BMW 700 in the rallies

BMW 700

Manufacturer: BMW
Category: Early era

The BMW 700 holds a special place in the history of rallying, particularly during the early era of the sport. Introduced in 1959, the BMW 700 was a compact car that played a significant role in reviving BMW's fortunes after a period of financial difficulty. Its lightweight design and nimble handling made it an unexpected contender in various motorsport events, including rallying.

Powered by a 697cc flat-twin engine, the BMW 700 was capable of delivering impressive performance for its size. The engine, mounted in the rear, produced around 30 to 40 horsepower, depending on the model. This modest yet efficient power output, combined with the car's low weight, made it agile and responsive, key traits for rally competition.

The BMW 700's rallying debut showcased its potential on the demanding stages of European rallies. Its first major success came in the early 1960s, where it competed in events like the Rally Monte Carlo and the Tour de Corse. The car's compact dimensions allowed it to navigate the tight and twisty roads of these classic rallies with ease.

One of the notable drivers who piloted the BMW 700 was Hans Stuck, a legendary figure in motorsport. Stuck's skill and the car's agility helped secure several class victories, highlighting the BMW 700's capability in rallying. The car's performance in these events contributed to its popularity and cemented its reputation as a competitive rally vehicle.

The BMW 700 also featured a robust chassis and suspension system, which provided stability and control on rough and uneven rally stages. Its reliability and durability were crucial factors that enabled it to endure the rigors of early rallying, where mechanical failures were common.

The success of the BMW 700 in rallying not only demonstrated the car's potential but also played a crucial role in promoting BMW as a manufacturer of sporty and reliable vehicles. Its participation in early rallying events helped lay the foundation for BMW's future successes in motorsport, establishing a legacy that would influence the brand's involvement in rallying and racing for decades to come.

The BMW 700's contributions to the early era of rallying are remembered fondly by enthusiasts and historians alike, symbolizing the innovative spirit and competitive drive that characterized the dawn of rallying as a motorsport discipline.