It's hard to imagine, but once upon a time, there were only two BMW 3 Series variants: the coupe and sedan. Back before gran coupes, convertibles and yes, even touring models were available, buyers could only get their 3 Series fix if it came with two or four doors and a fixed roof. Back in the mid '80s, BMW engineer Max Reisbock was having some trouble fitting his whole family into his four door. Rather than suck it up and buy a van, he picked up a wrecked 3 Series and got to cutting in a buddy's garage. Months later, he had the very first 3 Series Touring ever built.

At first, he kept the the car to himself, using it to haul friends and family around, but he eventually showed it off to his friends at work. When the BMW executives found out about his project, they called him up to take a closer look. After putting an eyeball on the car, they took it, copied his design, made a few tweaks and quickly rolled out the first production 3 Series Touring. How's that for validation? Check out the video below for Reisbock's story.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      jonnybimmer
      • 1 Year Ago
      Pretty cool that an automaker would take an employee's personal project and make an entire production lineup based off of it. I'm sure it's happened before with some other automaker, but it's not something you hear happen very often in the automotive industry.
      Vega
      • 1 Year Ago
      There never was an E30 coupe, there only was a 2 door sedan. The roofline was completely identical to the 4 door. The first 3 series coupe was the E36 2 door, it had a lower roof than the sedan as well as frameless side windows.
      Patrick
      • 1 Year Ago
      How many variations exist for the term 'station wagon' or 'wagon' in order to make it sound more attractive?
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Very cool.
      martim
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW made Tourings before the 3 series... there was actually a 2002 touring. Looked rpetty good too. :-)
      Werner
      • 1 Year Ago
      This guy didn't invent station wagons, he just added a wagon back to the 3 series. Wagons had been around for decades before this. Why is this guy so brilliant?
        aatbloke1967
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Werner
        "This guy didn't invent station wagons, he just added a wagon back to the 3 series. Wagons had been around for decades before this. Why is this guy so brilliant?" - Werner I try not to post on these boards any more. Every time it's like a real-life venture into the Mike Judge movie Idiocracy full of inane comments such as that I've just quoted.
          JayP
          • 1 Year Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          I love you.
      damienreiduae
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's a pretty pathetic hatch opening.
      1950
      • 1 Year Ago
      We have an '07 5-series wagon. Really great car--hauls everything, but thinks it's a coupe. BMW dropped this wagon and immediately lost a lot of customers to Mercedes. As it is, they're not common--we bought ours 1000 miles from our home...it was worth it!
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 1 Year Ago
      A great man; thank you Mr. Reisbock
      Luis A. Martinez
      • 1 Year Ago
      Have friend with a blue E30 grey market export and is so sweet,why wasn't sold here back then?,I guess no one cares,but here the GT and those ugly X6
        360_AD
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Luis A. Martinez
        If it was sold here, American's would have complained about having to lift cargo over the taillights. Oh, and the car is too small, won't fit after a few trips to McPooh.
      Ken
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd buy him a bier.
      Sacto1654
      • 1 Year Ago
      Open letter to BMW: how about bringing over the 3-Series Touring with the 180 bhp turbodiesel engine and 8-speed automatic? They'll sell a LOT of them here in California. :-)
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