The Berlin Auto Show in 1936 was a pivotal event in BMW’s development, as it heralded the introduction of the 326, the company’s first four-door sedan, powered by a 50 bhp, 1,971 cc engine, capable of 72 mph. More streamlined than earlier BMWs, its styling would set the pattern for the marque until World War II and begat several variations that overshadowed the parent model – the 320, a cheaper four-cylinder car, and the 327, a short chassis, two-seat coupe or convertible.
However, it was the sporting 328 that made the biggest news. The 328 had the same 1,971 cylinder block but a new cross-flow head with hemispherical combustion chambers and used short horizontal pushrods to operate opposed exhaust valves from the single camshaft. This gave twin-cam performance with less complexity and lower cost. A twin-tube chassis was used, topped with a two-seat sporting body. Top speed of the standard model was 96 mph, but the renowned British driver S.C.H. “Sammy” Davis clocked 102.16 at Brooklands in a lightweight prototype. Higher compression and ported heads gave even better performance. A streamlined 328 won the two-liter class at Le Mans in 1939, and the same car, part of a five-car team, won 1940s Mille Miglia outright. Just 462 were built through 1939, against nearly 16,000 of the “bread and butter” 326 cars.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
80 bhp, 1,971 cc overhead valve six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with transverse leaf spring, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5"