No less than 70 years have passed since BMW’s ﬁrst entry into the luxury market. It was back then in 1938 that BMW presented a prototype of the BMW 335 at the London Motor Show, production of this trendsetting car starting just one year later.
Right from the start, the BMW 335 received maximum recognition for its outstanding qualities as a fast and comfortable grand tourer. At the time BMW, still a young company, already had an outstanding reputation for the construction of six-cylinder power units, hitting the headlines with the BMW 328 sports racer and once and for all gaining the status of a large-scale manufacturer through the successful BMW 326.
The BMW 326 was also the car that set the design and constructional foundation for BMW’s ﬁrst Luxury Saloon. Still, the BMW 335 came with a longer suspension and chassis, a brand-new 3.5-litre straight-six developing maximum output of 90 hp, a torsion bar-sprung rear axle, powerful oil pressure brakes and wider tyres. And an exclusive innovation also introduced at the time was the all-synchromesh transmission. On account of the war, production of the BMW 335 ended in 1943 after completion of only 415 units. But even this small number of cars was sufficient to set the foundation for subsequent success in the luxury performance segment which came in 1951 when BMW presented the BMW 501 for the ﬁrst time at the Frankfurt Motor Show.