“Just about every car we test has a single outstanding feature that becomes apparent early in the test. The BMW 1800 has NO single outstanding feature. Why? Because it is a car entirely composed of outstanding features.” Sports Car Graphic BMW 1800 Road Test. 1964.
Post Second war, BMW had been able to re-establish a toe hold in the European car market with a range of bubble cars to suit the financially (and possibly physically) constrained buyer and luxurious, if somewhat out dated, saloons which catered for those who had financially weathered the conflict better. By the late 1950s sales of both these ranges of cars were in decline as buyers became more affluent (and perhaps larger as the effects of rationing diminished) or discerning respectively and BMW made a strategic decision to concentrate on the compact Sports Saloon market and the ‘New Class’ range of four and two door salons and associated coupes was born. Very well specified technically with MacPherson strut front suspension and an independent rear end, they were powered by the new M10 four cylinder engine that, with just a little development, went on to eventually produce a rumoured 1,400 BHP and blew Nelson Piquet to the F1 Drivers’ World Championship in 1983 when hung in the back of his Brabham.
From the last year of production when the new, larger 5 series came on line, this beautiful 1800 saloon was originally registered in Diepholz, Germany on 1st March 1971, apparently as a BMW dealer’s demonstration vehicle. It swiftly passed on to its second owner only four months later though he kept the car for a more significant nine years before a Willi Hohendahl took custody. He owned the car for some thirteen years with the car therefore remaining in the Diepholz region throughout the first twenty two years of its life. In around 1993 the BMW left Germany for Poland where it resided for the next twenty or so years before eventually being bought into the UK. After its arrival on these shores the she was duly registered on 25th February 2013 before being acquired in June of 2014 by its current owner who totally restored her from top to bottom.
BMW 1800s are surprisingly rare in themselves though we would suggest that what makes this example so exceptional is its condition; meticulously restored by its owner as a labour of love with no regard to his time or cost, it is now in spectacular order. To really appreciate this we would refer you to the extensive photo gallery though this barely does the car justice. An inspection of the car at first hand is highly recommended and can be arranged through our offices.
Though a picture is without doubt worth a thousand words, here are a few we hope will add to the photographs of the BMW. In perfect condition but original down to the Dealer’s sticker in its rear window, the 1800 looks wonderful in her freshly applied original shade of mid grey paint which emphasises the car’s crisp lines, pin sharp and straight as a die. Even and with a great depth and shine, the paint itself sets the tone for the rest of the car. The chrome-work is excellent, which is not always the case on BMWs of this generation especially on items such as door handles. The only little bit of wear we could find manifests itself as a rather charming polishing through on the iconic BMW ‘propeller’ nose badge.
The business-like interior is, to use the hackneyed phrase, ‘like new’ and a lesson in ergonomic and efficient design – simple, pure and highly effective. The seats are unmarked front and rear and the carpets are in similarly exemplary condition. The headlining is again perfect and ‘C’ post trims are similar aside from some very slight wrinkling and discolouration but in desperation to find fault with something, we are really clutching at straws here. The paint and trim in the boot is practically as it left the factory with just the merest hint of discolouration to the boot boards’ vinyl covering. While in the boot (and it is certainly big enough), the seams in the inner wheel arches are absolutely perfect. The engine bay is in similarly glorious order, the restoration a perfectly judged balance of renewal and refurbishment that never crosses over into the ‘overdone’. Every component and ancillary is honed and finished to exact factory specification right down to the engine bay stickers.
Underneath the BMW the car again sets the highest standards; we can only apologise for sounding somewhat like a stuck record and for having driven it on waterlogged gravel resulting in the unsightly splashes of ‘café au lait’-coloured water evident in the photographs. At least the beautifully finished underside means it will be easy to clean and keep in pristine condition in the future.
The BMW 1800 has an MOT valid until 22nd November 2017 with naturally no advisories and the certificate is in the car’s History File along with previous MOTs, the current V5C and German registration documentation.
1800s of any condition are extremely hard to find these days, let alone one in such outstanding condition. Quite simply, if you are considering joining the 1800 owners club, you will not find a better opportunity or a better example than this one. The icing on the cake, or should that be the onion on the bratwurst, is that we do feel the owner has been highly realistic regarding his price expectations and this BMW can be bought for well under the asking price of any other example of this standard on the market, let alone what it would cost to rebuild a car to this level.
Registration number: BHJ 460J
Chassis Number: 1924901