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Running Oddball: 1961 Borgward P100

1961 Borgward P100

George G found this interesting Borgward here on craigslist in New Mexico. There were few of these built and even fewer are left, so here’s a chance to own a very unique little sedan for a reasonable asking of $2,500. It’s been sitting for about 20 years and needs lots of work. The straight six engine runs and it’s mostly complete. There’s surface rust on the roof, some rust on the lower quarter panels and above the wheels. A close inspection is likely to reveal more. It will need exhaust work as well as the usual mechanical work. There is a video on YouTube that shows the car in more detail and one of the engine running. While it is going to need work, this really could be a unique little driver!


  1. Avatar photo GeeBee

    I like odd, but not so odd I can’t get parts for it

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  2. Avatar photo Fred

    An early 60’s foreign car with factory air? Do my eyes deceive me?

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  3. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    When I was a kid, our family doctor made house calls( remember those?) and he had a Borgward. I don’t remember what it looked like, but me and my brother made fun of that name. Pretty unique car for “over here”. Parts may be a bit of a stretch, but I’m sure they could be found. This was actually a very nice car.
    To Fred, I believe that pump has something to do with the self-leveling suspension system. ( note hydraulic cylinders by the hood hinges, which after sitting 20 years, I’m sure would be a problem)

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  4. Avatar photo Fred

    Self leveling suspension would make more sense. But looking at the dash, I saw what appeared to be A/C vents. Must be seeing things.

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  5. Avatar photo Paul B

    These had self-leveling, so be prepared for plenty of work and expense bringing this car back. This was Borgward’s failed attempt at competing with Mercedes. It was a sad player in a complicated story ending with the fall of Borgwsrd and the rise of BMW under circumstances some have considered
    questionable. But it must also be said that Carl Borgward could also be his own worst enemy. Look up the history. It’s interesting.

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  6. Avatar photo Chris A.

    I had two Isabella TS sedans back in the late 60’s, one for parts. It was not a pretty car, but had lots of room, the engine’s 75 hp and the column 4 speed pulled it along well with decent brakes and a nice ride due to the swing axels. Well built car, but salt got at the two I owned. Parts were a problem, but a company called Fergus Motors near NYC had pretty much what I needed except body parts. Once the electrics were sorted it was a nice comfortable car for 4 people. Only 6 volt system, so winter starts were a problem until I learned how to set the manual retard on the distributor, then once warmed up, resetting to the proper advance mark. With a battery kept inside in sub zero nights, starting wasn’t a problem. Solid build and all the time I owned it I never saw another one on the road. Girl across the street caled it the “Warthog”. She should talk. I sold it to a guy as a commuter car and put the money into a 1958 MB 220S sedan that I should never have sold. Paul B’s comment is accurate. This may be one of the rare 6 cylinder cars that were sent to Mexico in an attempt to get Borgward moved and restarted as a Mexican car builder. I remember them as a tough, well built, but quirky car with a good drivetrain. It had an interesting design for the cylinder head with a vertical intake passage that made for good intake breathing and resulted in a few racing models that were moderately successful as mid 1950’s competitors to Porsche. Borgward was better known as a truck builder.

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  7. Avatar photo DT

    I have tried to get this car before.Mexican Borgwards are from 1967.This is a German p100.

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  8. Avatar photo PJ

    Didn’t Columbo drive a Borgward?

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  9. Avatar photo MichailKnoller

    ” Mercedes ” made a fool out of themselves…as they did very often. They said ” Air suspension is technically impossible for the time being ” – a few weeks later, Borgward presented that system on the P 100 ( or ” Big Six ” ) in 1959 at tha Frankfurt IAA. It can be easily identified by the chassis number. Air suspension – or conventional springs – were available on the Mexican made ones; produced by the ” FANASA ” ( fabrica nacional de automoviles ) at Monterrey, Mexico. The system adopted by ” Merc ” later on used identical parts – when they got rid of Carl F.W. Borgward, one of the best engineers ever. What happened to this car ? I have got a P 100 myself…and a lot of other Borgward – cars. I think I could say ” Borgward ” before I could say ” Mom ” – I fell in love with it when I was a little boy, it was my first car ( I still got it ) – and I will drive them until I shall kick the bucket…

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