Monday, March 5, 2007

History of the 2000CS

The 2000CS is the first coupe of the Neu Klasse BMWs. Eleven thousand seven hundred twenty cars were built from 1965 through 1970. Production was greatest in 1966 and gradually declined to only 65 cars in 1970. The car was not simply built on the sedan platform of the 1600 or 1800. The coupe had its own platform with engine, interior and bodywork unique to it.

The 2000CS is the transition coupe between the 503 & 3200CS Bertone coupes and the 3.0CS coupe introduced in the 1970s. The 2000CS is a luxurious coupe with some significant design features. It was designed in-house by Wilhelm Hofmeister and largely hand built by Karmann.

The front end was quite controversial. The designers used a large kidney grille reminiscent of the 328 – 501/502. This was the last time that BMW would use such a long grille. Future BMWs all use the much smaller grill we are all familiar with.

The headlights are trapezoidal acrylic glass covers over the twin headlight and turn signal. BMW would not use headlight covers again until the early 1990s. Headlight covers today are standard BMW features.

The front end was finished with a three-piece bumper. The bumper supports started from the frame below the bodywork and flowed up to the three-piece bumper. The supports were sheathed in chrome and create a dramatic feature especially when viewed from the side.

The Coupe used Talbot racing mirrors set far out on the front fenders. Most cars used a single mirror on the driver’s side, but some used a second mirror on the passenger’s side.

The 2000 CS featured clean sides with a high chrome line and stainless rocker panels. Side markers that detracted from the clean look were added in 1968. The 3.0 CS coupe used the same body design from the windshield back. The back windows retract completely and the front windows retract to about 1" above the door. This provides an uninterrupted view through the cabin. The coupes were the first BMWs to feature the legendary 2.0 liter four cylinder engine made famous in the 2002s, and continued into the early 1992 in 3 series cars. The C model had one carburetor, was rated at 100 horsepower and could be ordered with an automatic. CS models had dual carbs and came with a four speed transmission and were rated at 120 horsepower.

The interiors had a great deal of hand finished walnut trim including a wood trimmed steering wheel. The 3.0 coupes copied the 2000 CS dash layout but used less wood trim.

The interiors had opulent seats with plenty of chrome trim. Interiors were typically vinyl, not leather. Clip on headrests were available but most cars do not have them. The low seat back height allows for a wide-open look when the windows are rolled down.

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