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Homepage. This page: A classic BMW and other vehicles outside Goldschmiede Mösslacher in Salzburg, Austria.

BMW 600 micro-car.

A gaggle of interesting vehicles feature in this photograph, the easiest to identify being the BMW 600 micro-car lurking behind the motorcycle and sidecar combination. The photo isn't dated, but as the 600 was only produced from 1957 to 1959, the photo can only date to the late 1950s or later. To our right is a motor-coach which, if I'm reading the tiny badges on the rear correctly, is a Steyr Diesel, quite possibly a two-tone black and yellow "Postbus" of which I've seen photos of online.
The building in the background is the jewellery firm of Goldschmiede Mösslacher, located in Salzburg, Austria. Bar a few modifications the building looks today much as it did in the late 1950s. Alas the BMW cannot be seen in its entirety, but its four-wheel arrangement, and the roof rack, can be made out. If the clock on the building behind was accurate, the photo was taken at five minutes to six.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
BMW 600 in Salzburg
BMW dreamt up the 600 as a response to feedback on its popular Isetta bubble car, which, while a practical and economical little runabout, was lacking a little in terms of space, even for a small car. The new 700, a proper small car, was already on the drawing board, so as a stop-gap solution the Isetta three-wheeler was re-worked into a small four-seater, with a wheel at each corner and retaining the single front door. A photo of a preserved example, better showing the entry arrangements for the driver and passengers, can be seen on this page, in the Goodwood Revival gallery elsewhere on this site.
The 26bhp BMW 600 went on sale in August 1957, with accommodation for four people, and even the option of automatic transmission, a boon for inner-city driving. It was a well screwed-together machine, but quality costs and its price, some way north of that asked for contemporary VW Beetles, didn't count in its favour. The craze for bubble cars was, by the late 1950s, beginning to wane. Customers' expectations were rising, and with the likes of the Fiat 500, the Goggomobil, and the soon-to-be-launched Mini showing the way ahead, the 582cc 600 with its bubble origins was never destined to be in long-term production. In 1959 the final 600 puttered out of the factory, the new 700 offering everything that the small-car buyer in Germany was looking for.
Return to Page 15 in the gallery of vintage cars and vehicles.

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