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This Two-Cylinder BMW Vintage Racer Has The Most Gusto

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Image: Goodwood

Forgive me for a moment if you will, but I am absolutely obsessed with rear-engined cars built in Germany. There’s something about that country, maybe something in the water, that made Germans believe that sticking an engine in the butt of a car was the best course of action. Some of those frickin’ weirdos still do it today!

With an enlarged version of the flat twin found in BMW’s contemporary R67 motorcycle, this little car was never big on power. With that in mind, to extract speed from the car you need to keep the revs up and the tires dancing through the corners at, or sometimes beyond, the limits of grip. This little punk rocker raced in period, but with a production horsepower rating of just 30, it was never going to stack up favorably against many cars, even those in its class. In racing trim, it produces nearly 100 horsepower!

It wasn’t ever really considered a giant killer the way some other small-displacement post-war people’s cars were, but it’s got verve and spunk and so much fucking gusto!

This particular car raced at the Goodwood Revival last year in the St. Mary’s Trophy event, and could barely keep up with modestly prepared Austins. It’s a bit small and lightweight compared to the competition, but even with that advantage, it didn’t have the guts to keep up on the straights. Owner Tom Sharp paired with touring car ace Andy Priaulx for the event, and while they didn’t win the Trophy, they gave it their all.

And now, because of this car, I’m back to thinking about motorcycle-engined cars. I really need to have one of those some day. Everyone should have one of those some day. The world would be a better place with more motorcycle-engined cars. 

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