Thursday, September 14, 2017

Forget BMW: Try an EMW!

EMW foreground, red and white instead of BMW blue and white
Today's topic: German cars, what do you know? I imagine you know Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen, and if you're really into cars you might have heard of DKW, Auto Union, Messerschmidt, or other uncommon German cars too. Specifically, have you heard of EMW? Pretty much BMW but with an E and not a B.

Long story short, at the end of WWII the country was split into four different zones controlled by the US, Russia, England, and France. The famous BMW company basically had two facilities that suddenly were in different zones, and eventually in two different countries when East Germany and West Germany were formed. The BMW folks in Munich weren't allowed to build cars right away, but that BMW plant over in Eisenach eventually got back to making cars. To avoid confusion with the BMW folks, and because the Munich BMW folks were suing them, they changed their logo and went with the name EMW. You can read more about EMW and it's various incarnations such as Wartburg and Dixi at this Wikipedia page: Eisenach

The folks in Eisenach had been building cars since before 1900, and operated under other names before being bought by BMW in the 1920s. Overall, the EMW brand only lasted from 1952-1955, and produced around 30,000 cars. The factory was still building BMWs after WWII, but it was in 1952 that BMW regained exclusive rights, so the EMW brand was born, along with ownership by the East German government. After the reunification of Germany, the Eisenach factory went out of business, with an Opel factory opening near by. One of the buildings from the EMW days still exists as a car museum, so if you're in the area let us know if you check it out! My German isn't so hot, but I can tell that the museum only costs 6 Euros to visit: Eisenach Auto Museum

That's the basic story I learned while watching a 100 year history of BMW, 1916-2016, and since it was news to me I just thought you'd need to know about EMW! One final tidbit about EMW is that for one German Grand Prix race they entered one of their EMW cars, but sadly it didn't even finish it's only race.

If I'd ever seen an EMW I'd be  happy to share a photo of one, but since that has never happened, here's a website that has a few for sale! Classic Trader UK
To narrow down my Christmas wish list, if you're shopping for me already, here's a 1952 EMW up for sale in Wurzburg Germany that would be great! EMW 327-2

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