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BMW History

1937 BMW 328

Chassis number : 85095

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Sold for $990,000 at 2014 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction.
At the annual Eifelrennen event held at the Nurburgring on June 14th, 1936, Ernst Henne outpaced a field in a prototype of what would become the legendary 328. This achievement was accomplished only eight years after BMW's establishment as an automobile manufacturer.

In 1928, Dixi works at Eisenach was purchased and provided BMW, a manufacturer of aero engines motorcycles, a foothold in car manufacturing. Dixi's built-under-license version of the Austin Seven was gradually developed and improved, ending up with swing-axle suspension and overhead valves. In 1933, the first true BMW was introduced - the six-cylinder 303. It had a twin-tube frame and a conventional live axle setup, in place of the rear swing axles. In the front was a transverse-leaf independent suspension along with rack-and-pinion steering. This setup, along with the four-bearing, overhead-valve engine, would provide the basis for the models that followed.

The BMW 328 was given the tubular chassis, transverse-leaf independent front suspension and live rear axle of the 319. The hydraulic brakes and the cylinder block were sourced from the 326. Style elements of the 319/1 Sport and 329 were used for the body of the 328. BMW's Chief Engineer Fritz Fiedler gave the 328 a frame that was both light, rigid, and stiff, making the 328 a modern and competitive sports car.

Rudolf Schleicher designed the new cylinder head for the six-cylinder engine, which incorporated hemispherical combustion chambers and inclined valves without recourse to overhead, or twin camshafts. The Type 326 1971cc engine's single, block-mounted camshaft and pushrod valve actuation were retained, and two rocker shafts were employed, one situated above each bank of valves. This gave the engine the external appearance of a twin-overhead-cam setup. It also featured down-draught inlet ports. The normally aspirated 2-liter engine offered approximately 80 horsepower, with more available depending on configuration.

The prototype examples of the 328 were designed to showcase the potential of the car. They were built without doors and were clothed in lightweight aluminum coachwork. Available from the late summer of 1936, the production 328s featured doors and a convertible top, along with a luxurious and comfortable interior.

The BMW 328 were very competitive, winning its class at the Mille Miglia, Le Mans, Spa 24 Hours and Britain's Tourist Trophy. In 1940, a specially designed example with aerodynamic bodywork won the Mille Miglia outright. Even after World War II, the BMW 328 was still competitive.

During the production lifespan of the 328, lasting from 1936 and 1939, just 426 examples were produced. It is believed that fewer than 200 examples remain in modern times.

This example, chassis number 85095, was completed on June 26th of 1937, and was delivered in chassis form via agent Automag, Buchner and Linse. It is believed that the car was sent to coachbuilders Ludwig Weinberger in Munich to receive the bodywork it wears to this day. Weinberger also bodied the Bugatti Royale that now resides in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Weinberger clothed the 328 in steel and the bodies were slightly broader, allowing for more commodious driving compartment.

It is believed that after the War, the car spent some time in government storage until being sold in the 1960s. It came to the United States through dealer and historian Martin Schroeder and into the care of Dr. Frederick Simeone of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 328 would then pass to another noted North American collector, before arriving in the present owner's care in 2010. The new owner treated the car to a ground-up, comprehensive restoration. In 2013, the work was completed and it was entered on the Mille Miglia. Unfortunately, it failed to complete the rally, as a minor technical glitch caused its retirement. After the Mille Miglia, it was shipped to the UK where its engine was professionally rebuilt.

The engine is a 1971cc overhead valve six-cylinder unit fitted with 3 Solex Downdraft carburetors. The 80 horsepower is sent to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. At all four corners are hydraulic drum brakes.


By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014

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2014 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction

Sale Price :
USD $990,000

1937 BMW 328 Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the BMW 328

(Data based on Model Year 1937 sales)
1937 BMW 328 ROADSTER
Chassis#: 85138
Sold for USD$874,000
  2022 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
1937 BMW 328 image  1937 BMW 328 image  
1937 BMW 328
Chassis#: 85059
Sold for USD$830,000
  2020 Gooding & Company : Scottsdale Arizona
 
1937 BMW 328 ROADSTER
Chassis#: 85095
Sold for USD$990,000
  2014 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction
1937 BMW 328 image  1937 BMW 328 image  
1937 BMW 328 Roadster
Chassis#: 85135
Sold for USD$517,000
  2012 Gooding and Company - The Scottsdale Auction
1937 BMW 328 image  1937 BMW 328 image  
1937 BMW 328 Roadster
Chassis#: 85079
Sold for USD$667,000
  2010 Bonhams - Quail Lodge
 
1937 BMW 328
Sold for USD$302,500
  2009 Automobiles of Amelia Island
1937 BMW 328 image  1937 BMW 328 image  

BMW 328s That Failed To Sell At Auction

1937 BMW 328's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1937 BMW 328 ROADSTER 2011 Rétromobile   
1937 BMW 328 Roadster 2002 Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction$180,000  

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1937 BMW 328 Profiles

1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: 85337
1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Autenrieth
Chassis #: 85112
Engine #: 85112
1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Roadster
Coachwork: Touring
Chassis #: 85135
Engine #: 85209
1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Wendler
1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: 85095
Engine #: 85095
1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Roadster
Coachwork: Touring
Chassis #: 85014
1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Roadster
Coachwork: Touring
1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: DPX 653
1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Roadster
Coachwork: Touring
1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Roadster
Coachwork: Touring
1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Roadster
Coachwork: Touring
Chassis #: 85021
1937 BMW 328 vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: 85138
Engine #: 85138