- A stunning British coachbuilt BMW 328
- A veteran of the 1949 Spa 24 Hours
- Previously owned by well-known amateur driver “Dickie” Stoop
- Accepted by the VSCC as a pre-war sports car; eligible for a variety of racing events
The first modern sports car, the BMW 328 was a marvel of engineering. Unlike other German cars, which utilized steel rail chassis, BMW had perfected the light tubular chassis with welded floors, allowing the use of softer springs and shock absorbers, making cornering a circuit lightning fast. Add to this frame the engine block and brakes from the BMW 326 and one had nearly reached perfection. The final touch came from a power boost via a completely redesigned cylinder head, which utilizes one lateral camshaft high on the left side, with valves inclined at 90 degrees and the spark plug in the center.
The 328 offered here is one of six chassis that were imported to England by the Aldington Brothers under the name of Frazer Nash in the autumn of 1939. With the immediate onset of World War II, the vehicles were impounded and stored by British Customs and Excise, not to be seen until 1946.
As confirmed by the Frazer Nash Archives, chassis number 85427 was purchased post-war by former RAF Spitfire pilot “Dickie” Stoop, a Frazer Nash Works driver. Stoop commissioned a bespoke envelope body for his new Frazer Nash-BMW from Leacroft of Egham. As an ode to his piloting background, the body featured many aeronautical features – the aircraft-type bonnet clips and flush-capped fuel filler among them – as well as a cockpit sized to accommodate Stoop’s stocky frame.
Partnered with his friend Peter Wilson, Stoop entered 85427 in the 1949 Spa 24-Hour race held at the Circuit National at Spa-Francorchamps, taking 6th in class and 12th overall. Dickie later sold the 328 back to AFN Limited in 1952 in exchange for a Frazer Nash Mille Miglia.
The history of this Frazer Nash-BMW is unknown from 1952 through 1988, when it resurfaced for sale, and was subsequently purchased by the Swiss Rosso Bianco Collection. Maintained for display, chassis 85427 underwent a restoration during the Collection’s ownership. With the sale of the Rosso Bianco Collection to the Louwman Museum in 2006, the vehicle was soon thereafter sold into its current ownership. It has most recently been exhibited at the 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Highly eligible and with a proper period competition pedigree from Dickie Stoop, one of the most significant names in Frazer Nash lore, this this would be a wonderful addition to any collection, particularly one focused on the most unique of BMWs.