BMW 1800 TI/SA "Neue Klasse" Diecast Model

  • Retail Price: $122.95
  • Our Price: $114.95
  • Out of Production
AutoArt  BMW 1800 TI/SA "Neue Klasse" Street Car diecast car
  • Brand: AutoArt
  • Make: BMW
  • Code: AA70623
  • Model: 1800 TI/SA "Neue Klasse" Street Car
  • Scale: 1:18
  • Color: Chamonix White

Although only 200 examples of this race worthy sedan were produced, the 1800 TI/SA is the flagship of BMW's Neue Klasse lineup of sedans first introduced in 1961 that is credited with saving BMW from bankruptcy. I must say that until Car and Driver "discovered" and gushed over the 2002 mini-muscle sport sedan when it appeared in 1968, this whole "New Class" was totally under my radar. The double digit horsepower and the styling which I liken to a Bauhaus inspired refrigerator on wheels just did not interrupt my love affair with the supercars of the day. I had no appreciation for the qualities that made this touring car a championship winner. Over the years, I lost that adolescent "tunnel vision" and began to appreciate the type of design and engineering that produces driving qualities not directly related to 1/4 mile ETs.

This little sedan had it all including a tuned and stiffened all-independent suspension and an impressive horsepower to weight ratio. With dual Weber DCOE-45 carburetors, high compression pistons, and other various engine modifications, this tricked out engine produced a respectable 130 hp.

AUTO art has modeled this car as it first appeared in 1964, finished ironically in refrigerator white (OK, it's Chamonix White) with a classy wood trimmed two-tone rust and charcoal interior. This model is AUTO art at its best with perfectly finished, crisp molding, tight, even shutlines, crystal clear glazing and precise bayonet supporting struts for the hood and trunk deck. The badgings are remarkably well done, from the cloissone nose disk to the diecut metal script on the rear fascia. It's an all around quality piece that satisfies the collector wants in a midrange diecast model.

What do you give up to get to this price point? The most notable absences are the static suspension and the use of textured plastic in place of the materials found in higher priced mixed media models. AUTOart has always been a master at using plastic to mimic different metals and textiles so their use is not a major distraction. For the overall appearance of this model, my real lament is the use of generic tires when it would be nice to see (I'm assuming) the wheels shod in Continentals. Unfortunately generic tires are more the rule than the exception these days as licensing costs have become a serious consideration when designing these models to fit a certain retail profile.

Again, you'll be hard pressed to find a better designed model in the midrange class and there's much to marvel at. If you're looking for a fine example of German touring cars of the '60s, this model will definitely fit the bill.

-Rich Sufficool

  • Retail Price: $122.95
  • Our Price: $114.95
  • Out of Production

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