Arguably one of BMW’s most significant designs – and one steeped in competition success – the 328 made its debut at the 1936 Eifelrennen at the Nurburgring, with Ernst Henne driving to victory in the up to 2 litre class. 1937 saw over 100 class wins, including the RAC Tourist Trophy, whilst this was repeated in 1938 and further class wins were achieved at both Le Mans and the Mille Miglia.
1939 saw a win in the RAC Rally, and a remarkable 5th place overall and first in class at Le Mans. However, perhaps the definining moment for the 328 was its overall win in the 1940 Mille Miglia driven by future Porsche competition boss Huschke von Hanstein, where a remarkable 104.2 mph was averaged for a little under nine hours.
This particular example was delivered new to the German racing driver Walter Schlüter, bearing the registration number IY228383. The car was supplied through Autohaus Müller in Düsseldorf in racing configuration with a long-range fuel tank, and after some initial competition use was laid up by Schlüter during the war.
Schlüter re-registered the car in April 1949 with the registration number BR 297-400 and continued to race it in various German post-war events.
The car passed to Friedrich Karl Vellenier of Velbert in 1950, but was kept only very briefly by him and was sold to Dr. Paul Loekers of the same locality later on that year. In May 1952, it was sold again to Leopold Strecker of Düsseldorf, who re-registered the car BR 851-454. All ownership up to this point can be substantiated in the car’s original “Kraftfahrzeugbrief” (Number 2167429), which is available.
In June 1954 the car was sold to an English Officer, serving in Germany, and thereafter #85187 found its way to England, where it was registered TLC 166 on 13th June 1956 to John Garston Brown of Cheshire. July 1963 saw the car sold to Richard Swithun Skillbeck who in turn sold the car to Patrick E.L. Carmichael. In 1971 to the car was sold to the vendor and the car returned to Germany, and #85187 has been continuously raced and rallied ever since, including a participation in the Mille Miglia retrospective.
During the vendor’s ownership of almost half a century, the car has been constantly serviced and repaired as necessary, and a wealth of bills and documentation have been amassed. These are all retained on file, and will accompany the sale. Though it never restored, the car retains a wonderfulries a wonderful patina and is mechanically in excellent condition.
An unrepeatable opportunity, and something for the true enthusiast.