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BMW after WWII
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Packard53
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After WWII the only thing that BMW was doing with scrap metal was the production of cooking pots, farm machinery, and motorcycles.

Car production for BMW never started until 1952, then the models they produced never sold because they weren't producing what the West German public wanted to buy. Things got so bad for BMW they sought out mergers with Bristol a now defunct English automobile company. Then being rebuffed by Bristol they even turn to Auto Union. During the 50's things got so bad for BMW they turned to the Italian firm of Isetta, and started building little two passenger bubble cars with a 250cc motorcycle engine. Now that's what I call producing of a car of real quality.

As far as the production of decent autos BMW new got on firm footing until almost 20 years after WWII. During the early 60's it got so bad for BMW that the West German goverment wanted Glas another German auto firm to buy BMW they refused.

John F. Shireman

Posted on: 2008/10/9 17:53
REMEMBERING BRAD BERRY MY PACKARD TEACHER
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Re: BMW after WWII
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Dave Kenney
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Contrary to what PFH would have you to believe there were other bombers flying over Germany during WW2 besides the US 8th Airforce. The heavy Lancaster and Halifax bombers of the RAF and RCAF destroyed much of the BMW factory during a raid on Munich in 1943. In 1951 BMW unveiled the fabulous 501 at the Frankfurt Auto Show. They weren't cars many Germans could afford at something like 17000DM but certainly were well made and engineered cars. I sure wouldn't mind owning a 1951-1954 501 or 502 "Baroque Angel" to sit beside my Super Clipper. They are a high quality luxury car as were the Mercedes 300S and Sc brought out in 1952. One look at current values of these cars will tell you something of their quality. P.S. There is a restored 502 Cabriolet currently being offered for $270,000US if interested?

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Posted on: 2008/10/9 18:34
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Re: BMW after WWII
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Packard53
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Clipper47: The BMW 501 was introduced in April 1951 at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung in Frankfurt as you have stated. However there was only 501 prototype at that show. Actual production of the 501 didn't start until the fall of 1952. Total production of the 501 between 1952 and 1953 was 1,706. The selling price in 1952 was 15,150 Deutschmarks around $3600 US dollars. When sold in the USA price was about $4500.00

The point I was trying to make is that because BMW produced quality autos some seven years after WWII sure as heck didn't keep them in business.


John F. Shireman

Posted on: 2008/10/9 19:09
REMEMBERING BRAD BERRY MY PACKARD TEACHER
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Re: BMW after WWII
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Dave Kenney
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John, Your point is well taken. The comparison of Packard to BMW is a poor one as economic situations in Germany and the USA after WW2 were vastly different. Both companies produced well made cars for their respective markets. I doubt that Packard would have survived using pre war car designs as did many of the European car makers well into the mid 50's. BMW now owns Rolls-Royce which produced those Merlin engines for the Lancaster bombers that wrecked the BMW factory so go figure.

Posted on: 2008/10/9 19:14
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Re: BMW after WWII
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HH56
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Isn't there a controversy over the RR name. BMW thought they'd bought it along with the car but not really because the aircraft engine division is still British and kept name. Doesn't BMW only have a license to use for a length of time. Bentley, I think went to VW.

Posted on: 2008/10/9 19:38
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Re: BMW after WWII
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Packard53
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HH56: You get a cigar, you are correct.

John F. Shireman

Posted on: 2008/10/9 19:48
REMEMBERING BRAD BERRY MY PACKARD TEACHER
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Re: BMW after WWII
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Packard53
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Clipper47: The Americans bombed by day the English bombed by night.

John F. Shireman

Posted on: 2008/10/9 20:28
REMEMBERING BRAD BERRY MY PACKARD TEACHER
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Re: BMW after WWII
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Peter Hartmann
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Let me add my compliments to Clipper for correcting my ommision. Of course our British & Canadian brothers also "serviced" the German auto industry by both air and ground during the 2nd World War, along with we Americans. I again apologize for my failure to give our Canadian and British brothers credit for their contribution in blood, steel, and ingenuity.

(I just came back from a trip to the Muskoka area; each timeI go to Canada, I come back more impressed with the charm and hospitality of Canada! Sorry, Clipper, as much as I wanted to stop by and get a ride in your '47 "356", couldn't come that far out of my way - if you ever get down to the "colonies", by all means come visit here!).

And as you fellows point out, there is no comparison between what happened to BMW in the years following World War II and Packard. I apologize for that too.

As we are supposed to know (or risk getting kicked out of this forum), in the years following World War II, Packard dedicated itself to ever-improving build-quality, performance, and reliability. BMW, on the other hand, down thru the years after it got going again, clogged American car lots with un-wanted cars that could not be sold. That is why today there are Packard dealerships in the expensive neighborhoods of America, and hundreds of thousands of beautiful Packards in the drive-ways of the wealthy in our country, and BMW has been out of business for so many years.

Now, about that question I had - didn't see anyone answering - about the Chrysler Club.

Has anyone checked with the Chrysler Club people to see how many of them have installed Ultramatic transmissions in their Chrysler products to improve reliability and performance ?

Fair is fair. Since one of the Packard clubs has for years offered a kit by which you can install the three speed Chrysler tranny in place of the Ultramatic, wouldn't it be fair and sportsmanlike for Chrysler Club people to offer a kit to install that superb Ultramatic in Chrysler Corp. cars?

Someone should look into this. I mean..fair is fair !

Posted on: 2008/10/10 8:34
If it has a red hex on the hub-cap, I love it
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Re: BMW after WWII
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Dave Kenney
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Thanks so much for this BMW history lesson. I have never owned a BMW but almost bought a 2002 after a test drive in 1970. My wife wasn't happy about that so I bought a 230S Mercedes instead and owned 3 MB's but now drive a Volvo 240. did the "Glaserati" use a Maserati engine? I am glad you managed to avoid the bombers!

Posted on: 2008/10/10 17:45
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Re: BMW after WWII
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Packard53
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Goscha: I will answer your question on Sunday. I have no time tonight as I am packing up and going to Hershey on Saturday in the AM very early

John F. Shireman

Posted on: 2008/10/10 18:16
REMEMBERING BRAD BERRY MY PACKARD TEACHER
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