Lot 3179

Gene Ponder Collection

1939 BMW 327 Sport Cabriolet


$192,500 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Marshall, Texas



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  • One of BMW’s most celebrated pre-war automobiles
  • Badged to replicate the rare post-war EMW 327
  • Powered by a Bristol-built, overhead-valve M328 engine
  • Appealing black and red livery over a tan interior

Originally launched by BMW in 1937, the famous 327’s first iteration was the sleek and sensual cabriolet. Based on the chassis of the previous 326, this new model represented a great shift in the design language of the Bavarian firm. Instead of the boxy, upright sedans of the previous decade, the cabriolet was all lightness and flow, resplendent with the luxurious designs of the 1930s.

Though the body was supplied by coachbuilder Autenrieth in Darmstadt, the entirety of the 327 was assembled at the Eisenach factory. The ashwood frame was combined with the straight-six engine previously seen on the 326—though this new model produced an additional 5 horsepower and reached top speeds of 125 km/h. BMW would up the ante by offering the M328 engine from the 328 sports car as an option to further increase the performance capabilities of the model.

Prior to its acquisition by Gene Ponder, the BMW 327 Sport Cabriolet on offer was part of a private collection in Caracas, Venezuela. Photographs on file from this period of ownership, beginning in the early 1990s, display the same black and red color scheme as seen on the car today.

After entering the Ponder collection in 2017, the cabriolet received extensive mechanical work as detailed in a series of invoices from 2019 and 2020. The car was fitted with a Bristol overhead-valve M328 engine, fully rebuilt by marque experts and bringing a welcome gain in performance. At this time, the vehicle was also fitted with EMW badges to replicate the rare post-war examples produced within the Russian-occupied East German zone.

With a unique look and a powerful engine, this BMW is attractive on many levels, exhibiting tastefully executed elements that evoke an interesting period of post-war automotive history.