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  • steve k.
    steve k.

    BMW 1800 Ti/SA

    BMW 1800TiSA is rightfully considered BMW's first ///M car, a homologation special that won big-time endurance and other races across Europe and in the United States. BMW 2000ti in the hands of Hubert Hahne was the first production sedan to break the 10-minute barrier on the Nurburgring. NKs battled it out with pony cars at U.S.-based Trans Am races, and with Alfas, Cortinas, Saabs, Volvos and even Porsche 911s in Europe and the US.


    BMW 1800 ti/sa


    In December of 1964, BMW filed homologation papers with FIA for the 1800TiSA and began building the factory race cars. The "Turismo Internationale SonderAusfuhrung” was sold mainly to competition drivers. BMW planned to build 500 TiSAs but only produced 200, according to official records. In the TiSA, The M10 got another compression bump, to 10.5:1, the highest compression ratio of all production M10 engines, a 300° cam with stiffer valve springs for the street and a 324° optional race cam. Top that off with a pair of Weber 45 DCOEs, the only BMW to come from the factory equipped with Webers. The package was rated at 130 bhp but was capable of 165 bhp in race tune with the race camshaft.. This power was fed through a ZF five-speed "longtail" gearbox with “Porsche baulk synchromesh” on all forward gears. A 75% limited-slip differential was optional. The front brakes were larger than the standard 1800TI, with larger wheel cylinders in the 250mm rear drums to match. The TiSAs also got Koni dampers, firmer springs, and larger anti-sway bars, 19mm and 17 mm front and rear. A wood-rimmed Walsall steering wheel controlled the quick ratio steering box. To contain the driver and front passenger, BMW used Restall racing bucket seats. The cars could do an honest top speed of 110-plus mph. 


    BMW 1800 ti/sa


    The factory manual includes this preface: “Dear BMW Owner: In line with our tradition of building motor-cars with outstanding performance and characteristics, we have now developed the BMW 1800 Ti Special Version I. “In selecting this model, you have demonstrated that — for you — a motor-car is far more than a utilitarian “means of transportation”. You are now well equipped to enjoy all the pleasures of driving and for any motorsport competition held under fair conditions. “In conclusion, we wish you unlimited luck and success!”


    BMW 1800 ti/sa in pits


    Factory information for TiSA owners includes fascinating recommendations for carburetor jetting when running without air filters, and for valve clearances just for racing. “Castrol racing oil” is recommended for competition, but standard HD motor oil for rally and road applications. The engine’s redline was 6,500, but BMW noted that “it is permissible to reach 7,000 rpm for a few seconds, e.g., when overtaking.” BMW offered to send owners drawings to enable the owners to build special performance exhaust components to be used only on “enclosed tracks.” There were factory suspension kits to lower the cars, too. In spite of all this encouragement to race, BMW also warned, “Our liability and responsibility within the scope of the warranty become void if the car is entered in competitions.”


    BMW 1800 ti/sa


    The interior sported UK-made Restall high-bolstered racing buckets with two-tone upholstery, a wood-rimmed steering wheel, and a tachometer staring the driver in the face from its perch atop the steering column.  The TiSA rode on wide-for-the-day 14X5-inch wheels with Dunlop tires.
The bodies were stamped of thinner steel then the other NK cars, making the TiSA the lightest NK of them all, at 1050 kg.
 Some BMW histories contend the 1800TiSA was offered in one color, German Racing Silver. But owners and sales documents state otherwise. TiSAs were available in Bristol, Chamonix, and Polaris Silver Metallic. Cost, 13,500 DM, or roughly $3,375 in 1966 dollars. A window sticker from a TiSA sold in the U.S. by a dealership in South Carolina, showed a total price of $4,631, including tax. For the sake of comparison, the base price on a Corvette was $4,295.






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