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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

One of the BMW-owned pre-war legendary racing cars

One of the world's most important pre-war racing cars is the BMW 328 Mille Miglia 'Buegelfalte' which was made in 1937. This car is the only special roadster ever made at the BMW factory in Munich, and has numerous race wins to its credit (including a Mille Miglia class win) which later became an inspiration-sourced for almost all of post-war sports cars.

As is well known, BMW has been actively involved in the car racing activities in the pre-war periods and has enjoyed much significant success with the 328 model which is sophisticated and high-performance. 
BMW 328 Mille Miglia 'Buegelfalte' was produced in 1937. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2UFYXaM)
The race car was built on a chassis numbered of 85032 and was produced in May 1937 as a standard bodied car designed by the Experimental Department of Rudolf Schleicher at BMW. This car was noted to have participated in the 1937 Le Mans racing competition drove by the famous British racing driver of the time, A.F.P. Fane, as well as the 1937 Tourist Cup which was driven by H.G. Dobbs.
Front three-quarter of 1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia 'Buegelfalte.' (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2UFYXaM)
And in the fall of 1939, the racing car was dismantled at the BMW's racing division at Milbertshofen before it was extensively reengineered and used as a basis for leaner bodywork in preparation for the 1940 racing season and Mille Miglia in particular. For this reason, BMW makes this aerodynamic coupe and lightweight open roadster.

Extensive modifications done to the car include lowering the engine and driveline in the chassis to reduce the front area of ​​the body and lower the center of gravity to improve handling. The design was done by Wilhelm Kaiser, a very experienced member of BMW's new design department, led by stylist chief Wilhelm Meyerhuber. Then its 1: 10 scale model was tested in the pioneering aerodynamic wind tunnel of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wunibald Kamm, with a long, tapered tail that took advantage of the lowered engine and profile.
Top view of 1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia 'Buegelfalte' interior. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2UFYXaM)
Magnesium material is even used for the car's braking system, which consists of Alfin drum brakes with a Duplex system for the front and rear wheels. The 17-inch steel disc wheel has a lightweight metal ring, and the tires are specially made for Mille Miglia by Continental, so the car can travel at long distances without having to change the tires. 

With true racing style, the rear leaf spring suspension can be adjusted, controlled with additional stabilizing bars. Even the hub is a super-lightweight special edition unit, like most hardware, aluminum nuts, screw heads and the like. After all modifications at Milbertshofen are finished, the BMW Bügelfalte is then tested on a track not far from BMW's headquarters in Munich.
Left side view of 1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia 'Buegelfalte.' (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2UFYXaM)
For 2 roadsters and other streamlined coupes whose bodywork is entrusted to Touring in Milan, which had the capacity to finish before the 1940 Mille Miglia. It should be noted that these two "second series" roadsters have complete mechanics and tubular substructure completed in Munich before the bodywork is finished in Milan. Because of this, they don't have the typical "pants fold" fender.

During the war, the roadster Bügelfalte was given to Albert Speer, Reichsminister for Bewaffnung und Munition (Armaments and Munitions). Remarkably, it survived five years of world war and was seized by Russia for repair. The Russians awarded it to Artiom Ivanovich Mikoyan, head of the Mikoyan i Gurevich Design Bureau, who was none other than the creator of the famous MiG fighter jets.
Rear three-quarter of 1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia 'Buegelfalte.' (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2UFYXaM)
Mikoyan let his son use it, but the boy’s escapades eventually drained his father's patience, so in 1972 he exchanged the Bügelfalte with Guido Adamson of Riga, Latvia, for a Lada car that was not too inclined to arouse a young man's fantasy while driving it.

With the collapse of "Iron Curtain," Adamson drove the Bügelfalte to Munich and entrusted it to BMW's care, and was seen using it occasionally, especially on the 1991 Mille Miglia Storica where it was displayed on a BMW poster commemorating the event.

In 2001, this car was acquired from Adamson and, for the last decade before appearing at an auction event in Monaco, was serviced and maintained by the BMW's specialists at the Tom Fischer Classic & Race Car Service. Working together with Georg Thiele. a BMW 328 engine specialist and with utmost attention to originality, the complete mechanicals, including engine, front and rear axle and brake system, have been rebuilt.
Lastly, the legendary racing car was seen at an auction event on May 1, 2010, at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco. Yes, the unique BMW 328 Buegelfalte Roadster signature collector car shown off at the RM Auction's event and was reportedly sold post-bid for more than $ 5.6 million. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | BMW BLOG]
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