The United Kingdom Borgward Drivers Club

 

Link to our AGMs at the bottom of this page.

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The club was founded in 1980 by Robert Richmond-Jones and there are now in excess of 100 members. The Club's aim is to promote enthusiasm for, and interest in, Borgward, Hansa, Lloyd and Goliath vehicles, which, despite their excellence, have had only sporadic coverage by the motoring press. The Club provides assistance with the acquisition, maintenance or restoration of as many vehicles as possible.
There is a Spares' Secretary, who can provide practically all of the parts off the shelf to keep Isabellas on the road. Other models are catered for as well and he has many contacts in other clubs across the world, to help in the acquisition of parts.
The Club endeavours to provide technical and practical help, from the accumulated knowledge and literature of its members, in overcoming any difficulties which any prospective Borgward owner or enthusiast is likely to encounter. In collaboration with other car clubs, we hope to fight legislation that may eventually ban old vehicles from the road.

A committee, elected from the most dedicated and enthusiastic members, runs the club. All work is done on a voluntary and unpaid basis, and involves many hours of hard work. It is in regular contact with similar clubs in Germany, The USA, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa, Austria and Belgium and is affiliated with the 'Borgward Interessengemeinschaft' of Essen, which has 700 members. During the summer months members are encouraged to enter local shows and display their cars. It has held Sprint type test days at racing circuits such as Castle Combe and Goodwood, as well as the occasional treasure hunt. Other gatherings, including the regular regional Pub get-togethers, provide opportunities for exchanging parts and experiences. A few members enjoy fairly regular get-togethers at the Brooklands Club.

The official start to the season is the AGM, normally held in April, and the club regularly exhibits at the indoors Classic Car Show at the NEC in Birmingham and outdoor shows at Enfield. Every September Club members, in up to seven Borgwards, drive to the international meeting in Germany, hosted by the 'Borgward Interessengemeinschaft', where around 300 Borgwards, Hansas Lloyds and Goliaths gather from all over the Continent. This too offers an opportunity to buy parts for our rarer vehicles.

Members are kept in touch with club activities through a regular NewsSheet, quarterly Newsletter and biennial Journal. A current yearly subscription of 20 means we make no profit.
A new member will receive with their membership card, the latest copy of the Newsletter and journal, a car sticker plus a list of current members. Some back numbers of the Journal are available at 4.50 per copy, additional stickers at £1.90 and mugs at 6.95. Please phone or email the club secretary Norman Williams +44(0)121 429 7169 borgwardclub@btinternet.com for more information. Membership forms are on the forms page.

The Club provides workshop manuals, owner's handbooks and the like on this website for all. We encourage overseas members as well and indeed have /have had members from Australia, Eire, Africa, Australia, Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Eire, Germany, South Africa, Gibraltar, Italy, Malta and the USA.

Easily the mainstay of the Club, the most popular model is the Isabella and although the Saloon was at one time the most prevalent of the range the Coupé is now definitely seen in far greater numbers.
The Borgward Drivers Club is part of the V765/1 List of Vehicle Owners Club scheme and members of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs. We are able to assist members with DVLA registration in the U.K.
A noted rally driver Bill Blydenstein, raced Borgwards in the 1950's, achieving many successes in the class. Today Gavin Watson races in the Touring Car Greats series in his Isabella saloon.

 

Borgwards Today

In the United Kingdom, the most popular model is the Isabella and although the Saloon was at one time the most prevalent of the range, the Coupe is now definitely seen in far greater numbers. Driving a representative Isabella today, especially a TS, immediately instils confidence and actively encourages the driver to drive with exuberance and flair. Everything works as it should, with total precision and total lack of vagueness. The handling of the car is very modern and it always feels like a driver's car. It is a car that wills you on with precious little restraint. The engine is always willing, right from cold, and revs quite happily at the top end, just surging the big car forward. It is always difficult to believe that a mere 1500cc can achieve such a performance and, with such utter flexibility, cruising effortlessly at 82 mph. One can floor the car in third, without any hesitation from as low as 15 mph and then straight on up to 80 mph. Doing the same thing in top gear at around 60 mph shoves the driver back into the seat and the car soars all the way up to around 100 mph.
The column change may appear a bit out of touch with the engine at first, but its sheer preciseness, coupled with an excellent all synchro box, makes it a joy to shift gear. The biggest pleasure of all is the handling. The precise steering feeds all the information back to the driver that is needed. The all independent suspension and excellent weight distribution, between the front and rear (nearly 50/50 on the Coupe), endows the car with extremely high cornering powers.
The car wills the driver to corner harder and harder all the time, especially in the wet. It will oversteer eventually but provided the driver keeps the power on tap it will always be gradual and easily correctable. Even sudden braking, on a bend, does not exhibit the sudden and vicious oversteer slide exhibited in other swing axle cars. The brakes are good drum brakes, as drum brakes go, but they are obviously not as good as a modem disc system. Having said that, they will stop well from 80 or 90 mph provided the driver allows them to cool slightly before a repeat performance.
The only real reservation about the car is the 6-volt electrical system. Although it is very reliable and does everything it should, the headlights are fine until doused by an oncoming vehicle running on 12 volt 100 watt halogens! 6-volt halogens can be bought but if the car is to be used as regular transport at night, converting to 12 volts can be a worthwhile investment and is cheap and easy.
In 1956 Mike Hawthorn road tested the new Isabella Saloon TS for the Sunday Express:
"If only the German Borgward Isabella T S. were British!".
"Top speed was a decimal point below 100 mph".
"It goes! And it goes in comfort, and the petrol pumps are spaced a very long way apart".
In 1958 John Bolster from Autosport tested the Isabella Coupé:

"The Borgward Coupe is an exceptionally attractive car, thoroughly well made, and with very high quality finish".
"Isabella has all the character you could possibly want".
"If you drive her flat out mile after mile, fairly flinging her through the corners, she just seems to laugh at you, and challenge you to drive harder!"
"I have driven more powerful and faster cars that give me far less pleasure".
"In my opinion it is a really good car, and I wish that it were made in Birmingham instead of Bremen."

Values in the UK 2014-2015 Click Here

 


Compiled and Sourced by Nick Driscoll

If you wish to join the Borgward Drivers Club please make use of the following forms,
please print a copy and forward to;

Norman Williams
158, Willow Avenue,
Edgbaston,
BIRMINGHAM.
B17 8HG

+44 (0) 121 429 7169

email: borgwardclub@btinternet.com

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Just click on the AGM for more.

AGM 2015 At Brooklands Museum Weybridge.
AGM 2014 At Aspley Guise Village Hall
AGM 2013 At Aspley Guise Village Hall
AGM 2011 At Aspley Guise Village Hall
AGM 2010 At Peter Groves House
AGM 2009 At Paul Kings North London House
AGM 2008 At Paul Kings North London House
AGM 2007 At Aspley Guise Village Hall
AGM 2006 At Aspley Guise Village Hall