Chassis Num: 74582
Engine Num: 1111864
Sold for $220,000 at 2017 Bonhams
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.
The first true BMW was introduced in 1933 - the six-cylinder 303. It had a twin-tube frame and abandoned the rear swing axles of the prior cars in favor of a conventional live axle. In the front was a transverse-leaf independent suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. The overhead-valve, four-bearing engine provided the platform for the more potent and sporty models to follow.
In 1938, the 327 sports-tourer was introduce don a shortened, boxed, ladder-type chassis of the 326 saloon, shared by the 320, but without the torsion bars - instead, opting for a semi-elliptic rear spring setup. The gearbox was a Hurth four-speed manual unit with freewheel between 1st and 2nd gears, enabling clutch-less gear changes at low speeds. Hydraulic brakes could be found at all four corners.
By this point, BMW's pushrod six-cylinder engine had been enlarged to 1,972cc and offered 55 horsepower in the 327. It could also be ordered with the 328 sports car's 80 horsepower unit at an additional cost.
This particular example is a 327/328 Cabriolet that was discovered on Long Island in the 1980s. Since that time, it has been given a restoration over the last two decades.
The car was originally delivered to local German Agency 'Michel' on May 4th of 1939. It was sold in dark blue and black with a blue leather interior. Currently it wears a lighter two tone blue color scheme.
The car is powered by a 1,971cc overhead valve 6-cylinder engine fitted with 3 Solex Downdraft carburetors and offering 80 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2017
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 2007