duplex chain

BMW 328

Note: This article describes the BMW 328 of 1937 - 1939. There have also been cars called BMW 328i and 328Ci made since the 1990s as models of the BMW 3 Series

The BMW 328 is a sports car made by BMW between 1936 and 1940, designed by Fritz Fiedler. It featured many advanced features for its time, such as a tubular space frame and a hemispherical combustion chamber engine. It was much praised at the time for its performance and handling, proving to be suitable not only for the BMW factory drivers, but also perfect for everyday motoring.

The car won many races, including the prestigious Mille Miglia — a class win in 1938 and the outright winner (with a streamlined body) in 1940. It also won the RAC Rally in 1939 and came in fifth overall (first in its class) in the 1939 Le Mans 24 hours.

After the Second World War, the manufacturing plant in Eisenach where the 328 had been built found itself in the Russian occupation zone, and automobile manufacturing in Eisenach would follow a state directed path until German Reunification in 1989. One of the Mille Miglia 328s (disguised as a Frazer Nash) and BMW's technical plans for the car were taken from the bombed BMW factory by English representatives from the Bristol Aeroplane Company and Frazer Nash companies. Fiedler, the BMW engineer, was persuaded to come too. Bristol Cars was set up to build complete cars, called Bristols, and would also supply engines to Frazer Nash for all their post-war cars. The first Bristol car, the 400, was heavily based on the BMW plans. This Bristol engine was also a common option in AC cars, before the Cobra.

The engine has hemispherical or cross flow combustion chambers. The intake valves are opened by the usual overhead valve push rod arrangement of a side cam, push rods, and rocker arms. The exhaust valves, on the other side of the cylinder head, are opened by the same cam shaft, vertical push rods, rocker arms, horizontal push rods, and a second set of rocker arms.

In 1999 the BMW 328 was named one of 25 finalists for Car of the Century by a worldwide panel of automotive journalists.

Engine:  straight-6 ohv (light alloy cylinder head)
Bore × Stroke:  ×
Compression ratio; 7,5 : 1
Fuel feed:  3 downdraft carburetor Solex 30 JF
Power:  59 kW (80 PS) at 5000 rpm*
Motor control:  lateral cam shaft, drive by duplex chain
Fuel capacity:  (if needed possible)
Cooling:  Pump (7,5 l water)
Transmission:  4-speed
Chassis:  Aluminum body and light alloy frame
Suspension front:  swing axle with transverse leaf springs
Suspension rear:  live axle with leaf springs
Shock absorbers:  Hydraulic shock absorbers
Brakes:  Drum brakes, hydraulic (Drum diameter )
Track:  /
External dimensions:  × ×
Tires; 5.25 or 5.50–16
Unloaded weight (without drivers): 
Top speed: 
* other sources say 4500 rpm.


  • BMW 328: From roadster to legend by Rainer Simons, 328pp, Bentley Publications 2004, ISBN 0-8376-1231-4

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