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The first sport sedan, Part II

andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,754
This one didn't get mentioned in our previous iteration on this topic but it was introduced before either the Jaguar Mk.I or the Alfa Guilietta Super TI (both ca. 1955) which would make it the first modern sport sedan.

The 1900 sedan on which the TI was based came out in 1950. It resembled a Volvo 122 with an upright Alfa grille, although smaller. It was Alfa's first all-new postwar design, featuring a new 1884cc twin-cam engine with 80hp.

The 1900TI with larger valves, higher compression and twin-choke carb gave 100hp. Later versions went to 115 hp. The 1900TIs had 5-speeds on the tree (a Nardi floor-shift conversion was available.) Pretty sporty for 1951!

Coupes and cabrio versions of the 1900 were also produced with coachwork from Touring, Zagato and others. The 1900M or Matta was a four wheel drive version used by Italian armed forces, resembling a Jeep.
Thanks to AutoWeek and www.carsfromitaly.com for making me aware of it.

2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

Comments

  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    After much reading and research, I came to the conclusion that the first sport sedan to be sold in America in considerable numbers was this one: the 1966 BMW 1600, whose offspring was the legendary 2002, tii, 3-Series, etc. The 1600 caused quite a sensation when it was brought over here, despite the fact that not many BMWs were sold in the U.S. during the late '60s. I'll bet Mr. Shiftright would agree with me on this. One more note: the infamous Max Hoffman was behind all of this, including Alfa Romeo at one time.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,754
    sport sedan. The 2002 yes but not the modestly powered 1600. (sort of like a Pontiac LeMans vis-vis a GTO.) I don't recall the 1600 selling in considerable numbers here either. I'll bet Jag sold more Mk IIs and Alfa more Giuliettas (correct me if I'm wrong. I don't have figures.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    That car is technically a 1602. It was definitely a prototype 2002 but didn't have any guts at all. Not an exciting ride. If you want to really put the word "sport" into it, you'd have to vote for the BMW 2002 Tii as the first BMW sedan that was really fun with a capital F.

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  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I seem to remember a fair number of 1600s but maybe they were just more conspicuous then. I think you could get them in any color you wanted as long as it was beige. Kind of the 318 of their day. What did upwardly mobile professionals drive before Bimmers? Maybe they just walked.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,754

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    They made about 277,000 1600 coupes and around 339,000 2002s. So it's certainly not a rare car.

    You have to remember that in 1966 the only people who drove foreign sedans were freaks, like the men you see in 50s movies riding bicycles.

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  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Or a hair shirt masochist, given their reputation. My dad bought an English Ford while my mom and I were on a trip. Coincidence? I don't think so. We thought he'd gone off the rails.

    Then he took us on a long drive along some back roads and made me a convert. I still remember the rorty exhaust, the floor shifter (3 speed) and the sense of immediacy. The red plush carpet, hacked from a roll of house carpeting, added a sporty touch.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    I saw a BMW 2000 recently (it looked Euro-spec), it was cool looking (IMO) at least, if not at all quick. It appeared to be late-60s (no headrests), manual trans of course, a lot like a 2002 with four doors but a bit bigger. Was this the linear predecessor to the 5-series?
  • jgranatajgranata Posts: 70
    correct me if i'm wrong, but i recall that the bmws were two door coupes...great board...i had a
    76 alfetta gtv and a 75 alfetta sedan. the sedan was imo one of the prettiest boxes on the road. jack g
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    well, a coupe can also be a sedan sometimes, especially if it has back seats and a B pillar.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Since this topic is about sport sedans, I'd like to add a comment. How about the 1993-97 Volvo 850? Would you consider them sports sedans in the sense of the term? To me, they were the very first sporty-type cars to come out of Volvo in a very long time. Not since the P1800 did we see a great-handling and fun Volvo. I can attest to this, since I have (and love) a '93 GLT sedan.

    One more thing: Would you consider the 850s simpler, more complex, or on the same level in maintaining/servicing as the old RWD 240s, 740s, etc? Just my $.02 worth, but I think the 850s are great cars to work on if you know what you are doing.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,754
    they strike me as good sporty family sedans. The S60 on the other hand is clearly aimed at the sports sedan market.

    It's harder to define a sport sedan than a sorts car (which is hard enough given arguments raging throughout TH).

    A sedan is a sports sedan if you think it is and drive it like one, especially if you equip it w performance enhancements (e.g. turbo, tires, suspension upgrades).

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    The 850 should be discussed in the Sedans topic, not Classics. This board is for older cars.

    thanks

    Host

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,150
    I know we've gone through this before, but in most cases, a 2-door sedan would share the same windshield with its 4-door counterpart, whereas a 2-door coupe would have a more raked-back windshield, usually shared with the convertible. At least in full-line domestic cars, that was usually the distinction, although I'm sure there are exceptions.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,754
    and the amount of passenger space in the rear.
    Not all coupes are based on convertibles.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,150
    ...most convertibles are based on coupes. Also, if you have a more raked-back windshield, more than likely you're going to have a lower roofline.

    I don't know if they do this so much anymore, but back in the day, they'd often move the back seat forward about 4" in a coupe, versus a sedan, to give it shorter roofline with more slope in the rear, and a correspondingly longer rear deck. At least, comparing my '57 DeSoto and the 2 Dart hardtops I've owned to their sedan counter parts, that's how it is.
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