Presentation to the Press
On June 9, 1959, BMW’s Board of Management under their Chief Executive Dr. Heinrich Richter-Brohm made the big move, presenting the new BMW 700 Coupé, the first model in the new series, to some 100 international motoring journalists. This was in Feldafing, near Munich, at the same place where about two years before they had first seen the not-so-fortunate BMW 600.
The minute the new Coupé was revealed, everybody started clapping. The journalists immediately admired the new model. The BMW 700 had grown out of the small car class still prevailing in the market at the time and allowed a relatively high standard of freedom in providing extra space. The designers and engineers were particularly proud of the car’s consistent lightweight technology reducing dry weight to less than 600 kg or 1,323 pounds despite the car’s overall length of 3,540 mm (139.4″), thus providing the qualities required for good acceleration and hill-climbing performance.
Journalists driving the BMW 700 Coupé were – rightly – thrilled from the start, waxing lyrical about the car’s design and its driving qualities: “Acceleration is certainly impressive for a car of this size, taking you from a standstill to 90 km/h in 20 and to 100 km/h in 30 seconds.” Ultimately, most of the testers readily confirmed the optimism expressed by BMW’s Board of Management: “The BMW 700 Coupé is the latest model from Bayerische Motoren Werke and promises to be a great success and a real highlight at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.”
This is precisely what happened, with the BMW 700 becoming a genuine highlight for the public in Frankfurt. The new Coupé was presented on the BMW stand at the 1959 Frankfurt Show at a price of DM 5,300 including the car’s heater. Right next to it was the four-seater Saloon based on the same engineering and design concept and destined to enter series production in early 1960.
With the Frankfurt Motor Show hardly over, BMW struck a very positive balance towards the end of September: “Both new models were warmly welcomed by motor journalists and the public alike, showing a response well beyond even our most optimistic expectations. As a result, we successfully made an unusually large number of sales not only in Germany, but also and above all in our export markets.”