The Collectible BMW 328 Pre-War Classic Automobile

Published: 14th March 2011
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Amongst enthusiasts who collect pre-war cars, the BMW type 328 is the considered the most important. This vehicle launched the modernization of the era when it came to high-performance sports cars. Over half a century ago, the car first made intimidating waves in Nürburgring where it was first introduced. Other German competitors simply became obsolete when measured up against the impressive performance of the BMW 328.

A single-plane clutch took the drive to a four-speed gearbox, and thence to an open propeller shaft to the spiral-bevel rear axle. An oil-cooler was provided, mounted just ahead of the radiator in two parts to match the two halves of the "kidney" front grill. and there was a full undertray beneath the car. On top of that, the vehicle appeared very modern looking to the point that its style still stood out a decade a later. The 1930's accepted the revolutionary tubular chassis and created an independent front suspension. Although the six-cylinder engine was quite odd, it allowed the car to reach 161 kilometers per hour at its maximum speed.

The company called Bayerische Motoren-Werke, or BMW, was not known for creating cars. When it originally started operations during the First World War, they manufactured airplane engines. They were able to branch out quite successfully in the manufacture of motorcycles. There was a three-spoke steering wheel and instruments that included a speedometer, tachometer , oil and water temperature guages and an oil pressure gauge. The electrical system was 6 volt. The semi-bucket seats were made of leather, and there was a one-shot chassis hydraulic system actuated by a separate pedal. One of the weaker points of the BMW Type 328 was the gear change , for there was a synchromesh only on third and top whilst instead of a proper remote control there was a rather long gear-lever. They modified a simple car called the Austin Seven. BMW tinkered with some Dixi models like the Warburg. This was when the company was first recognized for their development of Dixi sports models in the Austrian Alpine Trial of 1929.

Even now, more than half a century of time later , the Type 328 is so close to the most modern and futuristic ideas of auto body shape and advanced designs that it is almost impossible to imagine the great impacts it made when it first appeared on the automotive scene - looking like a UFO alien among its contemporaries. His name was Fritz Fiedler and he was originally from Horch. Rouse did it again, in the Grand Prix des Frontieres at Chimay winning the 2 liter class ahead of Guebelin's BMW at an average speed of 72.89 mile per hour, but at Le Mans the team somehow yet again ran out of luck. However they more than made up for it in the 24-hour race on the Belgian Spa/Francorchamps road circuit, where Schaumburg-Lippe and Rose shared a Type 328 to win the 2 liter class , followed by Heinemann,Briem and Scholtz - a performance which also gave them the team prize. His foremost work was the Type 515 which had increased power of up to 34 bhp and a larger engine. The Monte Carlo Rally that was held in 1934 showcased neat two-seater sports cars. A high-compression version of the Type 315 was created for this purpose. There was no boot-lid access to the luggage compartment being made by folding the seat squab forward. The leather bonnet straps - paired and fitted with spring fasteners - were standard equipment and the Vee-shaped windscreen was split in the middle so that it could be folded down on the scuttle. There was a five-seater saloon which steered away from the typical fast, high performing sports cars that the public was used to. This was the Type 326. The BMW 326 also had a powerful six-cylinder engine that produced 50bhp. Although it wasn't a sports car, it still carried the BMW brand.

Aside from sports cars, the company also designed models for drivers who were not aficionados of car racing. Nonetheless; it was also a best seller. When it came time for racing season once more, the company got back to the drawing boards to create a more modern version of sports cars they were famous for. Fiedler was tasked to create a machine that had a capacity of 80 bhp at 5,000 rpm. New technology allowed for more hemispherical combustion chambers. This was in the new alloy head with tilted valves. The Type 328 was born. It had a completely different set of hydraulic brakes and suspension. A box-section chassis was also used for this vehicle. Bayerische Motoren-Werke, more known for its initials, BMW, did not start out strongly in the car manufacturing industry. It began producing aero engines throughout World War I. By the 1920's, the company had already established a credible reputation because of their motorcycles. Only when they took over the Dixi factory in Eisenach, did the real work on cars begin. At first, different versions of the Dixi cars were released but by 1932, BMW started to create their original car designs. Models, like the AM-1 or 3/20, were not really best sellers but they paved the way for the gradual transition of an automobile structure that would be uniquely identified with the company. Nevertheless, when it came time for the Eifel races on June 14, 1936 BMW reverted to their popular sports car designs. At the Berlin Motor Show in February 1936 it seemed Fiedler and his assistant Rudolf Schleicher were moving away from sporting cars , for the new Type 326 had a box-section chassis with completely brand new suspension and hydraulic brakes . With a 1 mm bore increase the six-cylinder engine was enlarged to 1971 cc and had a power output of 50 bhp sy 4500 rpm to propel this five-seater salon . Certainly no sport-car it was no doubt the best selling BMW of its very day. This was the first of BMW Type 328.


Terry S. Vostor

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