Battersea Evolution
8 September 2014
Lot 129

1937 BMW 319


£140,000 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom | London, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • A charming early BMW
  • Beautifully finished and rarely seen

55 bhp, 1,911 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptic leaf-spring front and rear suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,400 mm

Addendum: Please note that this car is finished in electric blue and silver grey, not blue and white as stated in the catalogue. It is also fitted with two Solex carburettors.

The Bavarian Motor Works got their start building the Dixi, a charming copy of the popular British Austin 7 Roadster, which was manufactured under license. The Dixi was initially a low-cost, bare-bones “people’s car”, but it would eventually evolve into models that were increasingly both more powerful and more interesting, and these would pave the way for the high-performance “ultimate driving machines” that followed.

Amongst the early BMW models was the 315 Roadster, which was designed by Peter Szymanowski, who would become the company’s chief of design following World War II. It grew from 1,490 cubic centimetres at its introduction at Frankfurt in 1935 into the 1,911-cubic centimetre model 319 offered here, which boasted a top speed quoted by the factory of 81 mph, thanks to an engine with two Solex carburettors that could produce 55 horsepower. Simply put, the adorable BMW 319 was one of the swiftest European sports roadsters of its time, and it was considerably faster than most of its British competition, making it a true wolf in sheep’s clothing. It can be considered the grandfather of the performance BMWs that would follow, as its design would evolve into the famed 328, which would in turn influence the 507 produced in the post-war years.

The properly restored 319 Roadster offered here has been freshly completed and virtually no miles have been recorded since its restoration. Its body has been properly refinished in a striking combination of electric blue and silver grey, which is accented by matching leather upholstery that faces clear, crisp, and freshly restored gauges. Chrome headlights, rear wing “spats” decorated with the roundel, and disc wheels with chrome knock-off hubs accentuate the sporty and dashing appearance whilst also nodding to the streamlined trend then in style. Trafficator turn signals and dual windshield wipers are also fitted.

BMW 319s are seldom ever offered for sale, making the opportunity to acquire one that is nicely restored a rare chance indeed.