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The Automotive Chronicles

Monthly newsletter published by McLellan's Automotive History. Dedicated to literature collectors, restorers, museums, publishers, manufacturers and investors who collect and preserve automotive literature
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February 2007 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
BMW
By Robert McLellan
 

My first thought about BMWs brings back reflections on their air-conditioners. Houston is hot and German summers are not as severe. An early 1970s trip to the local BMW dealership seemed appropriate after reading positive reviews in sports car magazines about the 3.0 CS. A new job reinforced my desire to spend the necessary "big bucks".

It was a scorching hot July day and I was on lunch break. The dark blue 3.0 CS spotted earlier in the week was still sitting in front of the showroom. It looked NICE! After the preliminary discussions were over I went for a test drive. Bathed in the sun, the dark exterior color and black interior created an oven inside. Rolling the windows down expelled some of the +/- 120-degree Fahrenheit heat, but after twenty minutes with the air-conditioner blasting at full force it had not dropped the temperature below 90-degree Fahrenheit heat.

The salesman admitted that their air-conditioners were their weak link and that an aftermarket air-conditioner was available at additional cost. Had I come into the dealership in the winter — and discovered this months later — I would have been very upset. A great car, but no sale. Oh well, I really couldn't afford it anyway!

Performance, engineering and quality are what make BMWs great and they have succeeded at that. Great air-conditioners do not get cars around corners and down the straights any faster. They corrected the a/c situation, but as they added other luxuries to their cars, they never forgot what was important.

Are BMWs collectible? They do not stand out in auction coverages because few receive record bids. Now and then a 328, 507 or M1 get press coverage, but collectors are buying the less exotic models. Considering the popularity of the older literature, and the increasing sales of the cars over the last 50 years, there is a lot of enthusiasm for BMWs. As these cars get older, interest always increases. It's time to do a brief review of the literature available:

 
 

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The Automotive Chronicles, February 2007
 
 
 
 
 
 
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