Arizona

16 - 17 January 2014

Lot 49

1939 BMW 327/28 Coupe

To be auctioned on Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sold for $176,000

  • Chassis no. 74509


80 bhp, 1,971 cc OHV six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with transverse leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 108.3 in.

  • One of only 86 examples produced
  • Equipped with the desirable 80-horsepower M328 engine
  • The rarer of the two 327/28 models


The Bayerische Motoren Werke was a full decade old before its first automobile was built. Originally an aero engine manufacturer, the company purchased the Dixi Werke of Eisenach in 1928 and continued to manufacture the smallest Dixi product, a license-built version of the Austin Seven. The BMW badge was adopted for these cars in January 1929.



Growth was rapid. By 1934, BMW was building the Type 315, a 1,490-cubic centimeter car that was available in 40-brake horsepower, triple-carburetor tune. The 1936 Berlin Auto Show heralded an important BMW development, the 326. It was the company’s first four-door sedan, and it had a 1,971-cubic centimeter, 50-brake horsepower engine that was capable of 72 mph. The styling was more streamlined than earlier BMWs, and it would define the marque until World War II. The 326 begat several variations that overshadowed its parent models, 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. It had the same 1,971-cubic centimeter cylinder block but a new crossflow head with hemispherical combustion chambers, which used short horizontal pushrods to operate opposing exhaust valves from the single camshaft. This gave twin-cam performance with less complexity and lower cost. A twin-tube chassis was used, and it was 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. A streamlined 328 won the two-liter class at Le Mans in 1939, and the same car, which was part of a five-car team, won the 1940 Mille Miglia outright.



The 328 was offered only as a compact two-seater. However, from 1938, the more powerful 328 engine became available in the 327, which was designated somewhat ambiguously as 327/28. Production, which continued through 1940, comprised 482 Sport cabriolets, 86 Sport coupes, and one bare chassis.



The example offered here was purchased in 2001 by a collector in Germany from Heinz Landzettel. In 2003, the car became the recipient of an extensive body-off restoration that was carried out by its owner. During the process, the car was stripped down to its foundations and fully restored. The car file includes a small number of photographs, which verify that the car was stripped down to bare metal and highlight the high quality of the work that was carried out. At the same time, the original M328, which is the heart of the 327/28, was replaced with an identical power unit that had been fully rebuilt. The exterior was finished in an exquisite two-tone grey scheme, and the interior was finished with a complementing scheme of grey leather upholstery and carpeting.



In 2007, this 328 was sold to Latvian collector Mark Meerov, before coming to the United States more recently. In the years since its restoration, this little Coupe has been nicely maintained, and more recent work that has been carried out on the car includes the replacement of the generator and fuel pump. The restoration has mellowed gracefully since completion, and its appearance is commensurate with the 1,703 kilometers that have been added since 2003. This example is peppy, highly attractive, and eminently drivable, and it would be a great and unusual addition to the enthusiast’s stable.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

aclassick@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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+49 (0) 40 441 95 737
Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmauctions.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmauctions.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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+1 310 559 4575
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

jboxstrom@rmauctions.com

+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

mgirardo@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

rmyers@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

vmandzak@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more