I’ll freely admit that the competition for Best Cabinet in Motoring History isn’t one of the most fiercely competitive titles, but if it ever becomes so, and you’re asked to make some wagers on it, may I suggest you consider laying some money on Herr Hofmeister’s cabinet here? There’s some gooooood stuff in there. Here, have a look.
I know when most people think of Wilhelm Hofmeister, they think of the Hofmeister Kink, and when you think of things called “kinks” and secret cabinets, you’d be forgiven for expecting to find boxes of rubberised objects used for sexy butt stuff, but that’s not the case here.
In this case, it’s a cabinet of car design study models.
I mean, I can imagine better cabinets, but, as far as cabinets go, this one is still pretty good. I was able to peek into the legendary BMW designer’s cabinet thanks to this post from our pals over at Car Design Archives:
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c1966 BMW Design studio — Wilhem Hofmeister (left) showing his “cabinet of curiosities” with 5 scale models. From top to bottom: 1957 BMW 600, 1966 BMW 1000 Coupé or 1600-2 Baur Coupé, 1962 BMW Neue Klasse, 1952 BMW 501 and 1962 BMW Neue Klasse Kombi. — #BMW #BMWDesign #Designstudio #Designoffice #WilhemHofmeister #Hofmeister #BMW600 #BMW1000Coupé #BMW1600Coupé #BMW501 #BMWNeueKlasse #BMWNK #BMWNeueKlasseKombi #NeueKlasse #NeueKlasseKombi #NeueKlasseEstate #NeueKlasseSW
We can see the cabinet has some scale styling models, and at least one wheel. There may be other good stuff on the other side of the cabinet — part of the joy is that we just don’t know — but here’s what we can see:
For me, there are two really interesting things here. First is up top, with that styling model of the BMW 600.
What’s interesting about that is that it has B and C pillars, which the production 600 didn’t have, and feels a bit longer, which makes me wonder if, perhaps, this was a design study for a lengthened 600, which was already a lengthened Isetta?
If so, it would have been kind of like a Fiat Multipla or perhaps a shrunken VW Microbus, sort of like what VW and Porsche toying with when they were developing the stillborn Type 700.
Would that have retained a lone door at the front, or had more conventional doors?
The other really interesting one is down at the bottom, which looks like a design study for a BMW Neue Klasse station wagon. That would have really been exciting.
If BMW had tried out a wagon version of the 1600, say, then it’s likely they may have continued a wagon option for more models, which suggests the possibility of a 2002 Turbo Wagon, which seems just wonderful.
Sadly, it looks like the BMW 2002 wagon remained just a model and a dream, closed off in the Hof’s cabinet here, like an unloved adopted son who got accepted to Hogwarts, or something.
Either way, fictional.
We don’t get to see too many cabinets here in general, but I felt it was important to show you this one.