Junkyard Find: Toasty 1965 BMW 700

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find toasty 1965 bmw 700

It’s pretty rare that I’m completely stumped by an old car in a self-service junkyard, but at first glance this car looked like some sort of mutant Renault Caravelle, or maybe a member of the Glas family. Then I saw the (somewhat melted) air-cooled boxer twin in the back and knew that those crazy Bavarians must have had something to do with building this car.

Sure enough, it’s a BMW 700, which occupies a place in the BMW family tree somewhere between the not-really-cars Isettas and the high-admission-price Neue Klasse machines.

It’s weird to imagine BMW competing head-to-head with the Type 1 VW Beetle and the Renault Dauphine, but that’s what the 700 was for.

There can’t be many usable parts left on this charred hulk.

Maybe the front suspension and brakes are salvageable. If you’re restoring a 700, any parts car is a treasure trove.

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3 of 22 comments
  • Snakebit Snakebit on Aug 04, 2012

    I see a BMW 700, and I remember how close BMW came in the 1960's to folding their tent. If this car were in showroom condition, and in a museum, it would have a narration placard explaining, this is the car that almost killed BMW. It would be next to an '02' BMW (1602,1802, 2002) whose placard would read, this is the car that saved BMW. Save for a handful of loyal 700 fans, there is nothing to me redeeming about the 700. CJinSD posted, "Only rear engined, air cooled Porsche prices are crazier than BMW 700 prices." Honestly, with all respect due to CJinSD, that situation is truly 'crazy' if it's true. And yes,BMW cars and I go back a ways. Out of high school, I worked for a dealership that was one of the first to sell BMW 1600 coupes and 2000CS coupes. In college in the early 1970's, two of my mates and I drove 2002's, one being a tii(not mine-sad to say), I still have my first 3-Series, a '87 325iS, and my current DD is a 328Ci, each one better than the last, and the first one was outstanding to begin with.

    • CJinSD CJinSD on Aug 05, 2012

      BMW sold 23,000 of their 'big' cars between 1952 and 1965. That includes all 501s, 502s, 503s, 2600s, 3200s, 507s, and 3200CSs. They weren't competing on an equal footing with VW or Mercedes. The 700 was a sales-friendly version of the 600, which evolved from the Isetta. There were fewer than 35,000 600s sold over three years before the 700, and BMW was at death's door when the 700 was released in 1959. BMW received 25,000 orders for 700s when it was revealed at the 1959 Frankfurt Motor Show, which is what kept them from being absorbed by Daimler-Benz and funded development of the 1500.

  • -Nate -Nate on Jan 01, 2013

    I've not seem one of these in 30 + years , also at a Pick-A-Part but in near perfect sahpe it was at the time , sadly no one wanted it & it was crushed for scrap . -Nate

  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.
  • ToolGuy From the listing: "Oil changes every April & October (full-synth), during which I also swap out A/S (not the stock summer MPS3s) and Blizzak winter tires on steelies, rotating front/back."• While ToolGuy applauds the use of full synthetic motor oil,• ToolGuy absolutely abhors the waste inherent in changing out a perfectly good motor oil every 6 months.The Mobil 1 Extended Performance High Mileage I run in our family fleet has a change interval of 20,000 miles. (Do I go 20,000 miles before changing it? No.) But this 2014 Focus has presumably had something like 16 oil changes in 36K miles, which works out to a 2,250 mile average change interval. Complete waste of time, money and perfectly good natural gas which could have gone to a higher and better use.Mobil 1 also says their oil miraculously expires at 1 year, and ToolGuy has questions. Is that one year in the bottle? One year in the vehicle? (Have I gone longer than a year in some of our vehicles? Yes, I have. Did I also add Lucas Oil 10131 Pure Synthetic Oil Stabilizer during that time, in case you are concerned about the additive package losing efficacy? Yes, I might have -- as far as you know.)TL;DR: I aim for annual oil changes and sometimes miss that 'deadline' by a few months; 12,000 miles between oil changes bothers me not at all, if you are using a quality synthetic which you should be anyway.