1941 BMW 328 Berlin-Rome Roadster
“The ONS (the highest-ranking national sports authority in Germany at the time) commissioned Milan-based coach-builders Carrozzeria Touring to fit three BMW 328 Roadsters with advanced, aerodynamic roadster bodies in the hope of sending the cars into competitive action in the Berlin-Rome race in 1941. The result were racing cars boasting an extraordinarily impressive drag coefficient for the time. However, the events of the Second World War put the brakes on all further motor sport activities with German participation.” - Fact Sheet from BMW
“Plans for the long-distance rally from Berlin to Rome were already being forged at the political level as early as 1939. In 1940, three BMW 328 cars were taken to Milan so that they could be fitted with aerodynamic roadster bodies by coachbuilder Carozzeria Touring. These streamlined two-seaters were only completed in 1941. Ultimately, this development resulted in racing cars with an extraordinarily good drag coefficient for the time. The bodies were manufactured using the Superleggera design patented by Touring. The aluminium outer skin was mounted on a space frame fitted to the chassis of the BMW 328. This lightweight approach to design reduced the weight of the vehicle to approximately 720 kg. Significantly modified BMW 328 engines were fitted as the power unit to generate a maximum output of 110 hp instead of 80 hp in the series version.
The planned race from Berlin to Rome was postponed a number of times and was rescheduled for 1941. Regrettably, all further motor-sport activities with German involvement were precluded as the events of the Second World War unfolded. A number of other carmakers had also designed special streamlined vehicles specifically for this race which in fact never took place. The three BMW 328 “Berlin-Rome” Touring Roadsters had not taken part in a single race by the time the war came to an end, although after the Second World War came to a close, one of them competed in numerous races.” - source
References for the Build
For years this BMW has been my dad’s dream car, and several years ago he found a body-maker in Australia that had built a body and frame replica of the Berlin-Rome 328. My dad already has an engine, transmission, chassis and most other parts for the car, he only needed the body and frame.
For the build process I took the original design and used it as a template to build the miniature while also working from an inspiration of the wood frame build from Australia. I knew I wanted to design a push press kit and have a single spine going down the middle connecting each of the pieces.
I mapped everything out and did a first build with cardboard, then mat board, and finally with wood.