Two side windows or three side windows? Beijing Limousine, 1958.
This is a difficult subject. With my friend Robert Jablonski I have a heavy discussion about the existence of a long wheelbase version of the 1958 Beijing Limousine (first generation).
I have written before about this car.
As comment on the article Robert sent me this text: 经过18天的紧张试制，9月28日，北京汽车制造厂共造出4辆“北京”牌轿车样车，其中两辆为敞篷软顶，第三辆为硬顶三排座，第四辆则是为了检验三排座样车加长轴距后的影响，采用第三辆样车的发动机和底盘，并改变车身后拼装而成。
(Google Translate:) After 18 days of intense trial production, on September 28 (1958), Beijing Automobile Manufacturing Plant produced a total of 4 “Beijing” brand car prototypes, two of which were open-top soft roof, the third was a hard-top three-row seat, and the fourth is in order to examine the effect of the three-row seat prototype car with a longer wheelbase, the engine and chassis of the third prototype car were used, and the body was changed and assembled.
In my article for China Car History I described the open car (1*06227), an inspection model of which two were made, and the closed car (1*06228), a sedan, which seemed to have three rows of seats, probably two folding seats like the Hongqi CA770.
Roberts additional text says that the 1*06228 had been used to refit it into a longer version. Long wheelbase, lengthened chassis, body work adjusted, using the same engine.
By the way, about the engine and the other specs of the sedan (closed limo) we have new information:
Six seats, 5777X2070X1688 mm, wheelbase 3231 mm. Curb weight 2350kg, maximum speed 160km/h., fuel consumption 18L/100km. Tires 7.00×15. Engine 5120cc, 100×81.5 mm, 7.5:1, 180hp/4400rpm.
Interesting differences between the ‘inspection car’ and the closed limo: length (inspection 5500mm, closed 5777mm), weigth (inspection 1990kg, closed 2350kg) and the V8-engine size (inspection 5480cc, closed 5120cc).
That brings us back to the question: was there really a long wheelbase version of the Beijing? The proof is very small: debatable interpretation of three pictures, one internet text (endless repeted of course).
What we need is a good and convincing picture of the 1*06228 in its long wheelbase version. Who is going to deliver that picture??