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.
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
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.
|UK PRICE WHEN ANNOUNCED||:||£ 695|
|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|
|WHEELS AND TYRES|
|TYPE||:||Steel Disc wheels with peg-drive hubs and 5.25 X 16 low pressure tyres.|
|DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT|
|TRACK - FRONT||:||45.5 in|
|MAXIMUM SPEED||:||130 mph|
|ACCELERATION 0 - 60 mph||:||9.5 seconds|
|FUEL CONSUMPTION||:||23 mpg|