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Guest Anonymous

What on earth did they make a folding key for???

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Guest Anonymous

I bought a '68 this weekend (yes! finally a roundie!), and it came with the original folding key. So i'm using it and trying in vain to think of what the engineer's intent was on this one...

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Guest Anonymous

the ignition switch. If you're in an accident, the key won't imbed itself in your knee--or so the theory goes...I've never tried it!

cheers

Mike

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Guest Anonymous

My 2002 323ci has a plastic key to keep in your wallet as a emergency spare - it's the same idea as the 02's folding key.

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Guest Anonymous

with the key in the lock.

With things like this I don't try to figure what the original intent was, more like what do people use it for now. Kind of like a modern day "Liars Club".

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Guest Anonymous

It doesn't fold flat, only enough to keep it from presenting itself to your knee-cap as Mike says above. They were clumsey to use but well made.

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Guest Anonymous

The plastic key "head" gets stress cracks in the slots were the tabs of the metal key "blade" fit into it. I would not recommend using it today if you want to keep it intact for posterity. I really doubt the plastic key was any kind of safety feature. When I was a kid and my dad took the 1600 in for servicing, I remember asking Ed Lightly @ B&W Sales in Hanover PA about the plastic key, and he said it was the valet key.

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Guest Anonymous

salesman told me it was safety "required" so it would fold up on impact with your knee in an accident. Oddly enough, there's no mention of this key either in my '69's owner's manual or the USA supplement that came with it. Obviously not used in the German delivered versions...

Mike

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Guest Anonymous

In 1969 BMW had a few safety ideas that they didn't keep. Besides the folding key, the inner door handles were plastic. The folding key got replaced by the soft under pad to protect your knees from not only the key but the steering column as well. Then they changed the covers themselves to plastic around 1973. Trying tro save us dumb Americans from our own stupidity I guess!

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Guest Anonymous

Dear Mr. Nichols,

I am sorry, but I forgot to answer your second question.

We are sorry to tell you that we found no evidence in the archives that

at some there has been a folding key.

Should we find out more about this topic at a later date, we will inform

you.

Yours sincerely

BMW Mobile Tradition

Historical Archives

Kai Jacobsen

I am therefore inclined to believe that the folding key was designed for motorcycle use (see another post in this thread w/ a great link to history of m/c keys), and somehow ended up with some cars.

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Guest Anonymous

When I first started working on 2002s in 1972 there were a bunch of my friend's cars with folding keys. When I bought my first one a 69 Granada 1600 in 1972 it too had a folding key. I have a new one stashed around here. When I find it, I will post a pic. They truly existed! I am not that old yet.

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