Disappointment. That’s what I felt when I saw what the 2015 IAA in Frankfurt brought us: The newly developed Borgward BX7. Because how on earth could a company with such a beautiful history come up with such a beige looking SUV?
And I had this beautiful Borgward Isabella Coupé especially “reserved” for Borgward’s resurrection. Now, after almost two months, I think I’m ready to display it anyway. Because this one deserves all the love it can get!
The Isabella range (next to this Coupé there was a wagon, a convertible and 2-door saloon available as well) was the second product Borgward came up with after the war. The first one was the Hansa 1500/1800 which was quite revolutionary in 1949 as it was one of the first ponton, three-box designed cars in post-war Europe. Mercedes would only follow 4 years later with it’s W120.
And although highly successfull (over 200000 units produced), the Isabella couldn’t prevent Borgward from ending production entirely: there was “some sort” of bankruptcy in 1961. I say “some sort” as it wasn’t your bread & butter insolvency: all creditors were paid what Borgward had owned them in the end.
So what did happen? In 1960 the American importer of Borgward filed for bankruptcy. Therefor Borgward had a large surplus of cars in it’s stock. Then German magazine Der Spiegel published an article about the sudden worsened financial state Borgward was in. A lot of orders were cancelled (with an even larger surplus as a result) and the city of Bremen did no longer want to vouch for some loans worth of 30 million DMark (which they initially did opt for).
After this the City of Bremen gave Carl Borgward, the owner of Borgward, two options: Either file for bankruptcy and Automatic stay or transfer all assets to the city of Bremen. Carl chose the latter. Rumors were everywhere: Deutsche Bank and Mercedes-Benz were behind this sudden act. Or BMW. This all however never was proven.
Fun fact is though that in general the Der Spiegel-article is seen as the start of all troubles at Borgward’s. Because five years later Der Spiegel published another article, claiming the bankruptcy to be premature and unnecessary. To me it’s not clear whether to believe in a conspiracy by it’s competitors or not. It’s just too bad such an innovative creator of beauty is not around anymore.
The Isabella was also built in Argentina and after the bankruptcy of 1961 still cars were produced (?). The entire production line ended up in Mexico building the Borgward P100. But the model itself you see here is a 1/43 from Eaglemoss’ Deutsche Liebhaber-Autos. It’s nicely detailed and not that expensive: For about 10$ you should be able to get this beauty in mint condition.
Carl F. W. Borgward überlebte sein Unternehmen nur um zwei Jahre, er starb 1963. Und ich hoffe, etwas anderes würde entwickelt das seinen Nahmen trägt... Viel spass!