The very first BMW car was the BMW 3/15 PS, also known as Dixi DA 1. At first, the
Dixi DA 1 was no more than an Austin Seven, produced under license by Eisenach
Fahrzeugfabrik in Germany. BMW bought this company in November 1928 as they
wanted to start producing cars. The Dixi DA 1 was produced from 1927 until 1929.
The first genuine BMW Dixi was the Dixi Da 2, introduced at the end of 1929. This
was the first car that had the now famous blue / white BMW emblem. The Da 2 was
basicly the same as the DA 1, but now with some important improvements, like
adjustable seats and better breaks. In 1930 the DA 3 came available. This car was
a two seater Roadster, with a 18 HP 4 cylinder engine, reaching 100 km/h. No more
than 150 DA 3 cars were made ... The Dixi Da 2 remained available until 1932, when
the license with Austin ended. At the same time, BMW introduced their first own
design, the 3/20. It had a 20 HP 4 cylinder engine and was produced until 1934.
The first BMW 6 cylinder was the 303, which was also the first BMW to have the
famous "kidney grille", which is still used on current cars! The 1.2 litre 6 cylinder had
30 HP and could do 100 km/h. A 315 and 319 soon followed, as did the 328. The
328 was a very successful sports car, it had a 2 litre 6 cylinder engine with 80HP,
good for 166 km/h. It won several races, including the 1940 Mille Miglia. But with
the start of World War 2, production slowly started to end ... the BMW 335, with a
6 cylinder 90 HP engine, was the last post World War 2 BMW produced ...
The first BMW after World War 2, the 1951 501, was a beautiful car, but way too
expensive. And the engine was far too weak (60 HP 6 cylinder) to move the 1340 KG
car around. The 1952 501 received a 65 HP engine, but a 2.6 8 cylinder became
available in 1955. The last 501 left the factory in 1961. In 1958, BMW launched the
502, which had a 2.6 litre V8 engine producing 95 HP and a top speed of 160 km/h.
The 502 3.2, introduced in 1955, had 120 HP and the rare 502 3.2 S had 140 HP.
After a few name changes, production of the big V8 saloons stopped in 1964.
Isetta, that is the name of the BMW that was introduced in 1955. This little cute
car had a 1 cylinder 12 HP engine, which could do 85 km/h. A 13 HP Isetta came
available a year later, but production of all Isetta cars stopped in 1962, after just
136.367 Isetta's build. The beautiful 503 and 507, both introduced in 1955, were no
success either. The 1959 BMW 700 was a step in the good direction but BMW's
financial situation was bad. So bad that selling BMW to rival Mercedes Benz was
very close. But thanks to the dealers and Dr. Herbert Quandt, who bought a large
quantity of BMW stock, BMW survived. The launch of the 1500 (also known as E8)
in 1961 was a fresh start for BMW: the car became a real success! More engines
soon became available, like the 1600, 1800, 2000, 2000 Tii and the very rare 1800
Ti/Sa, which had 130 HP. More success came with the lauch of the 1600-2 in 1966.
A smaller, 2 door version of the 1600. The 1600-2 had an 85 HP 4 cylinder and a
top speed of 160 km/h. The 2 litre, 100 HP strong2002 (code name E10) followed
in 1968, as did the 2002 Ti, with 120 HP. A 1602, 1802 and 2002Tii (130 HP) soon
followed, as did a 2002 Turbo, which had 170 HP. The introduction of the 2500 (E3)
in 1968 saw the return of the larger sedans, followed by a coupe version: the 2800
CS and later the 3.0 CSi (E9).
These were the last cars before the introduction of the 5 series in 1972, the 3 series
in 1975, the 6 series in 1976 and the 7 series in 1977 ...