CLASSIC CARS

29 MAY 2018
Auction, 0249
22

BMW 327/28 (1938)

Estimate
200.000 / 250.000
Price realized:  Registration

BMW 327/28 (1938)

CHASSIS N. 74301

ENGINE: INLINE SIX, TYPE 328

DISPLACEMENT: 1970 CM3

POWER:  80 bhp

BODY STYLE: CABRIOLET

A BMW ‘M’ FORTY YEARS IN ADVANCE

Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) Was founded in 1916 with aero engine production in mind. It then moved to motorcycles and finally to motor cars, where for many years thrived in the lower segments of the market.

In 1937 the Company was ready to play in the higher and more profitable part of the market, which it challenged with the new luxury model, the 327. This was a Cabriolet equipped with a new in line six cylinder two liter engine. The big car though was struggling with the power of only 55 bhp offered by the sidevalve engine.

Meanwhile a sport model was launched: the 328. This was a very successful model then, and the most important prewar BMW now: a wonderful two seat roadster with a very efficient and generous 80 bhp six cylinder, based on the 327 but was transformed by a new alloy head with V valves, moved by an ingenious system which operated the valves via rods and followers, without the need of making a new block to move the camshaft from its position. The more advanced distribution, and the new three downdraft carburettors, allowed the engine to breathe a lot better.

This great engine was very successful in the 328s, but also had a ‘second life’ in England after the war, when it was produced by Bristol and used by a host of small sportcar manufacturers until the early 1960s. It was also used by many racing car builders, in various state of tune, eventually producing almost 200 bhp.

The BMW 327 Cabriolet was built in alost 2000 units, while only 462 328s were built before the war changed everybody’s priorities. It was, and still is, the most sought after two seat sportscar to come out of the Bavarian Motor Works.

But even in the Thirties, for some clients good was not enough, and therefore BMW decided to create a faster version of the 327, or arguably a more luxurious version of the 328. The 328-engined 327 was christened, with typical German fantasy, “327/28”, and was produced in 569 units. This car pioneered a concept that BMW was to exploit very successfully forty years later, with the “M” (for Motorsport) versions of its luxury motor cars.

The very rare 327/28 we are offering today was originally sold to France, and from there it went to the US just after the war. Restored in the 1980s, it was then imported into Italy and bought by its current owner, to be a part of his important collection. It has always been impeccably maintained and used sparingly, especially in recent  years.

This motor car represents a unique opportunity for BMW enthusiasts, or for any collector who wishes to acquire a fast and easy to drive, comfortable and luxurious prewar open car. It is also a very good investment as its rarity and parentage are beyond reproach.

The vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition but for safety reasons, we advise the purchaser to have it checked over and to replace the fluids, filters and perishable elements.