1 IT’S THE FIRST MODERN BMW
The beautiful lines of the 3200 CS caused enthusiasts everywhere to suddenly take notice of BMW. With its wafer-thin windscreen pillars, pillarless side windows and sleek, unadorned lines – all the work of Giorgetto Giugiaro, then a junior designer working at Bertone. Modern? Outwardly, yes, except that in one major sense the 3200 CS was extremely oldfashioned. It rode on the rugged separate chassis used to underpin the 503 that had been axed three years earlier, and it would also be the very last new BMW to use a live axle and a pushrod engine.
2 ‘HOFMEISTER KINK’
The 3200 CS was on sale a few months before the ‘Neue Klasse’ 1500 and so the latter car was not the first BMW to boast the distinctive, turned-back design twist in its rear roof pillar known as the ‘Hofmeister Kink’; It was named after Wilhelm Hofmeister, head of BMW design between 1955 and 1970, although it should really be called the ‘Giugiaro Kink’ after the man from whose drawing board it emerged! The styling of the 1500 was by fellow Italian, Pietro Frua.
3 A SALES SUCCESS
This was a powerful car for the time, with 160bhp from its 3.2-litre OHV V8. Front disc brakes were a key benefit over the older 503 from a driving viewpoint but, other than that, the two cars behaved pretty similarly. They were fine for rapid touring but ponderous under spirited cornering. The 3200CS was on sale for four years up to 1965, and production barely averaged more than three cars a week, with the bodies virtually hand-made at Bertone before being shipped to Munich. 603 were made, but only 50 are thought to have survived. It was a flop, but its styling pointed the way ahead for decades to come.
BMW 3200 CS