The year was 1971 and an era was coming to an end. While BMWs Neue Klasse (New Class) sedans were produced from 1962-1977, the vehicle which had in many ways served as the New Class centerpiece, the 1800, came to a manufacturing end in 1971. Bringing to a close a tremendously solid sales track record, the 1971 BMW 1800 was in many ways indistinguishable from the 1963 model that had launched the series. Some cosmetic changes to the front grill and a small reconfiguration in engine size beginning in 1968 rendered the 1971 BMW 1800 slightly distinctive from earlier models, but the chassis characteristics and favorable performance aspects had persevered and were present to the end.
Following essentially a full decade of strong sales revenues, BMW was able to continually modify existing car and motor designs, this while they were charting a course into the future of automobile engineering. The 1971 BMW 1800 benefited greatly from the former practice, as BMW did not allow for its prize New Class series to fall into a quick obsolescence. Nevertheless, 1971 saw a sizable sales dip from what had been resurgent 1970 numbers, with only half as many 1800s sold in 71 as in the previous year. Markets had given BMWs 1800 a proud penultimate sales year, then signaled their desire for a change almost immediately after.
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