Being There

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Wearing two winter coats, I went out to the Munich-Ramersdorf Autobahn to wait for the new Bügelfalten 328 roadster, named from the “pressed crease” on its streamlined fenders. I was thrilled to finally see it unloaded from BMW’s covered truck and put to its test runs. Two more like it are planned, but building them has taken so long that BMW decided to send those two chassis to Touring in order to have their aluminum bodies ready for Brescia on April 28.

Friday, March 22, 1940

I’ve come down to Milan to see Carrozzeria Touring’s superleggera methods at work and meet the great “superlight” coachbuilder, Bianchi Anderloni. Three days on Via Ludovico de Breme have been the education of a lifetime, and thankfully there is less tension here than in Germany.

Two years ago, Touring’s Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Mille Miglia was the most stunning coachwork I’d ever seen. Now Touring is building the pair of low-drag 328 roadsters, Milanese siblings of the Bavarian Bügelfalten, though without Munich’s trademark fender creases. BMW’s Huber and Nowack are on hand here in Milan with BMW factory plans and designs, while Touring assembles both cars with uncanny quickness.

As I and others see it, the upcoming 1,000-mile Gran Premio Brescia has become a broadly political matter. Rudolf Caracciola has been the only German to win the Mille Miglia, and BMW wants, insists, to be first overall this time regardless of race day weather or wind. BMW will now have three streamlined roadsters and two aerodynamic closed cars—the 328 Touring coupe and the extreme profile Kamm Coupe, with an abruptly sculpted tail for better airflow stability.

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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