Being There

Also from Issue 95

  • E92 335is Coupe road test
  • F01 750i xDrive road test
  • Not for U.S. F11 5 Series Touring
  • Active Autowerke E90, E92 M3s
  • Hamann X6 Tycoon Evo M
  • Mark David’s E30 325is
  • Jack Croul’s 328 at Mille Miglia
  • BMW NA’s ex-Polak 2002ti racer
  • Bimmerfest 2010
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Friday, October 20, 1939

With England’s and France’s rejection of Hitler’s so-called “peace offer,” the Nazi dictator vows to fight to the end in Europe. That has indefinitely scuttled the planned Berlin-to-Rome race and a rumored multi-nation London-to-Cape Town tour of 11,000 miles over 45 days, and which would have included the BMWs. Instead, tanks, trucks and troops are on the march.

But there’s still the Mille Miglia for 1940, crazy as it may seem. Rather than follow the usual route from Brescia to Rome and back, the NSKK [National Socialist Motor Corps] chief Adolf Huhnlein and FASI, a Fascist federation of teams and drivers, announced plans to close-off roads for a 103-mile circuit through Italy’s level Po Valley.

As in the past, the race will still start and finish at Brescia and will triangulate at Cremona and Mantua. The Gran Premio Brescia delle Mille Miglia, as it’s called, will be run in nine laps and will field some 80 starters in five classes, with five BMWs favored for the 2-liter category.

Wednesday, January 10, 1940

Three ships were sunk off the British coast today in an attack by Nazi planes, and fear is that total war is not far away. It’s hard to concentrate on motorsport in times like this, but much is happening in that realm.

BMW’s Fritz Fiedler and Wilhelm Meyerhuber are pursuing Dr. Kamm’s aim for an aerodynamic closed 328, derived from his wind tunnel tests. To help cure the stability problems, they’re working from a chassis nearly eight inches longer than standard. This, of course, is done under racing boss Loof, but signs of the job being rushed are evident in the car’s bodywork.

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