Monterey Conference Center
18 - 20 August 2022
Lot 370

1938 BMW 327/28 Sport Cabriolet


$280,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
US Title
  • One of BMW’s most celebrated pre-war automobiles; sports a stylish “Tuxedo” color scheme Benefits from a high-quality, no-expense-spared concours restoration
  • Shown at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance; honors include Palmetto and Chairman’s Awards at the 2011 Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance, People’s Choice at the 2011 Kirkland Concours d’Elegance, and People’s Choice at the 2012 BMW Car Club of America show in Seattle
  • Thoughtful, performance-enhancing upgrades include fitment of the desirable, competition-proven M328 engine and a four-speed transmission with overdrive
  • An excellent choice for continued exhibition or tour and rally participation

Launched by BMW in 1937 as a sleek and sensual cabriolet, the 327 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; the 327’s elegant shape appeared to move even while standing still. The model’s ample performance was further improved when the 327/28 was introduced, bringing the 328’s potent inline-six, with its hemispherical combustion chambers and crossflow head, to the luxurious cabriolet. A limited number of these uprated cars were produced in period. Others, this chassis among them, have enjoyed later upgrades to desirable 327/28 specification.

This BMW arrived on US soil following World War II under the care of a Colonel Ott. It was later sold to Chester R. Lewis of Pennsylvania in 1959, who sparingly used it over the subsequent decades. In 1990, it was shipped to Seattle, Washington for its next caretaker, Fritz Gechter, and 1996, it was acquired by the present owner.

By that point in time, the cabriolet had seen a great deal of use, and a full restoration commenced in 2005. A tremendous investment, this overhaul was said to total 5,000 hours and 550,000 CAD (approximately 420,000 USD). In addition to addressing all cosmetic and mechanical needs, many refinements were made to turn this BMW into a thrilling and capable rally and tour car; the fitment of a Volvo-sourced four-speed manual transmission with overdrive, paired with its competition-proven M328 powerplant, is but one example. (Note that this engine block was stamped to match the vehicle’s original fabrication number, 73272, apparently at the time of the engine upgrade.)

Jellybean Autocrafters of British Columbia, Canada was enlisted to artfully fabricate pieces of the bodywork that had deteriorated over time. Once completed, the car was finished in a stylish two-tone black and ivory “tuxedo” scheme, paired with a brown interior carefully selected to reflect the factory-correct leather.

Since the completion of its restoration, this BMW has earned numberous honors, including People’s Choice at the 2011 Kirkland Concours d’Elegance in Washington, as well as Palmetto Award for best restoration and Chairman’s Award at the 2011 Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance. Marque enthusiasts recognized it with a People’s Choice award at the 2012 BMW Car Club of America show in Seattle, Washington; in 2013, it dazzled attendees on the 18th green at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. While the cabriolet will be welcome at shows across the country, it is also worth considering its stout performance and potential on premier driving events.

Rare, stylish, and powerful, the 327/28 on offer will be a rewarding addition to any garage. With event eligibility worldwide, its lucky owner is sure to experience the best the hobby has to offer while discovering the joys of pre-war BMWs.