absorbed. However, this factory was outmoded and BMWs biggest immediate gain was, according to themselves, the Glas factories continued to build a limited number of their existing models, while adding the manufacture of BMW front and rear axles until they could be closer incorporated into BMW
The BMW700 is a small rear-engined car which was produced by BMW in various models from August 1959 to November 1965. It was the first BMW automobile with a monocoque structure, the 700 was a sales success at a time when BMW was close to financial ruin. The 700 was successful in its class in motorsport, both in its form and as the basis of a racing special called the 700RS. More than 188,000 were sold before production ended in November 1965, upon discontinuing the 700, BMW left the economy car market and did not return until 2002 with the Mini. Wolfgang Denzel, the distributor of BMW cars in Austria, commissioned Giovanni Michelotti to prepare concept sketches based on a lengthened BMW600 chassis, in January 1958, Denzel was awarded a development contract for the 700. Denzel presented a prototype to BMWs management in July 1958, the concept, a 2-door coupe with a slanted roof, was generally well received, but objections were raised about the limited passenger space. BMW decided to produce two versions, the coupe, and a 2-door sedan with a taller, longer roof, the engineer responsible for the chassis and suspension was Willy Black, who had designed and engineered the 600.
The 700 used a monocoque structure, and was the first BMW automobile to do so. The engine was a version of that used in the R67 motorcycle. With a bore of 78 millimetres and 73 millimetres of stroke, the engine originally used a single Solex 34PCI carburetor and had a compression ratio of 7.5,1, resulting in a power output of 30 horsepower. The coupe and saloon versions of the 700 were shown at the 1959 Frankfurt Motor Show, after the show, BMW received 25,000 orders for 700s. Production of the BMW700 Coupe began in August 1959, with the saloon version following in December, the large number of orders was welcome news for BMW, which was in a financial crisis. In December 1959, shareholders blocked a proposal by BMWs supervisory board to merge BMW into Daimler-Benz, the subsequent heavy investment in BMW by Harald Quandt has been attributed in part to the success of the 700. By April 1960, production of the 700 was at 155 cars per day,188,211 BMW 700s were built in five years of production. The first variant of the 700 to appear after the original coupe, available only as a coupe, the Sport used an uprated engine with a pair of Solex carburetors and a 9.0,1 compression ratio.
This brought the output to 40 horsepower. The Sport had a rear anti-roll bar, a ribbed oil pan was used to reduce the oil temperature of the more powerful engine. The 700 Sport was renamed the 700 CS in 1963, the 700 Cabriolet was introduced shortly after the 700 Sport, and was available only with the Sports 40 horsepower engine