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SOLD – 1939 BMW 327 /28

  • Original 328 engined example
  • German, home market car
  • Fitted with the Bristol gearbox with overdrive
  • A fast and powerful touring and rally car

MODEL HISTORY

BMW started in the manufacture of aero engines and motorcycles, it was with the acquisition of the Dixi works at Eisenach in 1928 that BMW entered the motorcar market. The early Dixi cars were essentially Austin 7s built under license from Austin, although they soon made several improvements to the design, but BMW had greater plans for their new car department. In 1933 came the first ‘true’ BMW car, the 303, which had a twin tube frame, rear swing axel and a 6-cylinder engine.

BMW’s reputation as a manufacturer of sporting motorcars really started with the annual Eifelrennen event, held at the Nürburgring on 14th June 1936. Here Ernst Henne beat a field that included 1½-litre single seat 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 victory had been achieved only eight years after BMW’s establishment as an automobile manufacturer is all the more remarkable.

Capitalising on this success, the company launched a new range of models that would become the foundation of their reputation as a manufacturer of the highest quality cars, with power and style to match. The flagship of the range was the 328 that incorporated a lightweight tubular chassis and a powerful straight-6 engine with overhead valves and triple carburettors. Alongside the 328, was the 327 which was the company’s sports tourer of the range based on a shortened, boxed, ladder-type chassis it had semi-elliptic rear springs, a Hurth 4-speed gearbox and hydraulic brakes all round.

The 327 was available with a choice of two engines, one was the company’s standard 6-cylinder but for an extra cost the car could be fitted with the 328’s 80hp unit, these high-power cars were denoted by the appendage /28 on the continental cars and /80 on the Frazer Nash RHD British cars. This high-power unit was the masterpiece of designer Rudolf Schleicher and although only displacing 1,971cc, the engine had hemispherical combustion chambers, inclined valves without the recourse to overhead or twin camshafts and twin down draught inlet ports giving a very credible 80bhp output in standard tune. This design had two rocker shafts, one situated above each bank of valves, giving the engine an external appearance almost indistinguishable from that of a twin-overhead-cam design but with considerable cost saving. This engine not only went in the BMW 328 and 327 as we find here but also after the war would be used by Cooper, Bristol and Frazer Nash with great racing success.

THIS MOTOR CAR

The BMW 327 we proudly offer here for sale was first registered on the 15th of July 1939. The car is believed to have remained in Germany where it was restored in 1985 by Dr Georg Ulrich. It was imported to the UK by Mike Hawley in November 1988 and purchased by Victoria Fell on the 6th of July 1989. The car was soon put to use and entered into the Peter Black Rally in 1989 where Mrs Fell won the Ladies Award. It was next entered for the 1990 Norwich Union rally but a mechanical fault last minutes meant it had to be withdrawn. It was not long before it was out at the ’48 Heures d’Automobiles Anciennes de Troys’ where it got 2nd place in the 85kms regularity run. Also in 1990 it competed in the demonstration hillclimb at the Concoue-Sue-Logne before it was out again for the Benson & Hedges Classic Run at York. It did the Benson & Hedges Classic Run again in 1991/ ’92/ ’93 & ’94 and it the won ‘The Most Desirable Car’ prize at the BMW rally in 1995.

During the period 1991-93 considerable mechanical work was carried out by BMW specialists TT Workshop including an engine rebuild, the fitting of a Bristol gearbox with the desirable overdrive and the rear axel was rebuilt + in 1995 the wheels were overhauled as well.

This BMW 327 has continued to be used and enjoyed and it remains in good condition. IN Racing rectified a few running issues in July this year and setup the car on a rolling road. It is now a perfect car to take on pre-War rallies and tours such as the Flying Scotsman or any other of the many fantastic events available that would be fitting for this car.

The car is available for immediate inspection in The Classic Motor Hub Hangar Showroom. To find out more or arrange a viewing, please contact us or use the enquiry form on this page.

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