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tim330i 04-12-2011 01:45 PM

The fresh face of BMW: 50 years of BMW New Class
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Waiting times averaged around half an hour. That's how long you had to queue up at the 1961 Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) to get a close-up look at the star turn of the show – or indeed to sit inside it, if for no more than a hurried minute. "Anyone who was in the vast exhibition area, for whatever reason, felt drawn to the stand of the Bayerische Motoren Werke," noted reporters from a leading German magazine, "or to be precise, to the new BMW mid-range car which until then had been a closely guarded internal secret but was now on public view for the first time at the BMW stand."

BMW 1500 celebrates its world premiere
Resplendent in virginal white, one of the two prototypes of the mid-range car from Munich slowly rotated on a closed-off turntable. A few metres away stood its twin, inviting visitors to touch it and even sit behind the wheel. Anyone who managed to secure a spot in front of the adjacent knee-high barrier had an unhampered view of the impressive four-door model performing its slow-motion pirouettes. A flat panel under the front bumper gave a brief summary of its salient cutting-edge specifications: 4 cylinders in-line, 75 hp at 5,500 rpm, 5-bearing crankshaft, OHC, front strut suspension, rear semi-trailing arm, front disc brakes, top speed 150 km/h, weight (fully fueled) approx. 950 kg. Not even the strikingly elegant eight-cylinder 3200 CS Coupé alongside it, revealed to the public for the first time, could detract from the sheer magnetic pull of this new model.

Read more about the BMW New Class -

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