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The BMW 326: a classic jewel full of style and charisma

Photo: ©BMW Group

Imagine travelling back in time to the era when automobiles were masterpieces of elegance and sophistication. That’s where the magnificent BMW 326 comes in, a mid-size sedan that made history between 1936 and 1941. But its story doesn’t end there! Under Soviet control, it briefly resurfaced after 1945, lending it an aura of mystery and charm.

Designed by the visionary Fritz Fiedler, the BMW 326 was notable for its box-shaped frame structure, a feature that allowed it to be easily adapted to bring other BMW models to life. It also featured revolutionary innovations for its time, such as the torsion beam rear suspension, inspired by the rigid axle system of the Citroën Traction Avant, and the first hydraulic braking system used on a BMW car. Yes, gentlemen, this gem has always been at the cutting edge of technology!

Peter Schimanowski was responsible for designing the irresistible looks of the 326, available in four-door sedan and two- or four-door cabriolet versions. But the highlight was that the 326 sedan was the first BMW with four doors, giving it an unprecedented touch of comfort and practicality.

Photo: Wikipedia

The 1971 cc inline six-cylinder engine of the BMW 326 is an upgraded version of the BMW 319 engine, with an increase in cylinder bore from 65 mm to 66 mm, and an unchanged stroke of 96 mm. This translates into a power output of 50 hp, fed by two 26 mm Solex carburettors. Enough to reach a top speed of 115 km/h.

In addition, the 326 features a four-speed gearbox with freewheel in the lower gears and synchromesh in the top two gears. This provides a smooth and effortless driving experience, adapting to any situation on the road.

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Photo ©BMW Group

The BMW 326 was notable for its aerodynamic elegance, moving away from the more upright lines of previous BMW models. To reduce air resistance, it even featured a fixed cover over the spare wheel at the rear. A touch of style that sets it apart from the rest.

With its innovative design, thrilling performance and a touch of nostalgia, the BMW 326 remains a highly desirable collector’s item for classic car enthusiasts. It is the perfect example of how history and engineering can merge to create something truly extraordinary.