<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)

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Lot 27
1939 BMW 328 Roadster

Sold for US$ 621,000 inc. premium
1939 BMW 328 Roadster
Chassis no. 85446
Engine no. 85446 (see text)

1,971cc OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
3 Solex Downdraft Carburetors
80bhp at 5,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Front Independent Suspension - Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes

*Desirable top-of-the-line, competition-derived 328 Roadster
*In current ownership for more than three decades
*Eligible for the most prestigious tours and rallies including the Mille Miglia
*One of only 464 examples built


THE BMW 328

"The BMW 328 is legendary. It is acknowledged by car enthusiasts all over the world as having a special pedigree, presence and uniqueness. It is definitely among the most attractive, successful, and influential sports cars ever built." - Rainer Simons, BMW 328: From Roadster to Legend

BMW's emergence as a manufacturer of fine sporting motor cars can be traced back to the annual Eifelrennen event held at the Nürburgring on June 14th, 1936. At this Eifelrennen event, Ernst Henne beat a field that included 1½-liter monoposto racing cars driving the prototype of what would become one of the most iconic sports cars of all time—the legendary 328. The fact that this overwhelming victory had been achieved only eight years after BMW's establishment as an automobile manufacturer is all the more remarkable.

It had been the acquisition of the Dixi works at Eisenach in 1928 that provided BMW, hitherto a manufacturer of aero engines and motorcycles, with 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. Then, in 1933, came the first true BMW—the six-cylinder 303. The latter adopted a twin-tube frame and abandoned the rear swing axles in favor of a conventional live axle, while up front there was a superior transverse-leaf independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. These features, along with the four-bearing, overhead-valve engine, would provide the basis for the more powerful and sportingly inclined models to follow.

Lacking the resources of larger and longer established rivals, BMW adopted an evolutionary "mix and match" approach to model development. Thus, the 328 employed the tubular chassis, transverse-leaf independent front suspension, and live rear axle of the 319; the cylinder block and hydraulic brakes of the 326; and a body incorporating stylistic elements of the 319/1 Sport and 329. With the 328, BMW's Chief Engineer Fritz Fiedler turned accepted chassis design on its head. Fritz developed a frame that combined lightness and stiffness in equal measure--virtues that permitted the use of relatively soft springing with all its attendant advantages. In short, the 328 was the first truly modern sports car.

The 328's six-cylinder engine featured an ingenious new cylinder head, designed by Rudolf Schleicher, which incorporated hemispherical combustion chambers and inclined valves without recourse to overhead, or twin camshafts. Instead, the Type 326, 1,971cc engine's single, block-mounted camshaft and pushrod valve actuation were retained; thus, avoiding an expensive redesign. Two rocker shafts were employed, one situated above each bank of valves, giving the engine an external appearance almost indistinguishable from that of a twin-overhead-cam design. Down-draught inlet ports contributed to the motor's deep breathing, and its tune-ability made it a popular choice for British racing car constructors. Most notably Cooper, during the 1950s. The 328-engine produced 80bhp, an exemplary output for a normally aspirated 2.0-liter unit at that time, with more available in race trim.

The two door-less 328 prototypes, and the first batch of cars, were lightweight racers with aluminum coachwork intended to establish the model's competition credentials before production proper got under way. Available from the late summer of 1936, the production 328s featured doors and a convertible top, and were well-equipped and comfortable in the manner of the best Grands Routiers. On the racetrack, the 328 reigned supreme, with outings at Nürburgring, and winning its class at the Mille Miglia, Le Mans, Spa 24 Hours, and Britain's Tourist Trophy. In 1940, an example fitted with special aerodynamic bodywork won the Mille Miglia outright.

The most advanced sports car of its day, the 328 remained competitive for years after the war, a state of affairs that only served to further enhance its reputation, which was out of all proportion to the limited number produced. Between 1936 and 1939, only 464 BMW 328s were made, of which fewer than 200 are believed to exist today.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

BMW 328 Roadster chassis number 85446 is understood to have been completed in 1939, in the final production year for the model. Although the early history of this sporting 328 Roadster remains indistinct, it is known to have made its way to the US after WWII and then owned by California-based collectors. By the 1980s, 85446 was in the hands of Sherman Oaks, California resident Mr. Gary A. Engel, and was here purchased by the consignor in 1988. The desirable BMW 328 Roadster has since formed part of the consignor's exceptional collection of some the most desirable sportscars, from both the pre- and post-war era, made by some of the most exclusive manufacturers.

Today, fresh out of three decades in the current ownership, BMW 328 Roadster chassis number 85446 is bound to impress and start conversations wherever it goes, as it has been kept under the radar for many years. A close look reveals an older and aged restoration, offering the perfect basis to refresh the car cosmetically and mechanically, and then enter into new events. Both the chassis and engine are stamped 85446, which would indicate that they are indeed the matching units, although the stamping on the engine block looks as it could have been altered. The car has seen little use in the past three decades, and a mechanical service and sorting is recommended, ensuring proper performance and safety for the next owner. Offered with the rare BMW are many spare parts, including a cylinder head, carburetors and gasket sets.

A sporty and thrilling car to drive, these desirable Roadsters are eligible for the finest Concours d'Elegance and classic car tours and rallies around the world, including the exclusive Mille Miglia held every year in Italy. Here, one would get an early starting number with a car like the 328 BMW Roadster, and be high on the acceptance list for this popular event. Offered here is a rare opportunity to buy an example of the most significant and collectible pre-WWII model from Bayerische Motoren Werke, possesing competition-derived driving characteristics and stunningly good looks.

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<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
<b>1939 BMW 328 Roadster</b><br />Chassis no. 85446<br />Engine no. 85446 (see text)
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