Grandes Marques

BMW Type 328
Grandes Marques
have always  conceived in the backyard and grown up on race tracks. The event an outcome of an automobilist packed with passion and courage. From De Dion Bouton and Prince Henry to Royal Rolls and Ferrari, the automobile has come a long way.  The History and its events are breathtakingly beautiful, a saga of passion, obsession and triumph where dreams are turned into engineering marvels. The saga of the finest and the great cars this world has ever seen.

BMW 328 - Bavarian Beauty

BMW well known for its aero engines before WWI had earned a fine reputation of being bike builders in the early 1920s. But till 1928/29 no cars were built. It was only after BMW took over the Dixi factory at Eizenach, a modified version of Austin Seven was built under license. It was this machine that the German army had to use since the treaty of Versailles forbade them using heavy machinery.

In 1932 BMW began to move away from their Austin associations with the introduction of 3/20 model. Related to seven unit but with over head valves. The chassis was redesigned, with all round independent suspension by swing axles. But the experiment wasn't successful and Type 303 in 1933 came with semi-elliptic springs with a live rear axle. A tubular chassis frame and lower wishbones at the front with a transverse leaf spring. There are very few cars that evoke respect appreciation and love when looked at. A car that looked modern even a decade later after it was born. With subtle lines, low stance and powered by serious Germanic engineering, BMW 328 was cut above the rest.
Type 303 was really a 3/20 but with two extra cylinders, making the total number of cylinder to size and 1173 cc volume and good enough to rev at 60 mph on Germany's new Autobahns. Type 303 was also the first BMW to sport the famous 'Kidney Nostril', now a tradition and very much part of the BMW Heritage. Type 315 was the effort of Fritz Fiedler of Horch who joined BMW in 1933 devoting himself to develop a six cylinder cars. His first effort was Type 315,the engine was 1490 cc and power went up to 34 BHP rising the maximum speed to 68 mph. 

1934 saw BMW entry in Monte Carlo Rally. A team of cars with triple carburetor, high-compression engines, two seater versions of Type 315 were readied to race. In 1935 Type 315 found a twin type 319 which came with larger volumetric capacity of 1911 cc with 55 BHP on tap and capable of 81 mph. Keeping alive the tradition of winning races by its predecessor -Type 315, Type 319 was already making its presence felt.  Aldington Brothers of Isleworth bought three engines to install in Frazer Nash and marketed them in England. The cars were built in Germany but were right hand drive to cater the needs of the English market who had begun to show keen interest in these German Motors. At Nurburgring, 19th June 1936, Erust Henre appeared in a new two seater powered by 1971cc engine with new cylinder heads. This was the first Type 328. Fiedler had designed a new valve gear for the six cylinder engine. The power was boosted to 80bhp at 4900rpm.  

There were hemispherical combustion chambers with a new alloy head. The inlets were opened by push rods and rockers, but the exhaust valves had two sets of push rods and rockers. The engine looked very much like a DOHC engine. Finally 3 Downdraught  Solex carburetors graced the cylinder head. The side members of the chassis were of sheet metal that varied in diameter depending on the load bearing. Rear axle was mounted on semi elliptic leaf springs. The interiors had a beautiful three spoke steering wheel. The dash board boasted of a large diameter speedometer and tachometer. There was also a fuel gauge, temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge and a 'one shot' chassis lubrication system actuated by a separate pedal. Type 328 was an elegantly designed car. It was quite modern as compared to the era, when it was born. Much common to the cars of those days where head lamps looked more like extra fittings, 328 boasted of head lamps integrated in the body work. Even the mud guards looked part of the front body work.






328 Frontal View

The entire car was made to look like a sport car  model. The front three quarters looked amazingly beautiful. It looked perfect with hardly any deficiencies. The front  had two elongated "Kidney Nostrils" that ran from top to bottom and a single steel line running from the bottom most part , between the grille to all the way along the bonnet, and almost touching the windscreen. It had two wipers. Most of the body work was in aluminum, thus making it a relatively light vehicle weighing 830kgs.
In 1937 the car was finally made available to the public. Though it never intended to be a sports car, it won its share of trophies. Four cars took part in the 1937 Le Mans race. Though the event proved quite unsuccessful for the 328, it was certain that if driven hard, it could be a race car. It went on to win many races like the 1000 miles race, a two liter grand prix in Chimay, 24 hour race in Belgium etc.
BMW built a total of 461 type 328 models. Because of the War, it was not until 1952 that BMW restarted making cars. The classic six cylinder unit powered many cars later, including AC Ace, Frazer Nash, Arnolt, Cooper, AFM and many other different cars. 


TYPE  : Water Cooled inline six cylinder with cast iron block and light alloy head.
FUEL SUPPLY : 3 Solex downdraught carburetors. 
MAXIMUM POWER 80bhp at 5000rpm
MAXIMUM TORQUE  :  93 lb ft at 4000 rpm. 
BRAKES  :  Hydraulically operated drums all round, 11 inches in diameter.
GEARBOX 4 Speed Manual
TYPE  Steel Disc wheels with peg-drive hubs and 5.25 X 16 low pressure tyres.  
LENGTH  153.5 in
WIDTH  61 in
TRACK - FRONT : 45.5 in
               REAR : 48 in

1638 lb

ACCELERATION 0 - 60 mph 9.5 seconds

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