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1940 BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster

The original plans envisaged three 2 Series BMW 328 Roasters being built with streamlined bodies specifically to compete in the Mille Miglia 1940. However, by the start of the Mille Miglia, only two cars were ready. Capacity constraints meant that all the assembly work could not be carried out at the Munich factory. The fact is that the plant only had limited capacity available in the Development Department for building custom vehicles, because only motorcycles and aero-engines were produced in Munich at this time. All BMW series automobiles manufactured before 1945 came from the Eisenach plant. Due to this lack of capacity and the urgent schedule, the completed chassis and space frames were loaded onto a truck and shipped to Milan so that the bodies could be fitted there on the basis of the BMW designs.

Coachbuilder Touring based there had already agreed to produce the aluminium outer skin of these vehicles in an expedited procedure. The roadsters fitted with the outer skin produced there lacked the characteristic “trouser creases” on the wings typical of the 1 Series BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster, which had been assembled entirely at the Munich plan.

Like all other BMW racing cars that lined up at the start of the Mille Miglia 1940, these two roadsters were powered by a BMW 328 engine that generated around 135 hp instead of the standard 80 hp. The two identical Series 2 BMW Mille Miglia Roadsters led the field in the Mille Miglia 1940 with starting numbers 72 and 74 and took third and fifth place after 1,000 miles. They therefore made an important contribution to the team victory obtained by the BMW automobiles in addition to the overall victory.

1940 BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster Gallery

See full 1940 BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster Gallery here

In Detail

type Racing Car
built at Milan, Italy
coachbuilder Touring
production 2
predecessor 1936 BMW 328 Roadster
successor 1941 BMW 328 Berlin-Rome Roadster
engine Inline-6
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
block material Cast Iron w/Aluminum Cylinder Heads
valvetrain OHV, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed 3 Solex 30 JF Carburetors
displacement 1971 cc / 120.3 in³
power 100.7 kw / 135.0 bhp @ 5500 rpm
specific output 68.49 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 192.86 bhp per tonne
body / frame Aluminum over Steel Frame
driven wheels RWD
front brakes Drums
rear brakes Drums
steering Rack & Pinion
f suspension Swing Axle w/Transverse Leaf Spring
r suspension Live Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs
curb weight 700 kg / 1543 lbs
wheelbase 2400 mm / 94.5 in
front track 1153 mm / 45.4 in
rear track 1220 mm / 48.0 in
transmission ZF 4-Speed Manual
top speed ~200 kph / 124.3 mph