Offered by Oldtimer Galerie Toffen | Gstaad, Switzerland | December 29, 2022
BMW’s ultimate pre-war car was the 328, which was a Mille Miglia-winning sports car powered by a legendary inline-six engine. A similar car, launched in 1937, was the 327. It was less sporty and more grand tour-y.
It was also powered by an inline-six. In this car, it was the 2.0-liter M78 unit, which made about 54 horsepower. There was a 327/8 version that got the 328’s engine, which was good for a bump to 79 horsepower.
The 327 was available in cabriolet or coupe form. After WWII, production continued in the form of the EMW 327, and they were available until 1955 (!). This car is one of only 1,124 pre-war cabriolet examples produced. Delivered new to Zurich, it was restored within the last five years. It now has an estimate of $133,000-$144,000. Click here for more info.
The history of the automobile in the immediate aftermath of World War II is pretty interesting. In the United States, many car manufacturers resumed production of their pre-war models, but in Europe, the widespread destruction threw everything into chaos. BMW’s pre-war manufacturing activities took place in Eisenach. But the Soviet Union held the territory when production resumed in 1946.
And BMW was headquartered in Munich. So the Soviet Eisenach factory was producing BMWs without BMWs consent. When the Eisenach factory came under control of the East German government and BMW sued to get their name (and badge) back. So the Eisenach factory changed its name to EMW (Eisenach Motor Works) and continued producing pre-war BMWs, like the 327 you see here.
The 327 was first introduced in 1937 and was built through 1941. Production resumed in 1946 with all 1946 through 1951 cars being badged as BMWs (although they were not sold, officially, by BMW). Cars built from 1952 through the end of production in 1955 were badged as EMWs. EMW would later go on to become Wartburg.
The engine is a 2.0-liter straight-six making 55 horsepower. This car was in a museum for the last five years and was recently restored. It is a numbers matching car. Only 505 327s were built after the war, with an unknown split between BMW and EMW. This one should sell for between $140,000-$185,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.