German car giant BMW first made its name as a producer of aeroplane engines and motorcycles. Ironically its first car was the Dixi, a license-built Austin Seven! In 1933 the company produced its first new design, the 303, which was quickly followed by a number of successful pre-war models such as the 328.
Emerging from the ashes of war-torn Germany, the company started to produce an odd mixture of bubble cars and luxury saloons before nearly going bankrupt in 1959. From 1960 the company began to recover and survives today as one of the last independent European car producers.
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