The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

15-16 February 2013

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Lot 626

1959 BMW 600

  • ID No. 600148545

Sold for $46,000


SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG

Origin: Munich, Germany

Production: 34,318

Motor: BMW 2-cyl., 4-stroke

Displacement: 582 cc

Power: 26 hp

Length: 9 ft. 8 in.

Identification No. 600 135250



In Germany, in the mid-fifties, the Great Recovery was clearly underway, and the population was no longer satisfied with transportation by microcar. The new symbol of the rising middle class was the hotly contested 600-cubic centimeter displacement category. Here, the Fiat 500 and 600, the Glas T600, the NSU Prinz, and the Lloyd Alexander fought for their market share. These were all conventional, conservative “three box” designs. Seeing fertile ground, BMW decided to enter the fray.



They knew that they would be doing it competitively in 1959 with their stylish BMW 700, which was already in the pipeline, but in the meantime, they had a production facility that could be adapted to build an interim car to fit into this displacement category.



The new car, shown to the public in September 1957, was a startling reinvention of the Isetta theme. It was freshly styled with skilfully rendered, sharp accents from Michelotti, including the front bumpers and dashboard, and a Pininfarina-styled headlamp area. The lengthened chassis now seated four. The chassis was advanced for its time, with individual coil-over shocks at each corner, which allowed considerably more vertical travel than that of the Isetta. Access to the rear seat was by a door, with fashionable frameless glass, on the right side. The lively, reliable boxer twin, fan cooled and fitted with a Dynastart, was isolated in the back and provided enough power to attain 60 mph and permit genuine long distance family outings.



The iconic folding steering column, which opened with the door, was retained, and driver ergonomics were well-thought out. The large glass area made the interior a bright and airy place and provided a very clear all-round view. The press praised the interior as the most attractively laid out of all the small cars. An appropriate factory slogan was “inside bigger than outside.” The closest competitor in space efficiency was the Fiat 600 Multipla, which was $200 more expensive.



The BMW could be well accessorized. Individual front seats could be had for 110 DM. A heater, defroster, Blaupunkt radio, roof luggage rack, tow bar, cigarette lighter, ashtray, floor mats, mudflaps, stoneguards, a locking gas cap, an engine compartment lock, fog and reverse lamps, sunshades, hubcaps, wind deflectors, and windshield washers were all available. It was a remarkably well-thought out car, vindicated in modern times by a very strong worldwide following. This two-tone example is superbly presented in factory correct and fully restored condition.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more