Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

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BMW – 700 RS (1961)


Vehicle Type:
Coach Builder:
2 Boxer
Engine CC:
The May Collection (DE)

Class F

50 Years of Mean Machinery: BMW’s M Cars and their Ancestors

BMW - 700 RS
Class F80

The compact BMW 700 already started its career in 1959 with an air-cooled twin-cylinder Boxer engine mounted in the tail. The agile, pint-sized car created a sensation not least in motor sport. In 1961, BMW put the 700 to the test in order to see just how much can be packed into its concept if that is taken to an extreme. The chassis was a lightweight tubular frame, the body was a wafer-thin aluminium skin that provided a taut, streamlined cloak with zero attitude. This resulted in a low-slung racing car just 3.47 metres long, with flat contours, just 600 kg kerb weight and truly outstanding handling.

The 70 hp racing engine has a complex valve timing with a bevel-drive inlet and chain outlet. Only two BMW 700 RS roadsters were produced and Hans Stuck successfully drove this RS1 to triumph in many hillclimb races, for example Rossfeld and Gaisberg. After a tenure of two decades in American collections, the authentic and always race-ready RS1 has come into the custodianship of a German aficionado. By contrast, RS2 is part of the works collection. There’s absolutely no doubt: finding a rarer BMW is a veritable challenge.

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