Thursday, March 6, 2014

BMW 328s Pure and Silly

In the years since around 1950, when automobile styling switched from evolution to fashion, stylists have become tempted to harken to previous themes for inspiration.  The buzz word for this is "Retro."  Sometimes Retro is found in production cars, but it might happen even more where concept cars are concerned.  A case in point is the BMW 328 series, a production sports car that sired some road racing variants around the end of the 1930s.


Shown here are the 1937 Bügelfalte, 1939 328 Touring Coupe and 1940 328 Kamm Coupe.  They are of interest due to the use of serious streamlining (as opposed to superficial streamlining found on many passenger cars of that era).

The Touring Coupe.  It was created by the Italian coachbuilder Touring because BMW needed a closed car to better compete in road races outside Germany such as Italy's famed Mille Miglia (Thousand Mile) race through towns and countryside.  More information is here.

The Kamm Coupe.  Unlike the Touring coup, the Kamm Coupe's body was the result of wind tunnel testing by the noted aerodynamicist, Wunibald Kamm. See here for more details.

Two views of the 2006 BMW Mille Miglia Concept Coupe.  This was inspired by the streamlined racing cars pictured above.  I think it is very nicely done.  Well, I have a few quibbles such as the lack of doors, but this is a show car, after all, so details that do not affect the overall design can be excused.  The front seems to be mostly inspired by the Touring Coupe, while the rest of the design is derived from the Kamm Coupe.

A production BMW 328 roadster is pictured with the 2011 "328 Hommage" concept car in conjuction with the 2011 Villa d'Este concours.

Closer views of the 328 Hommage.  Some background regarding it can be found here.  Unlike the Mille Miglia Concept Coupe, the styling of the Hommage is a hash of unrelated or marginally related details.  The design would have held together better if doors were present, but the cut-out entries serve to break it into chunks.  Yes, there are continuation lines (the top of the fenders and the upper side character line), but these are overwhelmed by the cut-outs.  I would have honored the original 328 by having the door cut-outs terminating along that character line, rather that dropping through it.  This would have unified the design and better reflected the 1930s 328's styling.

1 comment:

Antonio Sanchez said...

Some automotive icons should be left alone !! This is a nightmare.