Once upon a time, there was more to German luxury cars than Mercedes and BMW. In fact, BMW wasn’t really there, Mercedes was dominant, and there was an upstart player, no disrespect intended, named Borgward. The 1959 Borgward P100 ‘Big Six’ was a credible player, competing with the ‘Fintail’ Mercedes, and while it made for many fans cheering the underdog, it made Mercedes nervous and angry. Angry enough, perhaps, to ‘help’ Borgward close down by ‘encouraging’ its creditors to call in their chips? Nobody’s saying, but it’s been a popular conspiracy for years, and it’s possible. The P100 ‘Big Six’ featured an all-independent air suspension and was large, comfortable and well-appointed.
The P100 ‘Big Six’ was powered by a 2.2-liter straight-six engine, which was basically the same engine as the Borgward Isabella, with two extra cylinders. It developed 100 horsepower, which allowed for a 100 mph top speed and a 14 second 0-60 time. I’m assuming the car was called the ‘Big Six’ because of its engine. Maybe it’s just the North American in me that simply cannot accept that a 2.2 liter engine of ANY configuration could be called ‘Big’. My two cents.
In any case, the 1959 Borgward P100 ‘Big Six’ remained in production until 1961, when the company closed down, brought down in great part by the development costs of the P100. Only 1,400 P100 had been produced. The factory was sold and moved to Mexico, where a further 2,500 Big Six were built.