1938 BMW 327 Cabriolet  Chassis no. 73234 Engine no. 73234

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Lot 261
1938 BMW 327 Cabriolet
Chassis no. 73234 Engine no. 73234

Sold for US$ 144,500 inc. premium
1938 BMW 327 Cabriolet
Chassis no. 73234
Engine no. 73234
The three letters of the BMW acronym literally span the full alphabet of performance machines...four- and two-wheeled... and the winged kind as well. The Munich-based Bayerische Motoren Werke aka Bavarian Motor Works dates it founding to March 7, 1916 when initially involved in designing and building aircraft engines. After WWI the focus switched from aircraft engines to the less glamorous manufacture of air brakes for railroad cars but eventually BMW resumed its aircraft endeavors in 1922 quickly establishing some 29 aviation records. During the same year the company added motorcycles to its production line-up and then progressed to cars in 1929. At the time BMW’s chief aircraft engine designer, who by the way had no use for either cars or motorcycles, eventually came up with the now famous “boxer” engine. (He also added his love of aviation via the BMW logo, a stylized propeller, although others attribute it to the official colors of Munich, perhaps a combination of both.)

Car production was centered at BMW’s Eisenbach factory, beginning with a 743cc four cylinder engine producing a non-staggering 15bhp and a top speed of 50mph. But the handwriting was on the garage wall. Bigger…and faster…things were to come. By 1930 BMW was scoring its first racing wins. Two years later it could point to its first “real car,” a completely in-house design for a new saloon model called the AM 4. Then in 1933 BMW designers debuted the 303 powered by the company’s first inline-six cylinder power unit, a configuration that has stood the test of time along with the car’s distinctive twin “kidney” shaped radiator grilles.

The direct predecessor to the 1938 Model 327 seen here appeared in 1936 as the type 326, a four-door sedan with a power output of 50bhp and noted for its streamlined design. The next evolution was the BMW 327 made even “sportier” by being placed on a shortened version of the BMW 326 chassis and considered one of the most “progressive designs of the 1930s.” Beneath its elegant underpinnings the car benefited from hydraulic brakes as well as the advanced gear box, clutch and front suspension system first seen on the 326, along with the live axle used on the BMW 320 and high performance BMW 328. The 327 shared with the 326 the 1971cc straight 6-cylinder power plant, although the 327 boasted a power increase to 55bhp making it capable of 125kmh.

First introduced in November 1937, the 327 was literally a “sensational success,”
stunningly styled by Peter Schimanowski and epitomizing the German touring car of the period thanks to its sensuously sleek, curvaceous lines highlighted by its long bonnet and the distinctive rear end treatment with its spare tire enclosure. During its 1938-40 production run, only1396 type 327s were made, including both cabriolet and coupe models with relatively few surviving.

The 327 was very much a status symbol in the capitols of Europe during the 1930-40s and fans of veteran BMWs consider the 327 Cabriolet to be one of the most beautiful convertibles of its time and a benchmark in the illustrious history of BMW. This exemplary cabriolet model 327 seen here, dressed in the period correct two-tone ivory and black exterior set off by an interior of red leather with black piping, is a first-time offering from a highly regarded Portland vintage automobile collection. It comes with full maintenance and repair manual, owner's handbook and parts book. Moreover it benefits from quality restoration work performed over a 10-year period by Ray South complemented earlier this year by further attention to the car’s mechanicals by the BMW specialists at Burback Motors.
1938 BMW 327 Cabriolet  Chassis no. 73234 Engine no. 73234
1938 BMW 327 Cabriolet  Chassis no. 73234 Engine no. 73234
1938 BMW 327 Cabriolet  Chassis no. 73234 Engine no. 73234
1938 BMW 327 Cabriolet  Chassis no. 73234 Engine no. 73234
1938 BMW 327 Cabriolet  Chassis no. 73234 Engine no. 73234
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