With a background in aircraft engines and motorcycles, car production started in 1928 with the BMW-Dixi, an Austin 7 built under licence, which evolved into the BMW 3 / 15. BMW then expanded the range with their own 315, 319, 327 and the well known 328 with a modified cylinder head on their existing block, in a state of tune that needed minimum 80 octane fuel. The war ended up with the factory destroyed and the communists producing prewar copies branded EMW as the factory had ended up in the new East Germany. The British had the drawings which led to the post war Bristols (and Frazer Nash) being built quickly.
BMW came out with a new all alloy V8 for their 502 and 503 models, initially 2.6 litre enlarged and modified to 3.2 litre later, which led to the beautiful Goertz penned 503 and 507 models that were in direct competition with Mercedes, with the BMW at a higher price. The final V8 in this line was the 3200CS. The BMW engine design was sold to the USA to become the V8 Buick, which later returned as the Rover V8. The new range of BMWs ran from 1962 to 1972, first 1500 then 1600 and then the 2000C and 2000CS, which were in turn enlarged with 6 cylinder engines in 1969 with the E9 2800CS , and 3 years later with the larger E12 "5 series".