The success of the BMW-Isetta microcar ensured BMW's survival in the difficult economic environment of the mid-Fifties. As happens so often, it also conditioned consumers to expect more: more power than the BMW Isetta's 297cc 13hp single cylinder engine, more space than its diminutive 2-seat body, more comfort than its spartan interior trim.
BMW responded with the 600, which it called the 'Limousin' perhaps in deference to its right side door that opened into the rear seat made possible by a stretched wheelbase. The Isetta's idiosyncratic single front door, with its attached steering column and gauge cluster, remained. For power BMW went 'big block' using its 582cc '600' 4-stroke opposed twin motorcycle engine with a healthy 26hp. Introduced in 1957, production continued in Germany until 1961.
This late production BMW 600 is a US-market car with large US-style headlights and bent chrome tube bumpers which has had just four owners from new. It was restored in cream and a tan vinyl interior with cloth seating surface inserts. Its equipment includes a stereo system (in the interior side pocket). An older restoration, it has had limited use, drives and presents very well and has been displayed at both the Greenwich (Connecticut) Concours d'Elegance and in a special display of microcars at the New York Auto Show.
BMW 600 Limousins are rarely seen and are appreciated both on show fields and in everyday driving where they instantly attract positive attention and are peppy enough to keep pace with urban traffic.