1938 BMW 328 Special Competition Roadster

The BMW 328 wasn’t just a top-tier sports car for enthusiasts; it dominated the 2-liter sports car racing scene across Europe from 1936 to 1940. Owning anything other than a 328 during this period likely meant little chance of victory. With 131 recorded wins, 45 gold medals, and numerous podium finishes, the 328 set an unmatched standard for 15 years.

Its success stemmed from advanced engineering. Unlike its competitors, BMW opted for a lightweight tubular frame construction, integrating welded floors and stressed aluminum bodywork. The two-liter inline-six engine boasted overhead valves, hemispherical combustion chambers, and triple Solex downdraft carburetors, generating 80bhp in standard form and over 135bhp for racing.

During its reign, the German Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrkorps (NSKK) and the national racing team commandeered the efforts of major domestic manufacturers, including BMW. BMW supplied highly tuned versions of the 328 to the NSKK, leading to victories across Europe.

Specifically designed “Special Competition” Roadsters were tailored for racing. These models featured lightweight bodywork, a high-compression engine with upgraded carburetors, larger fuel tank, enhanced instrumentation, and specialized aerodynamics. With 135 horsepower, a four-speed Hurth gearbox, and hydraulic drum brakes, these Roadsters were poised for racing excellence.

Source: Bonhams