Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Munich, Germany | November 26, 2022
We’ve featured some early BMWs before, but this is the earliest of them all. It’s not even a BMW, it’s a Dixi, which was built by Dixi-Werke AG, a company born out of Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach in Germany. BMW would acquire the company in late 1928 and continue production of the Dixi for a few more years.
The Dixi itself was just a license-built version of the Austin Seven. It’s powered by a 748cc inline-four rated at 15 horsepower. The original DA-1 variant was built between 1927 through 1929. Top speed was 47 mph.
This example was delivered new in Memmingen, Germany, and was restored in the 1960s. It will sell in Munich at no reserve. Click here for more info.
Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | July 2, 2022
It’s pretty amazing how many early BMWs this auction house manages to round up for sale. This is a derivative of BMW first car, the 3/15. First sold as the Dixi 3/15, the 3/15 would be sold in a few series under the BMW marque.
The DA-3 Wartburg was sold in 1930 and 1931. It was only offered as a roadster, making it BMW’s first “sports car.” BMW used a front drop axle to lower the frame, and the aluminum body featured boattail styling. Power is from a 747cc inline-four that got increased compression in the Wartburg for a rated output of 17 horsepower.
Only 150 of these were built, with 100 in the first year and 50 in the second. This one was restored about 20 years ago and now has an estimate of $58,000-$79,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | December 11, 2021
So we’ve talked about Dixi before and how it was an Austin Seven built under license in Germany. BMW purchased Dixi in late 1928, and Dixis were re-branded as BMWs the following year. They still called them BMW Dixi, although they’d drop the Dixi name sometime around 1930.
This post-Dixi 3/15 was produced in 1931 and was actually coach-built by Gebruder Ihle Karrosseriebau of Bruschal, Germany. It’s a sporty, light two-seater with BMW’s signature twin (not-quite-kidney) grilles.
Power is from a 747cc inline-four, but the power rating is uncertain, as it is not clear if this coachbuilt example was based on a DA-2/4 chassis (15 horsepower) or DA-3 Wartburg chassis (17 horsepower). The DA-3 was the sports version of the 3/15, but a coachbuilt example could’ve come from any model. At any rate, this is a great little early BMW, and for $13,000-$20,000, it seems like a historic bargain. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Dorotheum | Salzburg, Austria | October 17, 2020
The Dixi was an Austin Seven built under license in Germany beginning in 1928. In late 1928, Dixi was overtaken by BMW, and in 1929, the cars were re-badged as the BMW Dixi 3/15 DA-2. This model was produced from 1929 through 1931. Two more versions of the 3/15 would be produced through 1932, but the DA-2 was the last to carry the Dixi name.
Power is from a 747cc inline-four good for 15 horsepower. You could get a two-door sedan, a delivery van, or a convertible like the one you see here. Only 300 examples of the convertible were produced, and I’d bet there are very, very few left today.
For perspective, the 300 convertibles were out of an entire DA-2 production run of 12,318. This one has been restored and is expected to bring between $14,000-$21,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.