Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to All Our Content

1941 BMW 328 Berlin-Rome Roadster

Plans for the long-distance rally from Berlin to Rome were already being forged at the political level as early as 1939. In 1940, three BMW 328 cars were taken to Milan so that they could be fitted with aerodynamic roadster bodies by coachbuilder Carozzeria Touring. These streamlined two-seaters were only completed in 1941. Ultimately, this development resulted in racing cars with an extraordinarily good drag coefficient for the time. The bodies were manufactured using the Superleggera design patented by Touring. The aluminium outer skin was mounted on a space frame fitted to the chassis of the BMW 328. This lightweight approach to design reduced the weight of the vehicle to approximately 720 kg. Significantly modified BMW 328 engines were fitted as the power unit to generate a maximum output of 110 hp instead of 80 hp in the series version.

The planned race from Berlin to Rome was postponed a number of times and was rescheduled for 1941. Regrettably, all further motor-sport activities with German involvement were precluded as the events of the Second World War unfolded. A number of other carmakers had also designed special streamlined vehicles specifically for this race which in fact never took place. The three BMW 328 “Berlin-Rome” Touring Roadsters had not taken part in a single race by the time the war came to an end, although after the Second World War came to a close, one of them competed in numerous races.

1941 BMW 328 Berlin-Rome Roadster Gallery

See full 1941 BMW 328 Berlin-Rome Roadster Gallery here

In Detail

type Racing Car
built at Milan, Italy
coachbuilder Touring
production 3
predeccesor 1940 BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster
succeccesor 1948 Veritas Rennsport
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 82.0 kw / 110 bhp @ 5500 rpm
specific output 55.81 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 157.14 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