BMW 700 RS 1961 - 1964
Things did not look good. Indeed, BMW was rapidly approaching the
final collapse and demise of the Company in the 1950s: While motorcycle production had reached a new record in 1952, production figures decreased
more significantly in the years to come than they had increased in the late ’40s.
To set off this dismal end of the motorcycle market, BMW started developing small cars using engines based on flat-twin motorcycle units. After the bubble car Isetta that soon demonstrated to be too small for new customers entering the car market, BMW developed the 600, a somewhat longer Isetta with its flat-twin engine fitted at the rear, intended to meet demand for a genuine four-seats at least for a while as of 1957. This car with front door access had difficulties to convince the potential buyers. BMW then, in 1958, developed a more conventional vehicle proposed in sedan and coupe. The flat-twin engine was moved to 700 cc. and the body was designed by Italian specialist Michelotti. Apart from its brand-new design, the BMW 700 offered another surprising highlight: it was the first BMW with a monocoque body. And the reason for introducing this new technology was clear: “They might believe initially that in this way we were giving up an old principle going back many years within the Company. But our calculators quickly showed us that a monocoque floor-pan
was able to save about 30 kg in weight, lower the entire car by 60–70 mm (2.4–2.8") and streamline the production process, with appropriate cost benefits.”
The BMW was soon a success especially the coupe.
The sporting qualities of the BMW 700 Coupé came out quite clearly from the start, shortly after the beginning of production in July 1959: The first Coupés were to be admired on the track before the end of the year, for example in the Sahara-Lappland Rally. In 1960 BMW’s fast Coupés brought home both gold medals and titles, Hans Stuck clinching the German Hill-Climbing Championship once again at the wheel of a BMW 700 at the age of 60.
Moving on to works racing, BMW prepared two truly outstanding performers parallel to one another: the 700 GT in 1960 and, a year later, the BMW 700 RS.
“When a new BMW sports car, the BMW 700 RS enters the Rossfeld Hillclimb Race on 18 June 1961, this will be in a quest to test the driving qualities of the BMW 700 at higher speeds and under more dynamic conditions,” said the announcement.
The fact that this was indeed no more than a test is obvious, considering that the BMW 700 RS, in making its debut in the sports car category up to 1600-cc, was competing against the likes of the Porsche Spyder and the Porsche RSK, BMW’s small racing machine boasted a tubular space-frame and an aluminium body, with 70 hp coming from the side-shaft power unit and with the complete vehicle weighing less than 600 kg or 1,323 lb. Depending on the transmission ratio, this small but dynamic performer was able to reach a top speed between
150 and 200 km/h (93 and 124 mph) – enough for Walter Schneider to bring home the German Circuit Championship in 1961 at the wheel of a BMW 700 RS.
BMW 700 RS Specifications:
Engine : boxer two cylinder flat unit, 697 cc., 78 x 73 mm bore x stroke, 70 hp at 8.000 rpm, 5-speed manual gearbox, all wheel drum brakes.
Wallpapers : BMW 700 RS 1961 - 1964