Yes, BMW Did Make a Pickup Truck
BMW has made some interesting vehicles you wouldn’t expect. And over the years, it has delved into different markets besides sports cars, like its motorcycle division. But you never associate BMW with commercial vehicles. However, though an obscure offering, the Bavarian manufacturer once made a pickup truck called the Farmobil.
The Farmobil was made in Greece from 1962 to 1966 but wasn’t sold there. It did not get Greek certification, which meant that most of its production wound up in other countries, including parts of Europe. In all, BMW says only 900 were made. So, while that is an insignificant number, for those who bought one, it was a robust farm vehicle that was easy to work on.
How much power did the BMW Farmobil have?
That’s because it got its power from a 0.7-liter or 697 cc two-cylinder air-cooled engine from the Isetta 700 with 32 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque. You remember those little bubble cars with the door also being the front of the tiny car. The boxer engine spun a four-speed manual transmission made by Porsche. Both were at the back of the truck for rear-wheel drive.
Besides the engine, it also got its brakes, wheels, and shift lever mechanism from the Isetta. That meant it had a four-wheel independent coil spring suspension.
With no water cooling and only two cylinders, repairs were a cakewalk. Sizewise it was 131.9 inches long, 62.8 inches wide, and weighed only 1,287 lbs with the doors and top removed. It was also touting a two-thirds-ton cargo capacity. The Farmobil even had a heater and a windshield defroster.
Was the Farmobil made by BMW or Chrysler?
You’ll note that some advertising features the Chrysler name. That is because it took over the plant manufacturing the Farmobil in 1963, calling it the “Farmobil by Chrysler International.” Speculation is that Chrysler bought the company as a stalking horse for selling vehicles in Germany.
Chrysler’s advertising said the tiny pickup truck was “a forest ranger and a mountaineer. It’s a power plant, a crop sprayer, a mobile shop, a tractor, a safari wagon. It can deliver mail to isolated areas or operate a milling machine in the fields.” It sold in Austria and Switzerland as the Steyr Farmobil and in most of the rest of Europe as the BMW Farmobil.
Did any Farmobils make it to America?
For comparison, the Farmobil had better approach and departure angles than the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. The Wrangler’s approach angle is 44.3 degrees, and the departure angle is 40.4 degrees. The Farmobil has an approach angle of 30 degrees and a departure angle of 30 degrees.
According to AllPar, there are two Farmobils in the U.S.