1950 'Berlin lll' E2 Class racing sports boat
Kurt Hersch had designed and built fast patrol craft during WW2 and set up his boatbuilding company in 1946. He was active in the fledgling sportsboat racing scene after the war both as builder and driver and he was to construct several Berlin boats for Jurgen Baginski. With Berlin lll he is recorded as winning a Ribband trophy on Lake Starnberg in 1953 and with a later Berlin Vl he won the World Championships at Cannes in 1956.
BMW Veritas was set up by BMW employee Ernst Loof in 1946 at Messkirch to produce motors for sportsboats. With original BMW engines being in short supply, they initially took six cylinder overhead camshaft motors from the Heinkel Company.
Designed by Max Steaves it was built by Bootsbau Gersch, Weisbaden, for racing driver Jürgen Baginski.
The hull which is of laminated timber over Cedar frames and timbers, is finely paint finished with polished laminated timber decks and a moulded cowling to the engine compartment and cockpit. The engine cover is fitted with emblematic BMW style split ventilators and pierced for the six polished exhaust pipes.
The two-seat cockpit with curved acrylic screen and left hand wheel steering with hand gear shift is upholstered in red and has a veneered dashboard fitted with gauges, stopwatch and speedometer. Behind the cockpit a curved cowling, reminiscent of the Veritas racing car, houses the fuel filler.
The motor is a BMW Veritas double overhead camshaft alloy engine of six cylinders and 1,998cc displacement, returning approximately 100bhp. Originally a BMW 321 unit, this has been rebuilt to 328 specifications with triple carburettors and straight through exhaust.
The hull and motor were extensively restored between 2006-2010 and have been maintained since in exceptional order.
With superb detailing and finish, Berlin lll is a first class example of the small high performance sportsboat of the 1950's and may well be the earliest surviving BMW powered post-war racer.
Ready for the water, she would not be out of place at any Classic sportsboat regatta or in a BMW aficionado's collection. Bonhams recommend close inspection of this unique piece.