Welcome to
‘Borgward Enthusiasts New Zealand’

This site is currently under construction

We are a group of dedicated New Zealand vehicle enthusiasts, passionate about the preservation, restoration, enjoyment and publicity of vehicles from the Borgward Group (in Bremen, Germany). The company was solely owned by Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Borgward (1890-1963), with vehicles manufactured between 1924 and 1962. A controversial bankruptcy in 1961 forced factory closure. They continued to be assembled at the Mexico City plant until 1968.

We also embrace the newly revived Borgward AG company, founded in 2008 by Christian Borgward (Carl’s grandson).

In New Zealand, we have thirty collectors owning between them around fifty-seven vehicles, covering the following models from the range :-


ModelVehicle Nos.ModelVehicle Nos.
Borgward P1001Isabella Combi 3
Goliath 1100 Express Van1Isabella Coupé10
Goliath 1100 Saloon2Isabella Saloon Std9
Goliath 1100 Combi2Isabella Saloon TS5
Hansa 1100 Coupe1Isabella Sedan de Luxe1
Hansa 1100 Sedan2Borgward Arabella5
Hansa 1500 19491Lloyd LS600 Combi2
Hansa 2400 Pullman2Lloyd LP600 Sedan10
Lloyd LT600 Van2

Here, you’ll find the stories of Borgward in New Zealand, both historical and contemporary;

The members section has the following:

As we are a geographically dispersed group spread from the Far North to the Bluff, meetings and events are occasional.  However, as time progresses, we plan to have more frequent gatherings.

To our overseas Borgward friends. If you are holidaying or doing business in New Zealand, tap away on the Contact Us page. You will be warmly welcomed by one of the members to Borgwards in our piece of paradise.  Watch out however for Hobbits!

Membership

We have a members section where various resources and information are available, allowing members to buy, sell and exchange vehicles and parts, provide advice, helping solve problems, accessing reputable suppliers of parts and services, establishing friendships and other Borgward related stuff.  Membership is free and international members are warmly welcomed.

We also warmly welcome friends of Borgward as affiliate members.  You don’t need to own a vehicle to be a member, just an appreciation of the marque, or some other association.  Our members may even be able to give you an experience in one of our old-timers.

Organisations can also join as a sponsor, normal, affiliate or friend of Borgward enthusiasts NZ.

Membership is via donation, rather than annual subscription. We think you are the best to know the value of the group and this website. Hundreds of dollars and hours have been invested to provide you with the richest and most secure experience.

Coming soon for members, we intend to add the Borgward NZ “parts shed” for the purchase of NOS (New Old Stock) and used parts of the Isabella, Goliath, Hansa, Lloyd & Arabella models. Watch this space !

Events

We plan to have a national gathering over a weekend every 2 years, alternating North & South Islands, comprising a south-bound and north-bound touring rallies to the event, a local rally spotting points of interest, prizes awarded to those wishing to be competitive, and finishing with a prizegiving dinner with Guest speaker on the Sunday.

Members and enthusiasts are also encouraged to occasionally meet for social and motoring events. Soon, you will be able to use the website to create events. .

About Carl Borgward

The Man (1890 – 1963)

Carl modelling the Isabella

The Companies

A summary & timeline and commentary of the Carl F. W. Borgward Group:

  • 1905 Hansa-Automobil Gesellschaft m.b.H (in Varel near Bremen), produced radiators for the nascent automobile industry.
  • In 1914, this was merged with Norddeutsche Automobil und Motoren AG (NAMAG) into Hansa-Lloyd-Werke A.G. in the Bremen suburb of Hastedt.
  • During the 1929-1931 depression, Hansa-Lloyd-Werke A.G. was taken over by Carl Borgward of the Borgward group located in Föhrenstrasse, Bremen-Hastedt and this became the Goliath-Werke Borgward & Co. The factory was completely destroyed during the Second World War.
  • In 1950 the Lloyd Motoren Werke GmbH was established & continued until 1963.
  • The controversial closure occurred in July 1961, through no major fault of Carl. A BMW director and the Bremen city senate (who also controlled the banks) were involved in what turned out to be an unnecessary dissolution, despite firm foundations and good prospects for the company. The allegations of bankruptcy were proven to be untrue; all creditors were paid in full, with a million Deutschmarks to spare. The news of the banks refusal for a “short-term loan” fell into the hands of Bild, a popular tabloid newspaper. With BMW’s surreptitious encouragement, this resulted in public loss of confidence at home and abroad, followed by total collapse, and coincidentally providing BMW with an additional skilled workforce for their new desperately needed mid-size saloon. Suddenly, Borgward’s 23,000 employees were dismissed (20% of the Bremen heavy industry workforce), resulting in an unemployment crisis in the region. Carl died of a heart attack 2 years later on 28 July 1963 (aged 72). This was no doubt brought on by the unnecessary stress, leading to the collapse of his pride and joy.

Assembly Plants Around the World

Assembly plants elsewhere in the world were:

  • In the Braunsfeld district of Köln (Cologne), the coach building firm Karl Deutsch partnered with Carl Borgward to convert the Isabella TS saloon into the highly desirable Isabella TS Cabriolet. Considerable modifications were required to provide the necessary structural rigidity.
  • As part of the controversial bankruptcy of Borgward, manufacturing equipment for the P100 (230GL) and Isabella models was sold in 1963 to entrepreneur Gregorio Ramirez Gonzalez from Monterrey Mexico. Following a 4 year delay, these models were assembled between 1967 and 1970 for the USA, Central and South American markets. Our Borgward USA friend Dick Livant, has sourced many parts from Mexico over the subsequent years.
  • Borgward Argentina was founded in 1954 by a joint venture of Carl F. Borgward GMBH and IAME (Aeronautics and Mechanical Industries). IAME was a group of Argentine industrialists formed to setup the production of a small pickup truck called the Rastrojero. The 42 horsepower Borgward D4M diesel with indirect engine was manufactured at the joint venture plant in the town of Isidro Casanova, Buenos Aires province. Planned production rate was 20 units per day with 800 employees.
    The Isabella was produced in Cordoba city, using Argentine engines, local components – glass, batteries, tyres – and other parts from Germany. Production started in 1960 during the Argentine automotive industry boom, with a planned production of 500 units for that year. The Isabella continued to be assembled there until 1963, with a total of 1,050 vehicles coming off the assembly line.
  • In Australia, Carl formed a joint venture with Laurence Hartnett (of the previous Hartnett Motor Company) to produce the 600cc Lloyd-Hartnett Alexander, assembled at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane, Queensland. First introduced in December 1957, 3,000 vehicles were built until production ceased in 1962. An excellent book by Laurence of his life “Big Wheels and Little Wheels” is available on Ebay. Photos of the Lloyd-Hartnett Alexander can be found on the ‘Borgwords‘ blog (developed by one of our N.Z. friends Aaron Birley). A modest number of Lloyd-Hartnett Alexanders were imported into New Zealand; we don’t know many.
  • In Italy, Pietro Frua developed the pretty Lloyd Alexander 600 TS Frua Coupé in 1958 & 1959. Fifty were produced and as at 3 Jan 2015, 16 have been preserved

Models in New Zealand

Vehicles were either imported into New Zealand by individuals or dealerships between 1955 and 1961.  Post 1961, two independent service workshops remained until 2005 (North Island) and 2019 (South Island). For the story of these importers, dealers and service workshops, click here.

Models produced by Borgward and brought into New Zealand were the Lloyd, Goliath, Hansa, Isabella, Lloyd Arabella, and the P100 ‘Grosser / Big Six’, all manufactured between 1949 and 1961.  Vehicle types were Saloon (Sedan), Combi (Station Wagon), Coupe, Delivery/Work and Passenger Vans.

The first Isabella (also branded Hansa 1500) rolled off the production line on 10 June 1954. This photo shows Carl with his employees at that moment.

Chris Butler’s January 1955 Hansa 1500

Other Borgward Models

Other Borgward types, not brought into New Zealand were the cabriolet, bus, ambulance, light and heavy trucks, military trucks (including half-track) and a Borgward Kolibri helicopter (in association with Heinrich Focke, his friend since their days at the Hoheren Machinenbauschule technical college in Hamburg).

A good timeline of Borgward vehicles produced between 1949 and 1960 can be found at automobile-catalogue.com

The first Borgward launched in 1924 was the Blitzkarren (lightning cart) and the last vehicle assembled in Bremen was the 1962 Isabella.

Historic Commentaries

Various historic timelines and commentaries can be found at:

Christian Borgward: The Revival.

Grandson Christian Borgward and BX-7 next to Carl’s memorial

In 2008, Carl Borgward’s grandson Christian Borgward and Karlheinz Knöss revived the marque as Borgward Group AG, based in Stuttgart. They displayed a new model SUV at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, manufactured by the Beiqi Foton Group in China. The first vehicle off the production line was the BX7 SUV in July 2016, making a total of three different SUV’s. These include the BX5 and BX7 TS. Concept cars have also been created; Borgward Isabella Coupe, plus two SUV’s, BX6 TS and BXi7 .

For more information, see the “Borgward Revived” page, where you’ll find the official Borgward website, press releases, photos, links, videos, dealers, brochures, technical and production data and test reports.

Associations and Affiliates

We are proud to be a member of the NZ Federation of Motoring Clubs Inc. representing the interests of heritage and historic vehicles to government and its agencies.

NZ Federatuin of Motoring Clubs

Website Information

As “Borgward Enthusiasts NZ” website is brand new (launched Feb 2020), we are very keen for your feedback on features, content and any corrections you may think appropriate. All suggestions are welcomed via the contact us page.

We take your security and privacy very seriously.  This site uses latest proactive security management and monitoring to protect against cyber attacks.

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