1939 BMW 328 news, pictures, specifications, and information
The 328, produced at the BMW factory between 1936 and 1940, was bodied by Fritz Fiedler, who had joined the company from Horch in 1932. It was a light, stylish, and aerodynamic sports car with advanced features like a tubular space frame chassis and a 6-cylinder engine with twin overhead valves and a hemispherical head, which could produce 80 bhp and deliver speeds of 100 mph. And the car was priced at just $3,500, a bargain for such quality performance. The car was considered by many journalists to be one of the best cars of the era, and it is still considered one of the premier prewar vehicles. This car was delivered on April 6, 1939, to Walter Dingel, a lieutenant in the German army in Magdeburg, Germany. He raced the car in local events, and during World War II, he hid the car in the mechanic's shop. The car was eventually rediscovered and restored to original condition.
Sold for $176,000 at 2014 RM Auctions
A decade after coming into existence, The Bayerische Motoren Werke Company began building its first automobile. They began life as an aero engine manufacturer and was purchased in 1928 by the Dixi Werke of Eisenach and continued to manufacture the smallest Dixi product, a license-built version of the Austin Seven. In January of 1929, the company adopted the BMW badge for these cars.
By 1934, BMW was building the Type 315 fitted with a 1490cc engine with 40 brake horsepower (in triple-carburetor tune). The Type 326 was introduced at the 1936 Berlin Auto Show. The 326 would serve as a replacement for the Type 320, a cheaper four-cylinder car. The 326, the company's first four-door sedan, featured a 1971cc engine offering 50 horsepower and a top speed of 72 mph. In comparison to BMW's prior products, this vehicle was much more streamlined and it would define the marque until World War II.
Shortly after introducing the Type 326, the company introduced the 327 - a short-chassis, two-seat coupe or convertible. Next came the Type 328 with a 1971cc engine with a new crossflow head with hemispherical combustion chambers, which used short horizontal pushrods to operate opposing exhaust valves from the single camshaft. This gave twin-cam performed with less complexity and lower cost. The cars had a twin-tube chassis and clothed in a two-seat sporting body. The standard model was capable of achieving 96 mph. British driver S.C.H. 'Sammy' Davis drove a lightweight prototype example at Brooklands to a speed of 102.16. A streamlined 328 won the two-liter class at Le Mans in 1939, and the same car, which was part of a five-car team, won the 1940 Mille Miglia outright.
The BMW 328 was available only as a compact two-seater. In 1938, the more powerful 328 engine became available in the 327, which was designated somewhat ambiguously as the 327/28. Production would continue through 1940, with a total of 482 Sport cabriolets, 86 Sport Coupes, and one bare chassis being created.
This particular example was purchased in 2001 by a collector in Germany from Heinz Landzettel. In 2003, the car was given an extensive body-off restoration. During that time, the original M328, which is the heart of the 327/28, was replaced with an identical power unit that had been fully rebuilt. The exterior was finished in a two-tone grey scheme, with the interior in grey leather upholstery and carpeting.
In 2007, this 328 was sold to Latvian collector Mark Meerov, before coming to the United States more recently. Since the restoration work was completed in 2003, the car has been driven just 1,703 kilometers.
The engine is an overhead valve six-cylinder unit displacing 1971cc and offering 80 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2014
The company Touring in Milan built a particularly light-weight 'superleggera' coupe body on the BMW 328 chassis for use in fast long-distance races. The improved aerodynamics were intended to achieve much higher speeds.
This car was first used in June 1939 in the 24-Hour race at Le Mans. Max Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe and Hans Wencher won the 2-liter sports-car class in a new record time and came in 5th overall. In April 1940, the car driven by Fritz Huschke van Hanstein and Walter Baummer, won a commanding overall victory in the Mille Miglia. Success and the overall concept make this vehicle a unique racing legend.
The Coupe raced for the last time at the Ruhestein Hillclimb in July 1946, the first German race held after the war. BMW Classic acquired this car in 2002 and carried out a comprehensive restoration, returning the car to its original condition. The coupe is on display at the BMW Museum but it also campaigns in events such as the Mille Miglia Retrospective.
The car is powered by a 1971 cc six-cylinder inline engine developing 136 horsepower coupled to a four-speed gearbox and is capable of 137 miles per hour.
The BMW 328 was introduced in 1936 and 464 were produced before production stopped in 1940. This example was one of six that survived the war and was the last 328 chassis built. It was dispatched to A.F.N. (Archie Frazer-Nash) in England, the sold importers of BMWs at the time, to have a custom streamlined body fitted. This roadster featured a 4-speed transmission coupled to 120.3 cubic-inch inline 6-cylinder OHV engine developing 79 horsepower with a top speed of 93 mph. The 328 was praised for its handling and this particular car finished 6th in its class, 12th overall, at the Spa-Francorchamps race in 1949, piloted by Dickie Stoop.
Chassis Num: 85351
Engine Num: 361954
Sold for $550,000 at 2016 RM Auctions
BMW entered automobile production in 1929 after they acquired the German firm Dixi, which was building licensed version of the four-cylinder Austin 7. A few years later, in 1932, they began developing its first inline six-cylinder engine, which initially offered 40 horsepower. It was continually improved and gradually enlarged over the years that followed, receiving its most important upgrade in 1936 with the application of a new hemispherical head with lateral inclined intake valve and crossover push-rods for the exhaust. Horsepower rose to 80 BHP, which meant it had doubled it initial output capabilities.
The engine, now displacing two liters, was given a lightweight two-seat roadster built and a tube-frame chassis with an independent front wishbone suspension setup. Introduced as the BMW 328 in April of 1936, it was used by the company in racing endeavors, with chassis number 85001 debuting to a 1st overall finished at the Eifelrennen Nürburgring where it was piloted by Ernst Henne. The first customer car was delivered a year later, in April of 1937.
In 1938, the 328 won around 125 events, including 1-2-3 finishes at the Mille Miglia, International Avusrunnen, GP des Frontières, and two victories at the Nürburgring. At Le Mans in 1939, a three-car team entry finished 5th, 7th, and 9th. At the 1940 Mille Miglia, the team cars finished 1st and 3rd, and privateers finished 5th and 6th.
By September of 1939, BMW had produced 464 examples of the 328.
The early history of this particular BMW 328 is not known and remains a mystery. By the late 1980s, it was in the care of Ralph Day of California. He frequently entered the roadster in major events, including the 1988 Mille Miglia Storica, and the 8th Interstate Batteries Great American Race in 1990, a Gumball Rally style coast-to-coast marathon that ran from Westchester County, New York, to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
The current caretaker acquired the car in 1996. Since that time, the 328 has participated in several editions of the California Mille and the Colorado Grand. The car competed in the Monterey Historics in 1999, 2000, 2005, 2011, and 2012; and ran in the Classic Sport Racing Group's Thunderhill in 1999 and 2000; and at Concord Hill in 1999. It also appeared at the 2000 Sears Point Wine Classic, the 2007 Wine Country Classic, and the 2012 Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival.
This BMW has a period BMW engine in 328 configuration with later updates for improved power and reliability. It has been given a Volvo synchromesh gearbox, although the original unit remains with the car. It has a driver's-side racing windscreen, and again, it is accompanied with the more traditional two-piece windshield. It has a convertible soft-top, tonneau cover, and a pair of rear-wheel skirts.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2016
In 1936, BMW (Bavarian Motor Works) introduced the Type 328. The vehicle was stylish and aerodynamic. The design of the vehicle, courtesy of Fritz Fiedler, provided excellent handling and the inline-six cylinder engine produced excellent performance. The engine featured a cast iron block and dual overhead valves per cylinder bank. The total output was around 80 horsepower. The engine was placed in the front and provided power to the rear wheels. The body panels were constructed of a light-weight alloy. The chassis was comprised of a tubular space frame construction.
As was sometimes the custom with many early European vehicles, the coachwork was handled by a custom coachbuilder. Examples exist where the famous Figoni et Falaschi Carrosserie of Paris, France outfitted the vehicle with exquisit designs.
The vehicle was very successful on the racing circuit winning such races as a class win at the Mille Miglia in 1938. In 1940 it was first in class and first overall. At the 1939 Le Mans 24 Hour race it place fifth overall and first in class. A 328 won the RAC Rally in 1939.
During the close of the 1940's, Jaguar introduced the XK-120, a vehicle that was similar in design to the BMW Type 328.
By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2006
The BMW 328 Roadster was a compact two-seater with leather straps adorning the front hood and a very potent force in the racing scene. It was powered by a lightweight six-cylinder engine bred from the success of its siblings, and fitted to a short-wheelbase chassis, the 328's were very sporty, culminating with a win at the 1940 Mille Miglia.
Racing has always been important; it perfects the breed and promotes the brand. BMW's six-cylinder engine from the 1934 315 became the basis for 328. The 1.5-liter version had modest success in its racing class, but more was required to keep it competitive in the under 2-liter category. A new, larger version of the engine was developed, resulting in an increase in horsepower to 55 bhp. This was an increase by 15hp. The new engine was fitted to a chassis and dubbed the 319. Visually, few aesthetic differences existed between the 315 and the 319. They were nearly identical, except under-hood.
In 1936, the 326 was introduced. It was a larger vehicle to the 315 but had 55 horsepower. The increase in horsepower and size gave it only a slight increase in performance over its 315 sibling. The following year, a two-seater cabriolet version was introduced, called the 327. This, in similar guise to the 319, was unable to match its performance resulting in slow sales.
BMW responded by improving their engine, creating a new cylinder head, and modifying the valve train. The valve train was very similar to other marque's of the day, such as Riley and Talbot, where a lateral camshaft actuated the inlet and outlet valves with push-rods and rocker arms. Installed opposite to one another, with each on either sides of the engine, resulting in a hemispherical combustion chamber. These modifications gave the engine a significant boost in power, up by 25bhp over its predecessor, to 80bhp.
In 1936, the engine made its debut in the 328 at the Eiffel Rennen race. It was piloted by Ernst Henne and easily won the 2-liter class. On its inaugural race, the engine had proven to be reliable and powerful. Privateers took notice, and help make the vehicle both a sales success and a dominate force on the racing circuit.
The 328 was given drum brakes in both front and rear, a rack-and-pinon steering setup, and a tubular steel chassis. The lightweight aluminum body concealed the 2-liter, six-cylinder engine and its available 80 horsepower. The engine had a cast-iron block and aluminum heads with two-valves per cylinder. The front suspension featured swing axles and transverse leaf springs while in the rear there was a live axle and semi-elliptic leaf springs. The engine was mated to a ZF four-speed manual gearbox and sent power to the rear wheels. The standard wheelbase size for the roadsters was 94.5 inches and a length of 153.5 inches. With an overweight of around 1800 lbs, the pre-War BMW 328 was very lightweight, nimble, and fast.
The 328 came in various configurations, such as roadster and cabriolets. Custom coachbuilders such as Wendler and Drauz, and Glaeser created many of the cabriolet versions, noted for their luxurious amenities and elegant style. The Roadster bodies were the standard configuration with most assembled by the factory. Touring was tasked with creating purpose-built versions for the 1939 24 Hours of LeMans. The 'Superlegerra' (Meaning lightweight) construction methods were used coupled with a design meant to minimize drag. The result was astonishing, with a fifth place overall finish and an outright victory in the two-liter class.
For 1940, BMW turned their sights on the grueling Mille Miglia race. Five cars were entered and one emerged in first place. Baron Fritz Huschke von Kanstein drove a special-bodied BMW 328 Coupe to victory. It featured a streamlined body with aluminum and magnesium alloy construction. Overall, the 328's finished in first, third, fifth and sixth at the 1940 Mille Miglia. The 3rd, 5th, and 6th positions were captured by roadster bodied 328s. The final 328 version entered in the race was a limousine-bodied car that was tailored for racing and given aerodynamic features courtesy of Professor Wunibald Kamm. It was driven by Count Lurani but failed to finish the race.
During the production lifespan of the 328, BMW and Frazer Nash both produced 328s. BMW supplied the British-based Frazer Nash Company with rolling chassis. Total production for all 328 models was around 426 with around half still in existence.
The 328 engine would be used in the post-war Era, by BMW, Bristol, and AC in various forms. It would be used to power such cars as Cooper Bristols Formula 2 racers.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2008
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