The 1937 BMW 328 is a little-seen roadster gem from BMW that was, perhaps, the firm’s most advanced and sophisticated achievement outside of aircraft engines at the time.
Seeing one so close in the flesh really rings home how advanced this 328 was versus its contemporaries from Aston-Martin and Jaguar — two much-better-known sports-car innovators (and competitive benchmarks) of the time.
Where those cars both still wore giant flat fenders, the 328 is completely smooth in all areas. This aero-led thinking was surely a testament to BMW’s aeronautic history until this point, but also a deep bow to the great achievements from Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz speed record cars of the day.
But while the Silver Arrows and others through all practicality overboard for the sake of straight-line performance, the BMW 328 kept firm a nimble, sporting handling balance and, somewhat surprisingly, a relative level of accessibility in pricing.
Finding one in the official Spartanburg BMW Museum was a treat, as are this 328’s numerous intricate features. All are best observed within just an arm’s length to see their detailed elegance.
Some personal favorites include the shrouded wheels, rear fender caps, rear tire cover and the numerous BMW badges that are all aero-optimized for smoothness. One side-effect is timeless beauty in shape and the delicate form flows of the design.
The 1937 Zentrum Museum BMW 328 is a divine example of the true sports roadster philosophy, then and even now.
These photos and big X7 event, by perhaps coincidence, took place on 3.28, or March 28th. If there were ever a stronger legacy product still informing and guiding a modern company, we have yet to find it.
The R60 with Sidecar certainly still fills this role for BMW Motorrad motorcycles, as well.