Originally called the Neue Klasse, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe BMW brings even more neue with its rev-happy Honda mill. Will its price however make you want to tell it to blow it out its klasse?
Yesterday’s 1987 4Runner came away well respected, but the same can’t be said of its price. Falling in an 81% Crack Pipe loss, it’s pretty obvious that there’s low tolerance for nice - and correspondingly priced - crude trucks. Maybe if the 4Runner wasn’t so tough, making even crapped out examples still drivable, it would have seemed more worthy the high asking.
Do you know who Maximillian Hoffman was? No, he wasn’t Dustin Hoffman’s dad, but he was the father of a bunch of cars you surely know. Hoffman was the Austrian-born auto importer who gave a start to a number of European marques here in the U.S.. So influential was Hoffman that when he suggested a company bring over a production model or create a special package for the yank market, the builders listened.
Hoffman was responsible for Mercedes' Gullwing 300SL road car, as well as the creation of both the BMW 507 and the Porsche Speedster. Impressed yet? He was also the guy who told BMW that the U.S. should get a 2-litre edition of the Neue Klasse 1600, thus creating the seminal sports sedan, the 2002.
Max Hoffman didn’t come up with today’s car however.
This 1968 Neue Klasse is a 2-litre, but where the original was a hot for the sixties SOHC four, the Honda mill now in residence is a mad hatter rev addict that pumps out more than twice the original’s quotient of ponies.
You might remember the F20C from such popular sports cars as the S2000 and... well, that’s pretty much the only place they dropped it. Displacing 1,997-ccs, or two less than the original BMW four, the Federal spec’d twin cam put out a balls-deep 240-bhp at 8,600 rpm. Not only that but the VTEC kicks in at six grand, yo.
Here in the wide open expanses of the BMW’s engine bay the little redhead looks a little bit lost. Everything does seem to fit however, and there’s Honda’s snick-snick six speed along for the ride too. You’ll need to fiddle with that a lot because while the F20C makes a lot of ponies up north, it doesn’t do so down low in the rev range.
Along with the motor and gearbox, this BMW also looks like it gets the S2000 IP, which snuggles down in the Bimmer’s cowl behind the big four-spoke wheel. Stock seats front a custom and very simple tranny tunnel extension, and the whole interior seems very serviceable if a bit incomplete.
On the downside the ad notes in a kind of cryptical fashion that the car was in a front end shunt and presently “needs some work.” Whether that’s purely cosmetic, requiring a couple of trips to the junkyard, or more serious, demanding a session on a dedicated bench (is it safe?!) to keep it from crabbing down the street goes unexplained.
The nose pic doesn’t show any significant damage to the shark prow, just missing grilles, bumper, and turn signals. The black steelies are a nice touch. Above those, the car seems to be several shades of psychedelic frog so figure a trip to the Earl of Scheib into your valuation calculations.
And you can start the abacus beads clacking at $5,500 as that’s the asking price for this kustom Neue Klasse. Do you think it seems kind of worth that? Or, is the ad a little too cursory to come up with that kind of cash?
H/T to Civardi for the hookup!
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