Welcome to the Tributes, Memorial and Bereavements page. This is dedicated to those who have been part of the Borgward family in New Zealand and dear friends from overseas no longer with us and have gone to the great big Borgward factory in the sky.

At the very top of the list, of course, has to be:

Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Borgward (10 November 1890 – 28 July 1963, aged 72), Founder of the Borgward Group of Companies

Carl Frederick Willhelm Borgward was born on 10 Nov 1890 in Altova, a small town near Hamburg.

This beautifully produced “Borgward Brand History” from borgward.com.cn (China) is a great introduction to Carl’s story, best seen in Full screen view, using the 4 pointy-out arrows in the bottom right corner

He was described as one of Germany’s most talented and innovative engineers.

A few thoughts by Chris Butler (Kiwi enthusiast number 1)

Carl was a huge inspiration on me as a youth during the 1960”s and 1970’s. My father (Ray Butler) regularly visited his best mate (Alan Lindeman) in Springdale on the Hauraki Plains with me in tow as a youngster. Alan’s father Len owned a gorgeous 1955 Isabella Sedan which I admired as an eight year old. In 1968 Ray bought the Isabella off Len’s estate and immediately put me to work, looking after cleaning, maintenance (oil changes, greasing all 28 nipples and other routine maintenance), along with enjoying many family camping trips in this delightful motor vehicle.

As the years rolled on by, I came to deeply appreciate the Borgward marque and its founder, who resonated well with me – an engineer, craftsman, inventor, and entrepreneur. His style and methods he applied during his life was quite inspirational. I particularly liked his social conscience, where he cared and nurtured his workforce. I understand there was 0.2% attrition, one of the lowest ever recorded by any company.

His “roll-your-sleeves-up-and-get-on-with-it” is very much a style we Kiwi’s are familiar with.

Carl modelling the Isabella

It was sad the way the company’s demise occurred in 1961 with just 2 years later Carl leaving this mortal coil. His legacy continues and preservation of the Borgward marque grows stronger worldwide by the year. It is fantastic that Carl’s Grandson (Christian) has revived the name and the new company is looking to taking the big boys on.

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

Kiwi Enthusiasts

Raymond (Ray) Butler (29 December 1934 – 1 November 2017, aged 83): 1955 Isabella Sedan

Ray was a keen Borgward enthusiast, purchasing his 1955 Isabella Sedan in 1968 off his best mate (Alan Lindemann) father Len Lindemann, who was purported to purchase the first Isabella in January 1955. Apparently Len pestered Coutts & Co. in Auckland so much, they let him have the demonstrator.

Ray’s Borgward was regularly seen in Henderson, Mt Wellington, Rotorua and Tauranga.

Karen (Ray’s eldest daughter) recalls

One morning when my husband Steve Dukeson and I were visiting Mum and dad in Welcome bay, Tauranga, Dad asked us if we’d like to drive the Blue Borgward. Of course we said yes!. So off we went to a remote country lane not far from their house far away from traffic!
Way back in the 70’s I learnt to drive  with a manual car, so I did have that advantage.
I sat in the seat thinking “I’ve got this!” and after 2 attempts  of trying to get the clutch and accelerator going, off I went, I remember thinking how heavy this car is compared to the tin ones we drive nowadays.
I also thought “how lucky am I to be driving such a rare and special car, as not many people in new Zealand would have this opportunity to drive a Borgward!”
Then Steve had a drive, and of course, he got going first time!

Steve recalls ” I certify that the above is true and correct, subject only to the theory of relativity and, of course, quantum physics

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Jack Brougham , Tuamarina Track ( – 2019): 1960 Isabella TS Sedan