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1937 BMW 328

It is one of the greatest prewar racing cars. The car, featuring 100 kW (136 HP), wins in 1940 the Mille Miglia, probably one of the most important country road races of the time. Additionally, there is a class victory in the 24 hours of Le Mans and the Alpine rally. The car wins on the Nürburgring in 1936 in a version with 2-litre engine with Ernst Jakob Henne as driver.

The BMW 328 disposes of a very light coupe and convertible car body of aluminum. The coupe version comes from the designer Touring, situated in Milan. He holds a patent for the especially light grid tubular frame directly under the aluminum shell. The engine is modern for the time. It features an aluminum head and, in spite of the under head camshaft, with V-shaped over hanging valves the car has an attractive racing performance.

The car body almost does not allow for a look at the mechanics of the vehicle, everything is paneled. Nothing should disturb the aerodynamics. The lamps are integrated into the space between fender and bonnet; you might almost call it a pontoon car body. The design anticipates on the developments of the European motor-car designs after the Second World War. While the aerodynamics is astonishing, the technology is hardly ahead of the technical standard of that time. Just the rack-and-pinion steering and the hydraulic brake system are noteworthy.

Taking a look at the car as a whole, its limited width is striking, which leads to contact of the upper arms of its passengers, at least in curves. Just the relatively long front feeds the idea of a six-cylinder below the bonnet. If you increase the size of picture 3, you may throw a look at the delightfully large round instruments in the dash. In contrast to today's BMWs the indicator lights and displays are lovingly scattered on the whole dash board. Some buttons are even labeled in German.

The strong point of the engine is its elasticity. The other technology on board is not extraordinary. Like other vehicles with a rigid axle, the rear axle shifts to the side in wavy bends. The brakes - although hydraulically - should be handled with care, and the original gearbox of the BMW 328 is clearly problematic. However, parts of the engine design are obviously so interesting that they are taken over as reparations after 1945 in the English industry. 04/07