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For Sale: 1938 BMW 3 Series
in Ascot, United Kingdom

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Registration Number: German Registered Chassis Number: 85239 Bayerische Motoren Werke grew from the merger of two aero engine manufacturers during World War I. The post war rules forbidding the manufacture of aeronautical machinery forced the company to look in a different direction. Initially concentrating on motorcycles and heavy trucks, the first automobile design was a licensed version of the British Austin Seven, acquired with the purchase of Dixi-Werke of Eisenach with the BMW badge applied for the first time in January 1929. Larger automobiles followed, including the Type AM in 1932, the Type 303 in 1933 and the Type 315 of 1934. The 326 introduced at the Berlin Motor Show in 1936 was a significant development as it was the company's first four door saloon and its two litre, 50 horsepower engine would go on to be the basis of one of the most iconic powerplants of the period either side of the Second World War. It was the 328 which garnered the most attention however as it featured a new crossflow cylinder head with state of the art hemispherical combustion chambers and an ingenious arrangement of horizontal pushrods operating the exhaust valves which gave twin cam performance with less complexity and lower cost. So highly regarded was this engine that the design was obtained by Bristol Cars after the war and with little modification it went on to power cars built by Bristol and AC, amongst others, with great success into the 1960s. The shortened twin-tube chassis of the 328 featured a glorious streamlined two seat body which allowed the standard car to achieve a top speed of 96 miles per hour, though a lightweight prototype with a higher compression engine was clocked at over 100 mph at Brooklands in the hands of renowned British driver Sammy Davis. The racing potential of the 328 was soon demonstrated with a 2 litre class win in the 1938 Mille Miglia and again at Le Mans in 1939 and an outright victory at the Mille Miglia in 1940. Only 462 328s were built before production ended in 1939 making them a rare and highly collectible sports car with an exceptional racing pedigree. Chassis 85239 was delivered new on the 10/06/1938 to the President Automobile Club Hungaria, Mr Ungarn. In turn the car was sold to a German racing driver Chrestera, in 39' who campaigned the car extensively that year. A period film accompanies the file. The final race before the break out of WWII was in Hungaria again. With Chestera's 328 being a valuable one year old car at the time, and with the memories still very prevalent of the effects of WW1, it was decided to leave the car in Hungary! After all the War would be over by Christmas! Some five years later the war ended , leaving in its wake a complete lack of resources to build and manufacture Sports and Racing Cars. Naturally from this, a gap became clearly apparent to build specialist race cars. This arguably started with the Italian car movement, with the likes of Fiat 500 specials, along with Nardi, Ermini, Stanguellini, to name just a few. In England we saw the legends of Lotus and Turner and in Germany the likes of VERITAS and AFM. Alfred Von Falkenhausen (AFM) , was an engineer who worked for BMW on the 328's before the war. Like so many specialists he opened a garage in Munich where he tuned pre-war 328s. With no significant new cars being produced he began converting some of them into single-seaters and in 1948 went on to build his own car marque with the 328's engine. It was at this time that the original 328 body was removed and the car received the Von Faulkenhausen AFM treatment on its original 328 chassis. The car was sold changing hands to Gunther Bechem. Records indicate the Bechem often raced the AFM under the nickname Bernhard Nacke Most significantly in 53' Bechem, along with Hans Stuck, entered two AFM cars in the Nurburgring German Grand Prix. Testament to the quality of AFM built cars, the car qualified and indeed rac

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