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
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: