One of the most beautiful and desirable prewar European sports cars, the BMW 327/28 Cabriolet was also the choice of the era’s most demanding drivers. A top-specification car powered by BMW’s renowned “triple-carb,” inline six-cylinder engine from the 328, the 327/28 delivered high performance with Art Deco styling and uncommon panache.
Priced at a premium of 630 to 650 Deutschmarks over the basic 327 depending upon the body style selected, the 328-powered BMW 327/28 was introduced in October 1938 and available for purchase to 1940. Available as a coupe or cabriolet, just 569 of these beautiful performers were built in all. Rare at auction today, every surviving example is a featured attraction wherever one is spotted.
Offered from the Tom Gaughen Collection at No Reserve, this wonderful 1939 BMW 327/28 Cabriolet is of particular significance to BMW collectors and marque enthusiasts, with an early connection to one of BMW’s most successful racers. During the cataloging process, Worldwide Auctioneers’ Car Specialist Charlie Kühn discovered through his network of contacts that this very car, Chassis 74208, is not only a factory-original 327/28 and documented as such by its accompanying Zertifikat issued by the BMW Group Archiv, it was delivered new in Munich, Germany to Ernst J. Henne, whose legendary racing career and 101-year lifetime could easily fill several volumes.
Of further interest, this 1939 BMW 327/28 Cabriolet was produced and delivered during July 1938 to Mr. Henne, before the model was even publicly introduced. Among his many exploits, Mr. Henne scored a podium finish in the first motorcycle race he entered in 1923. In 1925, he competed at Monza, his first international race, and he was Germany’s champion in 1926 and 1927 in the 500cc and 750cc classes, respectively. In 1928, he won the legendary and lethal Targa Florio in Sicily. Henne went on to achieve 76 world speed records in total, including a 134.6-mph mark atop a supercharged BMW 750cc with a chassis and streamlined body of his own design and creation. His last motorcycle speed record was set on November 28, 1937, at a speed of 173.7 mph on a supercharged 500cc BMW streamliner – a mark that stood for 14 years!
The above photo was supplied by Germany’s Bundesarchiv. As their caption reads, “Ernst Henne, world record man in motorcycling! The famous motorcyclist Ernst Henne presented with a 750 cc BMW supercharged engine an hourly speed of 221.539 km/h (137.658 mph).” He is pictured third from the left in this wonderful image dated September 1930.
The famous motorcyclist also proved his skill with sports cars; perhaps his finest achievement in this arena was the two-litre class victory he scored at the 1936 Eifelrennen – the first appearance of the BMW 328 in competition. Little wonder, then, that this 1939 BMW 327/28 – offered from the Tom Gaughen Collection at Scottsdale on January 16, 2019 – was his road car of choice when new.
Rightly recognized today as a CCCA Full Classic® with eligibility for a veritable multitude of excellent classic-car events and tours, it stands as yet another exceptional offering by Worldwide Auctioneers at Scottsdale, Arizona on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. For more details, see https://bit.ly/2SWgzwx and register to bid on it by calling 1-800-990-6789 or visiting us online at .#WorldwideScottsdale2019 #WABMW #WorldwideAuctioneers #WeCareMoreAboutYourandYourCars #ScottsdaleAuction