1938 BMW 327 Sport Cabriolet
The BMW 327 was the German manufacturer’s foray into the production of more up-market sports cars that offered agreeable performance, elegant styling, and comfort. It shares much of the drivetrain with the 326 sedan, and some styling cues are shared with the more well-known 328 two-seaters.
The mid-size 327 arrived in 1937, one year after the motorsports-oriented 328 which was, in essence, a racing car for the road. The 327, however, was tailor-made for a different kind of customer. Be it in coupe or cabriolet guise, this car was a tourer in the true sense of the term, one that could withstand long journeys and offer seating for 4 adults.
It proved to be a popular car back in the interwar period with over with over 1,300 units being built in the Eisenach plant until 1941. The production of the 327 resumed at the same plant after the war but under Soviet rule. Those cars later became known as EMWs (Eisenach Motor Works). The 327 signaled that BMW had reached maturity barely a decade after the former aeronautical engine builder turned its attention to cars.
2018 BMW i8 and i3 Starlight Edition
Proving that it can match fancy with the best automakers in the world, BMW has rolled a one-off BMW i8 that’s dressed up in actual 24-karat gold. The unique creation is called the i8 Starlight Edition, and if you happen to have deep pockets, it can be purchased, provided you end up with the winning bid. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The BMW i8 Starlight Edition — and the i3 Starlight Edition, for that matter — will be up for auction to benefit the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97.
Golden BMW i3 And i8 Starlight Edition Revealed
BMW has introduced tons of special versions of its i cars - the i3 and the i8. Now, the BMW Czech Republic division revealed a new stunning pair of special editions- the BMW i3 and the i8 Starlight Edition, two models that show off the exceptional possibilities of BMW’s paint partners at Toplac. As the official partners of the BMW ColorSystem, Toplac employed painter Miroslav Spicak and designer Zoltan Matuska to create the unique BMW i3 and i8 drizzled in gold. Literally.
For all of the land yachts and giant ridiculous tailfins that were popular on American cars in ’50s, there were also a lot of Americans buying European roadsters. This was the period when MG got a foothold in America, on the strength of the MGA roadster, while more expensive models like the Mercedes-Benz 300SL found there way into the garages of America’s super rich.
New York automobile importer Max Hoffman, who was the man responsible for many of the high-end roadsters of the day making it over to America, figured that there was a gap in the market below the 300SL, and suggested to BMW that a roadster based on the 501/502 sedan might sell to Americans. Thus was born the 507 roadster in 1956.
BMW actually developed two roadsters at the same time, the bigger 503 flagship for the European market and the smaller 507, using a shorter version of the same platform. Even though the cars were based on the existing 502, BMW couldn’t keep the cost down enough to make the cars competitive, and fewer than a thousand units of both models combined were ever produced. The 507 is not only the rarer of the two, but it is also generally considered to be the more stylish.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1959 BMW 507 Roadster Series II.
The new BMW i8 is the brand’s most innovative and technologically advanced model yet. This plug-in hybrid combines efficiency with sports car performance, futuristic looks, and plenty of BMW luxury. Perhaps the first thing to catch consumers’ minds is the raw technology behind this design. This plug-in hybrid setup combines a 1.5-liter, inline three-cylinder, gas engine with two electric motors for motivation. In July 2014, BMW announced that it will auction off a special Concours d’Elegance Edition i8 to build upon the excitement about the model.
Things get a little tricky when adding the i8’s powertrain together. A six-speed automatic transmission drives the rear wheels, while an electric motor powers the front wheels through a two-speed automatic. An additional, smaller electric motor provides additional power to the rear wheels but mostly acts as a generator to top off the battery.
Confused yet? The bottom line is that this all works in harmony to create 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. BMW claims a 0-to-60 time of only 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. A BMW-like 50/50 weight distribution ensures amazing balance and handling.
While all of this is enough to get excited about, BMW wants to take luxury and customization a step further with a special Concours d’Elegance Edition to be introduced and auctioned off at the Pebble Beach Auto Show in August 2014.
Updated 08/18/2014: The i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition sold at auction for a whopping $825,000.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition.
When you are thinking about a BMW Isetta, impressive output is definitely the last thing you are taking under consideration. In fact, an original BMW Isetta only delivered a total of 13 horsepower, so nothing impressive here. With this in mind it is pretty much impossible to even consider a 730-horsepower Isetta, right?
Well, as impossible as it may sound, the guys over Hot Wheels unveiled back in 1998 the "Whatta Drag" — a car that initially started as a toy. Thanks to the amazing imagination of Bruce Weiner, the Isetta Whatta Drag became a reality in 2005. As you could imagine, this cool Whatta Drag only keeps the body shell from an original 1959 BMW Isetta, because everything else is pretty much new.
Under the hood, it gets a 502-cubic-inch Chevrolet big-block crate engine mated to a two-speed manual transmission. The V-8 engine is equipped with a BDS supercharger, twin Holley 750 CFM double-pumper carburetors and Zoomies exhaust headers. The result is a pretty amazing 730 horsepower — a number that seems monstrous for the tiny Isetta.
Next to that amazing output level, this special Isetta has been specially equipped for burnouts and donuts thanks to an AP balance bar incorporated into the dual-circuit disc-brake system. The Isetta-turned-dragster also received the suspension system from an M3 and custom drag-racing wheels with a Sumitomo HTRZ II tires.
If the car caught your attention, you will be happy to know it will be auctioned by RM Auctions on February 16, but prepare to shell out about $100k to acquire it.
Click past the jump to read the press release
At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1955, BMW unveiled an all new sports car that was put in place to help continue the company’s post-war growth. The 503, as BMW dubbed it, went into production the next year and came in both a coupe and convertible model. Only 413 total 503 models were ever built and 139 of those were convertibles (cabriolet).
This makes the BMW 503 Series I Cabriolet one of the most desired BMWs of both its era and all eras, for that matter. The 503 was never an overly powerful model, but it was a well-balanced car that delivered performance and comfort at the same time – something that was lacking in the late-1950s.
With it only seeing a production run up until 1959, getting your hands on one of these gems is quite the tough task. It is not completely impossible, however, as there are a few that cross the auction block every handful of years. You can bet your bottom dollar on the fact that these rare 2+2 drop-tops fetch a rather hefty sum.
Click past the jump to read all about the 1956 through 1959 BMW 503 Series I Cabriolet.
In the early 1960s BMW has unveiled the 3200CS - a coupe developed in cooperation with Carrozzeria Bertone. But Giorgetto Giugiaro wanted to prove he can do even more than that. The result of this desire was the "Spicup" concept. The concept was unveiled at the 1969 Geneva Salon and in the same year was exhibited at the Concorso d’Eleganza in Allassio in June and finally at that year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
After that it is believed that the concept was sold to a private owner and in the mid-1970 it has been spotted at the German mega-dealer Auto Becker in Düsseldorf.
After that the car has been registered in the Netherlands and used as a ’daily driver’. Now the concept has been restored to concurs condition and has been auction at the Bonhams auction for an impressive €460,000 or about $600,000 at the current exchange rates.
Hit the jump to read more about the BMW Spicup Convertible Coupe.
BMW’s mid-engined supercar, the M1, is arguably among the most collectible BMW models ever built. Produced from 1978 until 1991, only 556 examples were built, and it’s unknown how many remain today. Some were built as road cars, while others were built for an M1 spec series that pitted the best drivers in the world against each other in identical cars. While road-going M1 made “only” 276 horsepower, cars campaigned in the Procar series produced upwards of 470 horsepower, which made them a fitting exhibition race preceding Grand Prix events in 1979 and 1980.
The BMW M1 captured the attention of Peter Gregg, an accomplished road racer and six-time IMSA champion. Gregg also owned Brumos Motors in Jacksonville, FL, and placed an order for a BMW M1 in 1978, to be built to FIA Group 4 specifications. The car was completed in 1979, but a tragic event in the fall of 1978 would make this particular M1 even more valuable.
Gregg and artist Frank Stella were at Monza to watch Gregg’s friend and former teammate, Ronnie Peterson, compete in the Italian Grand Prix. Peterson was involved in an opening lap crash that shattered both his legs. Although his injuries were not perceived to be life threatening, the Swedish driver died the next day as a result of the crash. Stella, who had been working on a series of paintings called “Polar Coordinates,” dedicated his artwork to the memory of Ronnie Peterson.
Full story after the jump.