The legendary BMW 328
There are very few cars that have managed to grab the attention of connoisseurs and the public alike for 75 years. But, the historic, and legendary, BMW 328 is one such car.
With its rich and revolutionary racing heritage, the 328 was one of the very first BMW sports cars to dominate motorsport. Built between 1936 and 1940, the BMW 328 laid down a milestone in automotive history, and was the most successful sports car of the 1930’s and 40’s on the racing scene. The BMW 328 continued to enjoy success in international competition all the way into the 1950’s – and this makes it one of the most successful racing cars in BMW’s long history in motorsport.
The 328 was an open-top, two-seater race car prototype that beautifully applied the perfect mix of lightweight design, ideal weight distribution, aerodynamic lines, a powerful engine, and a meticulously tuned chassis to deliver incredible performance and flawless road holding. Series production of the car began in 1937, and its design boasted flowing forms with a curved front end and a pair of slim, traditional kidney-shaped air intakes, headlights integrated into the front wings, a low sloping windscreen, and a curvaceous rear end. The car was also fitted with a hard top later on.
The 328’s place in the history of motorsport was cemented when Huschke von Hanstein took an aerodynamically enhanced BMW 328 to first place in 1940 at an average speed of just under 100mph – the record for the highest average speed ever at the Mille Miglia, one of the most famous road races of all time. Don’t forget, this was 1940, and the race was run on public roads!
And while it was a fine racing machine, it was also equally as impressive in everyday use. On the road, it was one of the quickest cars around at the time, and its 2.0 litre straight-6 engine, with hemispherical combustion chambers, was capable of producing 85bhp. Only 464 units were ever made, and only 200 have survived – with 120 original 328’s still in Germany. And that’s why the BMW 328 is one of the most sought-after collector cars on the market today. The 328 is an enormously strong part of the BMW’s heritage, and it embodies all the values that the manufacturer stands for even today.