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 BMW 328


The BMW  328 was produced from 1937 to 1939
1 engine 1.9 liter with 80hp, is on Histomobile.462 unit(s) produced.

BMW 328 

The 328 completely dominated sports-car racing in Europe during the late 1930s and played a major part in establishing BMW's reputation outside Germany. The 315/1 and 319/1 roadsters had generated a formidable sporting reputation for BMW during the mid-1930s and it was enumerable that they would be replaced by a new car related to the 326. Böning and Fiedler were given very little time to do the job however and drafted in Alex von Falkenhausen and Ernst Loof to help. Both would have major parts to play in the later BMW story.

A prototype 328 was ready for the Eifelrennen event in the spring of 1936, where it won its class. However, potential buyers had to wait until February the following year before they could get their hands on the new model. The 328 kept the 94.5" wheelbase of the cars it replaced and retained broadly similar styling. Structurally and mechanically it was a compromise though, with a tubular chassis frame, the front and rear suspension of the 319/1 and the 326s brakes. However the real advance came in its engine.

This had the 2.0-litre block of the 326, but its redesigned cylinder head incorporated hemispherical combustion chambers. Relocated valves were operated by an ingenious cross-pushrod system and double valve springs allowed higher revs. Three solex carburettors completed the picture. In standard production trim the engine already gave 80bhp, which was good for an astonishing 93mph. However by 1940, the highly tuned 328s used by the works teams were giving an impressive 120bhp.

Among the famous 328s are the special "streamliners" which ran in the factory team in 1939 and 1940. Inspired by coachbuilder Wendler's 1938 streamlined coupe built for a private customer, BMW asked Carrozzeria Touring of Milan to make a closed coupe body for one of the works 328s in the 1939 Le Mans 24-hour race. The car took first in its class and fifth place overall, convincingly beating two standard-bodied works cars.

Plans to run a team of streamliners in the 1940 events were thwarted when Hitler's invasion of Poland in September 1939 ended international motorsport in Europe. Nevertheless, the streamlined 328s did run competitively in 1940 - in the Bresica Grand Prix, an event which pitted the best racers from Mussolini's Italy against those from their allies in Hitler's Germany. BMW entered four streamlined open 328s and a fastback coupe with bodywork designed by aerodynamicist Dr Wunibald Kamm (of Kamm tail fame) which won the race. The Bresica event is sometimes called the 1940 Mille Miglia and the cars the Mille Miglia 328s

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