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Finished in an attractive period color combination, this 1964 700 Luxus LS remains a well-presented older restoration by German BMW marque experts to factory- correct specifications, complete with original date-coded wheels, glass, and mechanical components. In 2010, it was imported to the US, where it formed part of a prominent BMW collection. Reported to perform impressively, it is offered in very attractive driver quality, accompanied by an original driver’s manual, BMW spare parts, service manuals, and import documentation, plus a jack with crank, and a period radio. While the Isetta 300 and 600 may have kept BMW’s automotive operations in business through the mid-to-late 1950s, it is the 700 that truly helped return the venerable Bavarian manufacturer to health and positioned it for the future successes that the “New Class” sedans and their own derivatives would continue to deliver throughout the 1960s. As such, this matching-numbers 700 Luxus LS from 1964 remains a truly wonderful later example of the 700’s sheer adaptability, versatility, and enduring appeal.
The BMW 700
While BMW’s Isetta 300 and its enlarged 600 successor were the right cars for the mid-1950s, German automobile buyers soon expressed their desire for a more conventional layout and updated style. As early as late 1957, just before the 600 debuted, BMW management tasked the company’s development division with the creation of a new model with body design in cooperation with an Italian design studio. Wolfgang Denzel, BMW’s importer in Vienna and an automotive engineer, answered the call with a new 600-based model featuring crisp styling by Giovanni Michelotti, which he unveiled at Starnberg near Munich in July 1958. The basic design was approved in October 1958 and development of both coupe and sedan models began in earnest with the direction of Wilhelm Hofmeister to refine the design for series-production as an in-house BMW project.
Designated the BMW 700 in recognition of the enlarged 700 cc two-cylinder “boxer” engine housed in the rear of the monocoque body structure – BMW’s first of the postwar era – the new model was the unqualified hit of the 1959 Frankfurt Motor Show and some 25,000 orders were received. Continued after the “Neue Klasse” sedans launched for 1961, the 700 remained BMW’s entry-level model through 1965 and proved itself quite versatile, with the original coupe and sedan joined by the Baur cabriolet and extended-wheelbase Luxus, “junior” Luxus LS, and the final model, the LS coupe. Competition success was achieved virtually from launch on rally stages and racing circuits, with prewar “Silver Arrows” Grand Prix ace Hans Stuck humbling the opposition at age 60 in hill climbs with a 700 coupe.