Back in the early 1950s BMW had been struck by the lack of a mid-size four-cylinder car. The company needed a new model to sit between the small single- and twin-cylinder variants and the large six- and eight-cylinder models. The development work for the new model got started in 1953, but the lack of funds slowed down the project. The new car was finally ready for a presentation at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1961. BMW 1500 couldn’t have timed its arrival better. Average incomes in Germany were rising by some ten per cent annually in the early 1960s. Along with climbing incomes, there was also a rise in the demands made on cars. In 1961 the number of new car registrations in Germany crossed the one million threshold for the first time.
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