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*Please note that post-cataloging, BMW Group Archiv has indicated that this car’s chassis and engine are period-correct genuine BMW components that have been re-stamped to match an original 328 data tag. BMW Archiv has opined that the majority of the coachwork and its body stampings appear be original to a 328. Please also note that the estimate has been revised to $600,000 - $800,000.
BMW Importer Stand Batalha, António Marques da Fonseca, Porto,Portugal (delivered new in April 1938)Historisch Museum Deventer, Deventer, Holland (acquired circa late 1990s) Juan Lambreras, PortugalPrivate Collector, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaCurrent Owner (acquired from the above)
Following its entry into automobile production with the purchase of Dixi Werke in 1928, BMW quickly progressed to the 1,490 cc Type 315 of 1934, and then the 326, launched at Berlin in 1936. Historic as the company’s first four-door sedan, the streamlined 326 begat several successful derivatives; its new overhead-valve, 1,971 cc six-cylinder engine, however, remains one of BMW’s finest achievements.
BMW’s aspirations for its new two-liter engine were far more than commercial, with chief engineer Fritz Fiedler leading development of the new prototype 328 competition roadster it would power. Based upon a strong yet lightweight tubular chassis equipped with rack and pinion steering, independent front suspension, and a live rear axle, the 328 was cloaked in sleek and purposeful aluminum bodywork over ash framing with steel fenders, penned by Peter Szymanowski, who went on to become BMW’s chief designer after WWII. The 328’s 1,971 cc “six” was ftted with a new cross-flow cylinder head with hemispherical combustion chambers devised by Rudolf Schleicher, featuring downdraft inlet ports and valves actuated by short horizontal pushrods from the single camshaft. Triple Solex carburetors provided induction. Delivering the performance of a twin-cam head, Schleicher’s elegantly simple design endowed the 328 with excellent power and reliability at a lower cost than its more exotic rivals.
The 328 made a brilliant competition debut at the annual Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring on June 14, 1936, with Ernst Henne driving the prototype roadster to victory. British BMW importer H.J. Aldington encouraged BMW management to commit the 328 to international events; a three-car team contested the 1936 RAC Tourist Trophy, earning a class victory. Series production commenced in mid-1937 and German starting grids were soon dominated by customer and works 328s, virtually assuring victory wherever they entered. Other notable victories for the model included a class win at the 1938 Mille Miglia and a special Touring-bodied aerodynamic coupe won outright in 1940. At Le Mans in 1939, a Touring coupe won its class and finished 5th overall. Some 200 victories were earned in all by the 328, which remained competitive well into the early 1950s.
Following the end of WWII, the 328’s excellent power unit gained further acclaim in Britain, powering the Bristol 400 and 406, the Arnolt-Bristol, and top-of-the-line versions of both the AC Ace and Aceca. Just 464 examples of the BMW 328 were built, with all survivors – numbering fewer than 200 – prized by collectors today for their beauty and driving qualities. In honor of its outstanding legacy and recent 75th anniversary, BMW commissioned a modern show-car tribute, the 328 Hommage, further cementing the rich 328 legend.
According to correspondence from BMW Group Classic, this expertly restored BMW 328, numbered 85215, was manufactured during March 1938 and delivered new on April 5th to Portuguese BMW importer Stand Batalha, António Marques da Fonseca in Porto. By the late 1990s, 85215 was on museum display in Holland, later returning to Portugal under new ownership. The 328 was then acquired by an Argentinean collector, who commissioned a complete, photo-documented restoration, which was carried out from February 2009 to July 2010 by UK specialist TT Workshops. Photos taken during the restoration show the body number (140) stamped in numerous locations on the car. Following acquisition by the consignor, 85215 was submitted for inspection and issued its corresponding FIVA identity card in January 2013. During his ownership,the consignor has regularly driven the 328 and has thouroghly enjoyed its sporting character.
In addition to a comprehensive file containing correspondence, FIVA and UK MOT paperwork, and restoration photographs, 85215 is complete with a mohair tonneau, including steering-wheel glove and a soft top with zip-out side screens.
Immensely engaging, this 1938 BMW 328 has yet to grace the show feld, and with the model’s outstanding competition legacy, it will aford the new owner with the unparalleled opportunity to enter any of the top international-level classic rallies and touring events available today, including the Mille Miglia.