Coach built BMW E23 7 Series Touring cool but flawed

7-series | February 11th, 2016 by 1
BMW 7 Series E23 750x427

Ever wonder what a BMW 7 Series Touring might look like? The Bavarian brand never built such a car, leaving the Touring variants to lesser …

Ever wonder what a BMW 7 Series Touring might look like? The Bavarian brand never built such a car, leaving the Touring variants to lesser models, such as the 3 Series and 5 Series. This makes sense, though, as wagons are meant to add practicality and functionality, while the big, luxurious 7 Series requires or desires neither. But back in the late ’70s, a time when coachbuilding was quite popular, the German coachbuilder, Euler, decided that it would build some BMW 7 Series Tourings and one found its way to the ‘States.

While the E23 BMW 7 Series debuted in 1977, this particular car is a 1981 model. Originally, it was a 1981 BMW 735i sedan but then Euler got their hands on it and turned the 735i into a wagon because, well, they could. The entire car looks as if it’s a standard E23 BMW 7 Series, until you see the long roof, strange looking roof rails and BMW 2002 taillights. Then you start to question “What the hell is with this thing?”

Indeed, those are BMW 2002 taillights and that was done intentionally, as the originally E23 taillights were too wide and ruined entry space for the rear hatch. So, the much smaller 2002 taillights were fitted, as were a rear wiper and two speakers in the tailgate. It’s actually quite impressive. Even a custom license plate bracket was designed to fit both European and American plates. But there is one issue with the design and I’m wondering if you noticed it yet.

e23 3

When I first saw this, I was thinking “something looks off but I can’t put my finger one it.” It was the lack of Hofmeister Kink. It’s funny how used to the Hofmeister Kink we’ve gotten that we barely even realize its importance of the design. Yet, looking at a BMW without one now looks just plain uncomfortable. It’s actually bothersome. Without the Hofmeister Kink, this looks like it could be an old Buick station wagon. The HK gives BMWs a very rear-driven look, as it helps the C-pillar to accentuate the rear wheels. Without it, the car looks bland and boring in the rear. Then there’s the roof rails, which were pulled from a Mercedes wagon of the era, so it’s not even entirely a BMW.

It’s actually quite amazing that a German coachbuilder lacked the attention to detail to work in the Hofmeister Kink and to put Mercedes roof rails on top. Admittedly, the removal of the Kink was intentional, as it eliminated a very thick D-pillar, but I think BMW fans would rather have the thicker D-pillar and keep BMW’s most signature design outside of the kidney grilles.

Aside from that, this BMW E23 735i Touring looks pretty good. It would be interesting to see more 7 Series wagons from different model years. An E38 wagon might be interesting, as would an E65. It’s a shame coachbuilding isn’t as popular as it once was, because it gave birth to so many interesting ideas and designs that wouldn’t normally work as production cars. Admittedly, it is harder to coachbuild today, with the way modern chassis and bodies are built. But it would still be cool to have some more around. So long as they keep the Hofmeister Kink.

[Source: Autoweek]