During the opening years of the seventies' decade there were a number of widely differing influences within BMW that moulded the final form of the 6-Series coupes.
he most obvious inputs to the lastest large BMW coupe were those of Parisian styling chief Paul Bracq and the practical engineering of BMW's top technician in the 1965075 era, Bernhard Osswald. Yet we also have to recall the effect of the 1973/74 fuel crisis, and the politics surrounding the importation of BMWs into the USA, which was to assume its export market leadership, thus becoming vital in any BMW long term planning. From a practical engineering viewpoint BMW's facilities were getting better all the time, although they lacked treir own wind tunnel test facility until the eighties.
By 1977 BMW was hitting close to 30,000 sales in the USA.
In 1982, when America had still to fully recover from the recession, BMW North America at Montvale NJ reported the sale of an astonishing 52,000 units. “Astonishing” because the American car market as a whole was down 6 per cent and BMW were up a solid 25 per cent!
Most relevant amongst American laws affecting the 6-Series we see today, compared with what might have been, were those governing crash tests, in particular the inverted drop designed to probe roof crush-resistance. Such tests deterred BMW from importing the 3.0 CS in Federal from beyond the 1974 model year. The twin carburettor American CS derivative already hampered by body weight escalating to over 3250 lbs in its final year, the encumbrance of impact bumpers boosting overall length close to 190 inches.
Paul Bracq. 13 December 1933 born in Bordeaux, France.
1950-53 Boulle School of designs, Paris. First Prize, competition for Sculpture in wood.
1970-74 Appointed Director at BMW in Munich, Germany. Design Direction of the 520, 2002 Turbo, 320, 6-Series coupe, 7-Series, 2 BMW Turbo concept cars as well as many projects for coupes and sedans 12 cylinders which were pre-empted by the oil crisis.
1974-96 Returned to France - Chief of interior design at Peugeot for the 305, 505, 205, 405, 106, 406 and 206.
1991-Present days Paul is vigorously continuing his art works for numerous collectors around the world.