Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Magnificent German (Part2)

Over the next few years, the company managed to produce a range of new cars with the flagship model 326. The 326 was BMW's first four-door sedan and was first introduced in 1926 at Berlin Motor Show. The streamlined shapes of the car were considered as a modern design in those times, and therefore, the car was publicly accepted later in 1950. One of the features of the 326 was its box-section frame, which could easily be modified for next generation models. The torsion bar rear suspension, inspired by the dead axle suspension of the Citro├źn Traction Avant, and the hydraulic braking system, the first to be used on a BMW car, were also innovations.
 
Styled by Peter Schimanowski, the 326 was offered as a four-door sedan and as a two- or four-door cabriolet. All these allowed the 326 to rank with Mercedes Benz, the owners of which were basically the rich. In spite of its heavy weight (1125kg), the car could be accelerated to 115 km/h with a fuel consumption of 12.5L/100km. The “newborn” German was equipped with 2L six-cylinder engine with a capacity of 50 hp. This impressive performance was supplemented by the quality and comfort of the saloon: there was a foldable armrest between the rear seats, the front seats were adjustable in all directions, the front doors were equipped with electric side windows and there were an ashtray and a lighter on the dashboard. The first electronically controlled windshield wipers and turn lights were also practically applied on this car. All this guaranteed superior comfort for the driver, and it is not a coincidence that BMW’s cars were and are inspired with the idea of “to create a car for a driver”, in contrast with Mercedes, whose main ideology was ” to create a car for a passenger”. Later on, the 326 was recognized as the best German prewar car, an icon of comfort and luxury, which was unlike to BMW’s sporting character.
In other words, the 326 became the “guarantor “of BMW’s future fame and success.
The model I came across was brought to Yerevan after the war, most probably, as a war trophy. It is notable that, not being a cabriolet, the car has a folding textile roof (convertible) and is obviously different from the base model, which indicates that this is a custom-made model. Unfortunately, there is very little left from the original.


To be more exact, the only original part is the body. Both the chassis and the interior are totally changed and we’ve got no opportunity to glance even the slightest trace of the one-time German luxury.
The present owner has done everything in his power to restore this Bavarian miracle. No doubt, it will be on the road for a long time.