BMW 7 Series


This book is one of a series dedicated to classic BMW cars. In it you will find hundreds of original photographs of the popular 7 Series sedans and their predecessors from the company’s advertising brochures published from the 1950s to the early 2000s. The illustrations are accompanied by dozens of technical and historical facts.
The book will certainly be a great gift to all current, former and future owners of BMW, as well as to anyone who is not indifferent to the classic models of the company.

In this book you will find descriptions and photographs of the following models: BMW 501/502, E3, E23, E32, E38, E65/E66.



BMW 7 Series

The active development of transportation
engineering in Germany
in the first half of the 20th century
led to the emergence of a large number of
companies, including Gustav Otto’s Bayerische
Flugzeugwerke and Karl Friedrich
Rapp’s Rapp-Motorenwerke.

In 1922, they joined forces and the newly formed company
was named Bayerische Motoren
Werke (Bavarian Motor Works) or BMW
for short. A year later, BMW introduced its
first motorcycle, and five years after that,
in October 1928, the company acquired
the Dixi car factory, which produced
small cars under license from the British
firm Austin. However, neither the design
of the BMW Dixi 3/15 nor the subsequent
modernized version of the BMW 3/20 satisfied
the ambitious plans of the company’s

Therefore, in 1933 the company created first its own compact
1.2-liter six-cylinder engine with an output
of 30 hp, and then its own car, the BMW
303. In the summer of the same year, engineer
Fritz Fiedler, who had previously
worked at Horch, joined the company.

He became head of the design department
and remained in that position for more
than 30 years. In the decade before the
war, BMW managed to significantly expand
its model range and win many fans.

After the war, BMW found itself in a difficult
position. Some of the company’s
plants were destroyed by Allied aircraft,
and the Eisenach plant was in an area
controlled by Soviet troops. It was possible
to resume car production only in
1952 at the headquarters in Munich.

The management made its bet on the
501/502 family models. Equipped with
6- and 8-cylinder engines, they were
too far ahead of the German economy’s
development and sales remained very
modest. An attempt to offer customers
a licensed Italian Isetta microlight car
did not bring the expected profits, and
the release of the compact BMW 600
model resulted in even greater financial

In 1958, all of this almost led to
bankruptcy and to the transfer of control
to Daimler Benz AG. Fortunately, businessman
Herbert Quandt came to the
rescue, whose investment allowed the
company to maintain its independence.
The debut of the New Class family of
mid-size cars in 1962 was fateful.

With its appearance, BMW began its triumphant
return to automotive Olympus.
The New Class laid the groundwork for
all subsequent families, including the
BMW New Six (E3) “large sedans” and
the first generation of the flagship 7 Series
(E23), which debuted in 1977. You
will learn about these and subsequent
7 Series models on the pages of this book.

Despite the restrictions imposed after the war that affected German companies and their production
plans, BMW management hoped to return to passenger car production. The new model
was supposed to be the successor of the BMW 326, which was popular in the 1930s. Work
on the new car began under conditions of strict secrecy in the fall of 1948.

The prototype of the luxurious and expensive sedan, designated BMW 501, was shown to the public at the IAA Motor
Show in Frankfurt in 1951. The appearance of the first post-war BMW model aroused the keen
interest of potential buyers, and mass production of the new car started in November 1952.

Read the continuation of this story in the book.

Other books about history of BMW:
BMW 3 Series