Read the Greatest BMW Review of All Time
BMW has not always been a member of the upper echelon. There was indeed a time when the thought of them being a the number one luxury brand—as they are now—was unthinkable. Once, they were a small German car manufacturer struggling to crack the all-important American car market with their new car. That once was 1968, and that new car was the 2002.
The car was good, better than good really, but what BMW needed was a local—an inside voice that could speak our peculiar interpretation of English and tell the unwashed masses about the values of the 2002. What BMW needed was an evangelist. They could not have possibly done better than David E. Davis Jr.
For those unfamiliar, Davis was one of the greatest automotive journalists of all time. Equal parts Walter Cronkite and Hunter S. Thompson, his authority and verse poured off the page and into the reader’s imagination every month in the pages of Car and Driver and Automobile. His April 1968 review of the 2002 was a landmark for BMW, and Davis peppered it with his usual distinctive wit with lines such as:
“I know about the BMW 2002, and I suspect enthusiasts will buy as many as those pink-cheeked Bavarians in their leather pants and mountain-climbing shoes would like to build and ship over here.”
This glowing review from one of our nation’s top critics introduced BMW to much of America. Davis’ piece truly put the Bavarian upstart on the enthusiast’s radar, and for good reason.
“To my way of thinking, the 2002 is one of modern civilization’s all-time best ways to get somewhere sitting down. It grabs you.”
I urge you to go read the original review yourself, as well as a modern re-telling here. Reading a road test for a car that is now 45 years old may sound more dull than watching your toenails grow, but you owe it to yourself as an automotive enthusiast to see what a real review is like. They sure don’t make cars, or journalists like they used to.