Borgward Hansa 1500 is a medium-sized automobile that was
manufactured by the
Bremen based auto-manufacturer Carl F. W. Borgward
GmbH from 1949 to 1954. It was first presented at the Geneva Motor
Show in March 1949  and production commenced on 13 October 1949.
The similar Hansa 1800 was introduced in 1952. The Hansa was replaced
Borgward Isabella in 1954.
It is often seen as the first all new model launched by the German
auto industry after the war. Introduced nearly four years before the
better remembered ’Ponton Mercedes’ the Hansa featured the then
revolutionary ponton, three-box design that subsequently became
mainstream in Germany and across much of Europe.
1 Hansa 1500
1.1 Engine, transmission and chassis
2 Hansa 1800
The car was launched as a two- or four-door saloon with an all-steel
body built around a central steel frame, which bears a resemblance to
a 1949 Ford. The wings were fully integrated into the bodywork, and
the passenger cabin filled the full width of the car. At a time when
competitor vehicles from Opel and Mercedes Benz were still based on
conventional looking prewar designs, the interior width of the Hansa,
emphasized by the inclusion of bench seats both at the back and in the
front, attracted favourable press comment. The car was seen as a
genuine six-seater. Also noteworthy in 1949 was the separate lid
that permitted the boot / trunk to be accessed from outside the car.
At the other end, the bonnet / hood was hinged at the side and could
be opened from either the left or the right side as necessary. Instead
of traditional semaphore style direction indicators, the Hansa
featured flashing lights for use as direction indicators, the
flashing being replicated within the tri-functional rear lights which
included within a single unit rear lights and brake lights along with
the US style flashing direction indicators.
The driver was faced by a steering wheel linked to its central boss by
three sets of four thin spoke like rods. The design of the steering
wheel, reminiscent of the early Porsches, ensured minimal disruption
of the view of the instruments behind it. Also behind the steering
wheel was the column-mounted gear lever.
A two-door estate version and a five-seater two-door cabriolet were
available along with a two-seater sports cabriolet. The cabriolets
were both assembled by the coach builders Hebmüller in Wülfrath
until May 1952.
Engine, transmission and chassis
The Hansa was introduced with a 1498 cc four-cylinder ohv engine
providing a claimed power output of 48 bhp (35 kW). For
1952 the engine was modified to produce 52 bhp (38 kW). A
66 bhp (49 kW) output version of this engine was installed
in the sports cabriolet. The
Borgward engine had an unusual design
where the intake manifold was on top the engine and came through the
valve cover, along with the carburettor. Bill Blydenstein tuned
several of these engines for racing with some success.
The column-mounted gear lever controlled a three-speed gear box or a
2-speed automatic gear box (with a gear-indicator on the column as
visible on the photo).
The wheels were independently sprung, the rear wheels being attached
to a swing axle and supported by springs with hydraulic shock
absorbers. All four wheels were connected to the foot brake via a
hydraulic system, while the hand brake was a mechanical one operating
on the rear wheels.
1952 saw the introduction of the faster
Borgward Hansa 1800, with a
1758 cc 4-cylinder engine producing 60 bhp (44 kW). The
Hansa 1800 benefited from a four-speed gear box, with synchromesh
between the top two ratios. The front direction indicators which on
the Hansa 1500 had been located beneath the headlights, now migrated
to the top of the front wings on the Hansa 1800.
As before, the two- and four-door saloons were complemented by
cabriolet and estate versions.
The next year the Hansa 1800 became available with a diesel engine of
the same capacity as the petrol / gasoline fuelled unit, but with a
power output of 42 bhp (31 kW).
An 1800 diesel saloon version tested by the British The Motor magazine
in 1954 had a top speed of 68 mph (109 km/h) and could
accelerate from 0-50 mph (80 km/h) in 27.9 seconds. A fuel
consumption of 45.6 miles per imperial gallon
(6.19 L/100 km; 38.0 mpg‑US) was recorded. The test
car cost £1493 including taxes in the United Kingdom.
Borgward Hansa 1500 2-door saloon
Borgward Hansa 1500 station wagon
The view through the steering wheel was remarkably unencumbered. Also
visible here are the column-mounted gear shift and the front bench
seat which made the Hansa, unusually in Europe, a genuine six-seater.
Borgward Hansa 1800.
^ a b
Borgward Hansa 1500 Fourgonnette & Station Wagon sales
brochure, www.borgward.org.uk Retrieved on 2 February 2013
^ a b c d e "The
Borgward 1800 Diesel". The Motor. March 10,
^ "Aller Anfang ist er". Auto Motor u. Sport. Heft 13 1996: Seite
44–49. 14 June 1996.
^ Schmidt, Georg (1986).
Borgward – Carl F. W.
Borgward und seine
Autos. Stuttgart: Motorbuchverlag. ISBN 3-87943-679-7.
^ Auto und Motorrad-Welt," Issue 6, 20. March 1953
^ a b c Peter Kurze. Carl F. W.
Borgward Automobilwerke, Verlag Peter
Bremen 2001, ISBN&