ft @ 4900rpm
(From BMW Press Release)
The history of the Mille Miglia and the history of the BMW brand
have been inseparably connected for decades. The roots of this
relationship were formed during the classical road races between
1927 and 1957 and the tradition is
still alive today in the annual races for historic vehicles.
the Mille Miglia 2006, the BMW Group Mobile Tradition, the Munich
automobile manufacturer’s division for classics is also using a
series of vehicles that set new standards in the art of engineering
in their time and that are now considered milestones
in the history of the development of automotive engineering.
Furthermore, at the start and finish line in Brescia in northern
Italy, BMW is presenting a unique specimen fabricated on the
occasion of the Mille Miglia 2006, in which the enthusiasm for
racing sports from days past is being united with the technical
opportunities of today, along with pioneering design perspectives.
The BMW Concept Coupé Mille Miglia 2006 pays homage to the skills,
successes and the visions of the motor sports pioneers of the past,
created by its modern successors.
On the surface, the BMW Concept Coupé unmistakably bears the traits
a racing sports icon. Its bodywork design is oriented on the BMW 328
Mille Miglia Touring Coupé, that legendary two-seater with which
von Hanstein and Walter Bäumer drove home the victory during the
in 1940. Their speed record - average speed: 166.7 km/h - has
until today. No other Mille Miglia victor - neither before nor since
- ever travelled as fast as the BMW 328 Mille Miglia Coupé with its
touring body, which was driven by the legendary “racing baron”.
Homage to a racing sports icon and its creator.
Up until into the 50’s, the BMW 328 was still victorious in
international racing sports. It was one of the most successful
competitive vehicles in the long BMW motor sports history. On top of
that, in 2004 it wrote Mille Miglia history for a second time. The
BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé was the first automobile ever to
win the historic remake of the Mille Miglia after winning the
With the BMW Concept Coupé, the automobile developers at the Munich
manufacturer are erecting a monument to their predecessors. The
both optically and technically fascinating, is a symbol of how much
the values internalised by the creators of the BMW 328 still
determine the work of the
engineers today. Just like back then when enthusiasm, the will to
win and the willingness to travel new paths led to convincing
success during the Mille Miglia, these motives are also the prevailing drive for
creating constantly improved automobiles today.
Automobile history comes to life: The Mille Miglia
The Mille Miglia has lost none of its fascination, also as a bridge
the traditional and modern automobile age. The once toughest and up
to today most legendary automobile road race in the world attracts
umpteen thousands of motor sports fans to northern Italy year for
year. In the towns
and cities along the route between Brescia and Rome, they celebrate
automobile history in its most exclusive form.
That which began in
1927 as a long-distance race over 1,600 kilometres - or put better:
1,000 miles -
has been being held since 1977 over the same distance as a
consistency test for historic vehicles. Only those vehicle models
are allowed to take part
that were already at the start during the classical races. Thus, the
Mille Miglia unifies past and present in a worldwide unique event
for automobile enthusiasts. In 2006, classical motor sport meets up
with practiced tradition at eye level for the first time. 24
long-distance races were driven in northern
Italy between 1927 and 1957; the new version will be held for the
24th time. 375 vehicles have been approved to start in the Mille
22 of them bear the white-blue BMW logo.
Soul and memory: BMW Group Mobile Tradition.
Preserving the automobile tradition plays an important role at BMW.
Successful models from back then continually deliver inspirations
for modern vehicle concepts. Adhering to indispensable values such
as sportiness, efficiency and shear driving pleasure yield an
orientation for the path into a successful future.
Tradition in the BMW Group has therefore
made its mission grooming, securing and keeping alive the history of
the brand and the vehicles with which it is associated. Since 1994,
all BMW Group activities are being coordinated with that which is
associated with the history. The Mobile Tradition is the soul and
memory of the enterprise and preserver
of its history, its brands and its products.
Tradition, Competence, Visions.
The BMW Concept Coupé Mille Miglia 2006
will never win a race but the
two-seater is still a symbol for motor sports, racing success and the
brand and spirit that have moved the engineers and drivers to perennially great achievements for decades.
With its unique concept study, the developers
and designers in the BMW Group are showing how traditional values, modern expertise and visions can be
unified into a fascinating vehicle.
present and future of automobile engineering are concentrated in the Concept Coupé Mille Miglia 2006.
The study documents what it means for an automobile
manufacturer to reflect on its historical strengths, to take advantage of current technical competency
and to open up tomorrow’s opportunities already today.
The Concept Coupé Mille Miglia 2006 is neither a copy of a successful racing car nor is it being used as
a herald for future series models. Rather, the two-seater
pays homage to the outstanding achievements of those engineers who helped BMW gain a leading position
in racing sports and in automobile engineering decades ago.
In a time when the competence of a manufacturer was much more tightly woven with racing sports, vehicles
arose that continue to serve as milestones for technical
progress, even today. The principles that led to victory back then have not lost any of their validity.
They are still the drive to construct especially dynamic,
attractive and successful automobiles.
The Concept Coupé points out these parallels and, moreover, elucidates that the traditional values will
continue to last into the future.
Traditional values lead to new successes.
Sportsmanlike ambition, the will to win and creativity secured the
BMW 328 Coupé success during the Mille Miglia 1940. Its creators used the most progressive automobile
engineering methods of the time in an intelligent
manner to win the toughest and most prestigious road race in the world.
The two-seater was given a lightweight chassis manufactured in the Milanese bodywork forgery Touring
on a lattice frame. The power delivered by its 2.0-litre
six-cylinder in-line engine was increased from originally 80 to 136 PS.
At the finish, the BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé with Fritz Huschke von Hanstein and Walter Bäumer
went through the finish line as the victor -
more than a quarter of an hour in front of the second place car.
The character of the BMW 328 and its successes have stood the test of time. After all, the speed record
with an average speed of 166.7 km/h has never been broken.
And its fundamental properties - impressive engine power, high efficiency, lightweight and optimal
aerodynamics - still continue to offer
a promising recipe, and not only in motor sports. All that is reason enough to erect a monument to the
BMW 328 and its creators.
The two-seater was not only the
brainchild for the design of the BMW Concept Coupé; it also supplied the inspiration for the study’s
inherent notion of heritage. From the long engine
bonnet and the generously sweeping front wheel housings through the strongly recessed greenhouse with
its divided windscreen up to the wings that
arch over the rear wheels covering them completely: the streamlined body of the racing sport legend
has been completely reabsorbed in the
BMW Concept Coupé.
Classical forms and optimised aerodynamics.
But at the same time, the characteristic basic design is being interpreted in a modern manner. The
aerodynamics, already distinctive in the 1940 Mille Miglia winner
was improved even further. The insights about airflow and its influence on the vehicle’s uplift pressure
and downforce gained in the meantime have also opened up new
opportunities. While optimising the aerodynamics, the body designers now especially concentrate on the
side and rear sections of the vehicle. The goal is to conduct the airflow in perfect harmony and
turbulence-free up to the tail. A defined flow separation was to be
created only there. Simultaneously, not only is the aerodynamic
drag effectively reduced but greater uplift is generated at the same time, improving road holding and
thus the Coupé’s driving dynamics.
Five each optically impressive air intakes near the A-pillars also control the
flow movements in the front end. These gills are a venerable element typical for sports cars and are
being fostered by BMW in current models also.
In the BMW Concept Coupé, these ports, arranged in a very slim Z-line, fulfil
a two-fold function. On the one hand, they lead off the air used for engine cooling back out through
the BMW kidney. In addition, underpressure is generated in the
front wheelhouses at the same time. This effect reduces the turbulences at the wheel housings and
simultaneously amplifies the vehicle’s contact pressure with the road.
Low turbulence, clearly defined flow separation.
The entire trim over the rear wheels and the extremely gently coasting
tail are additional design elements based on both the traditional and the latest aerodynamic findings.
A reverse V-form thus arises as the sum total, minimising
undesired turbulences and concentrating the flow separation to a tightly restricted area. Trimmings
placed on the underbody and diffusers made of carbon on the front
and rear aprons also ensure defined air conductance in those parts of the body that are not openly seen.
In the body design, the functions needed for positioning the engine, drive
units and passenger sections are combined into an aesthetic whole
together with the aerodynamic requirements. At the very first glance, the
BMW Concept Coupé impresses as a highly dynamic driving machine.
The special appeal of the two-seater grows out of this purposeful appearance.
Dynamic lines and asymmetrical forms.
The 20-inch alloy wheels, specifically developed for the BMW Concept Coupé, fit into the image of its
powerful proportions. Tyres dimensioned 245/40 R 20 are mounted
on them. Instead of doors, the study bears permanently integrated sidewalls, contributing to weight
reduction on the one hand and to increasing torsional stiffness
on the other. To let the pilot access the interior, the entire cockpit swings up. The rear section
of the concept study is also distinguished through design elements
in which the aesthetics
are tightly connected with their function.
The headlight panel, made from LED elements is likewise
conducted in a gentle Z-curve horizontally over the
tail. The combination of the most modern illumination engineering and their unusual design unites two
functional advantages: due to the extremely
fast response time of the LED’s and through the increased conspicuousness of their asymmetrical layout,
the brake lights can be perceived earlier than
with conventional lighting.
The BMW Concept Coupé does not deny its inspirational source.
Still, its body form is not dictated by nostalgia, but rather by the endeavour for forward-looking
interpretations for typical BMW design themes. The study
is proof that the vehicle designers at BMW have a grip on the art of accepting traditional impulses
and letting them flow into new designs with the help of modern expertise.
That is the only way that concepts can mature - by combining the power of history with the fascination
of visions and letting emotions be awakened at the same time.
Traditional artisanship for an emotional vehicle.
While developing the BMW Concept Coupé, traditional methods were applied, which continue to be an
essential component of the design process for
the BMW Group even today. Emotional models based on emotional designs emerge from the hands of
Whereas the nearly unlimited possibilities of high-tech designing on a computer always involve the
danger of randomness, in traditional body
design only consequent implementation of an idea leads to the desired goal.
That is also a reason that the design models for all BMW Group models emerge made-by-hand even today.
During series development, this is done with clay models - a malleable
Plasticine mass. For the Concept Coupé,
the designers fell back on even more traditional methods: modelling with
plaster. This material entails fixed work rhythms during the application, shaping and hardening of
the material. Each and every step demands a high degree of concentration.
During both of these optically and haptically tangible processes of evolution, the designers form
an especially tight relationship to their design object.
One can understand how
- and perhaps also why - the body designers of past generations were able to create true icons of
sports car construction even without the availability of digital design.
During the material selection, the developers of the BMW Concept Coupé gave themselves the same task
that inspired the creators of the
BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé to unconventional solutions. An extremely light chassis should
emerge - from the available materials best suited to this purpose.
At Touring in Milan, an aluminium shell was stretched over a lattice frame to accomplish that.
Nowadays plastics developed especially for chassis construction set the standard
for lightness, load ratings and design freedom. Accordingly, that kind of material was chosen
for the Concept Coupé.
The entire body of the concept vehicle is made out of a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP).
The shell is painted fine silver, a full-gloss paint colour with extremely fine
pigments. In this way, the finish awakens
the memory of traditional colourings, but when inspected more closely it is
clearly the result of the most modern surface-aesthetics engineering.
Innovative “eyes” in a typical BMW “face”.
The BMW Concept Coupé unifies the best of two worlds - and even more.
Its design provides hints of design and function opportunities, which can
be made practical for series production vehicles used only in the far future.
These visions are already fascinating today. For example, the front of the Concept Coupé ensures
a striking appearance in a completely new manner, but especially guarantees better
vision. At first glance the “face” of the study appears familiar, its “eyes” remind one of the
circular headlamp used in the BMW 328. But they are not integrated into the
chassis - rather they have been attached as flat elements. Modern LED technology facilitates
accommodating powerful light sources in comparatively small units. This progress provides
the designs with new possibilities.
The forms and linework from the engine hood to the wheelhouses
in the Concept Coupé can be continued up through
the front apron without being interrupted by the headlight units. The optically dominating role on
the front end is taken over by the BMW kidney. More than ever, it characterises
the typical BMW “face” by letting the headlights take over the role of the “eye”, despite the
Timeless design, modern engineering.
Modern influences dominate the appearance of the Concept Coupé at other points also; the latest
series technology is used under the timeless sheath
of the study: the drive components in the BMW Z4 M Coupé, the most powerful version of the
The engine and suspension in the uncompromising sports car are given a totally new calling in the
BMW Concept Coupé. They create the ideal basis for outstanding dynamics, for which the Concept
Coupé must distinguish itself, as if it were conceived for driving on the road - or
a racetrack. And, even though this idea remains purely theoretical, the relationship of
traditional heritage and modern technology
in this form makes complete sense.
The BMW Z4 M Coupé is standing at the temporary end of a long
family history of sports cars from BMW. Powerful engines, high efficiency,
intelligent lightweight construction, aerodynamic shaping and enthusiastic design lend it its
The BMW Concept Coupé surmounts the BMW Z4 M Coupé by 23 centimetres length. Furthermore, it is
14 centimetres wider but 4 centimetres flatter
than its counterpart approved for road traffic. The extremely short front body overhang is
especially noticeable. On the other hand, the tail section is markedly gentle and stretched wide
for aerodynamic reasons.
The BMW Concept Coupé is seeking company with the BMW 328 and
BMW Z4 M Coupé. And is exhibiting the common ground between the
classic role model and its modern heir at the same time. Initially, the BMW 328 was conceived
as an open two-seater. Only when the regulations of the
24-hour race in Le Mans also permitted closed vehicles was the order for the BMW 328 awarded: to
design a suitable, light-as-possible and aerodynamic body. The modern development process for the
BMW Z4 Coupé had a similar character. The BMW Z4 Roadster had already been established and
was already successful when the body for the closed-in sister model was completely revamped.
Six-cylinder in-line engine: Still the benchmark for dynamics.
On top of that, the BMW Concept Coupé provokes one
to intensively delve into the history of engine construction. The study used a six-cylinder in-line powerplant as the power source.
That was already the case in the BMW 328; that’s the case in the BMW Z4 M Coupé also. Six
cylinders arranged in line were and are the ideal pattern for successful propulsion.
More than 70
years of the history of the development of the six-cylinder in-line engine are reflected
in the Concept Coupé - a slice of history where the opening chapter is just as fascinating
as the certainly only temporary ending.
That they let the 1971 cubic centimetre BMW 328 engine be strengthened from originally 80 to
up to 136 PS is something that is still seen as proof of the excellent skills of the BMW
engineers of yore. Both the cylinder capacity as well as the power-to-weight-ratio in the BMW
328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé marked best values and provided an impressive proof of BMW’s
Nowadays, much higher demands are made on the efficiency
and effectiveness of engines. But BMW continues to set the landmarks
for that which is technically feasible. The exceptionally high performance of the six-cylinder
in-line engine in the BMW Z4 M Coupé now draws its power from a displacement of 3, 246 cubic
centimetres; its power is rated at 252 kW/343 PS. When compared to its forefathers, the fuel
consumption for the 2.0 litres of displacement is meanwhile actually lower.
Regardless how much
the requirements and technical opportunities have transformed, the six-cylinder in-line engine
from BMW and BMW M has remained the benchmark of its time.
The modern power unit in the BMW Concept Coupé displays its advantage very impressively; also
acoustically. Modifications made to the intake and exhaust system give the concept vehicle an
engine sound uncompromisingly attuned to racing sports tonality.
A muffled rumble in idle
already signals that kind of expectant impatience that the BMW Concept Coupé would also radiate
optically at the starting line of a racetrack. At 4,900 rpm, exactly the
engine speed where the maximum torque of 365 Newton metres is reached,
the powerful-raw timbre of the six-cylinder has already intensified to a
fanfare-like sound experience.
The interior: Visions for stylish racing sports.
The driver’s and his co-pilot’s surroundings are also much different from everything that sports
car enthusiasts were used to up to now. Completely free of the conventions that arise during
series-ripe concept studies, the designers helped the BMW Concept Coupé to an incomparable interior.
Limits on the functionality, the material selection and both the optical and haptic impression valid
until now were consciously burst through; customary design and fabrication techniques were replaced
by completely new methods. Thus an interior was born in which the structure of the surfaces and
forms achieve totally new effects. At the same time, gaps and contours have their own functionality;
metal plied by hand impressively accentuates the characteristics of the material. All surfaces are
brought out uninterrupted and unadorned. Neither decorating trim nor rings or frames impair their
Even letterings, logos and symbols are not, for instance, additionally attached but are embossed
into the respective metal component using laser technology.
Using extra-flat rolled stainless steel, untreated cowhides and Lycra fabric,
a total of exactly three materials are deployed in the interior of the
BMW Concept Coupé. The processing methods were also reduced to a minimum selection. All components
were either stitched together or
clamped to each other using a special technique. The impression of surfaces and controls resulting
from this imparts the occupants an impression of ambience that is just as futuristic as exclusive.
Folding technology creates forms; gaps take on functions.
While designing the interior elements, the designers combined the use of traditional materials and
the application of innovative processing methods with each other. While doing so, they achieved a
result that is unique in automobile construction and loaded with incredible effects.
conspicuous: the implementation of V2a stainless-steel processing in the cockpit and the centre
console area. More than just the purist unpretentious material itself, that kind of shaping sets
a fascinating accent. The metal sheets, rolled to a thickness of only one millimetre, are multi-folded
to take up the final surface structure of
the respective component.
Beforehand, the metal sheets are given a precisely cut fold on the intended edges.
This is carried out using a laser technology developed especially for this purpose.
This facilitates extremely exact remodelling, which leads to exceptional stability of the completed
component on top of that.
Everywhere where two metal components meet, they are clamped together absolutely flush using laser cut castellations. Gaps are only present where they could and above all should take on a function at the
same time; for instance, the transition between the dashboard support and the centre console is used
as additional storage space. That transforms the gap from an undesirable
side effect accruing when two components are connected into a consciously inserted design element.
That is another way in which the interior of the
BMW Concept Coupé opens up entirely new perspectives in automobile engineering.
While working the metal, the interior designers let themselves be inspired by traditional paper
folding techniques. There also, forms and structures are created without artificial connections,
which despite their light weights offer impressive stability.
By the way, this is not the first
time the art of Origami, originating in Japan, has inspired automobile construction. The folding
technique used to accommodate airbags in the smallest possible space is also essentially influenced
by this method. But for designing entire interior landscapes, this solution represents something of
a revolutionary accent.
New aesthetics from tradition and innovation.
Connecting tradition with innovation also led to a new aesthetic when processing the leather in the
BMW Concept Coupé interior.
Several layers of the merely tanned, but other than that natural cowhides
are pressed into
each other. Thus a three dimensional leather-mould part emerges that, among other things, imparts a
new haptic feeling in the seating and middle
console sections. Furthermore, the undyed leather underlies a natural maturing process, leading to
attractive patina effects over the years.
The leather and Lycra elements are connected among and with one another using especially subdued stitches.
Even metal and leather is stitched together wherever they meet. The three materials dominating the interior
of the concept vehicle consist of highly varying characters: one is a metal created for infinite solidity,
one an untreated and therewith living natural material and one made of modern, hardwearing plastic fibres.
Despite all these contrasts, they create
an extremely attractive combination in which the aesthetic effect arises from unadulterated functionality.
That is the continuation of the interior that the BMW Concept Coupé already expresses with its body design.
Classical values gain a fascinating attraction when they are interpreted in new ways.
do not emerge just from up to date expertise but also require an awareness of historic
roots. The BMW Concept Coupé shows what opportunities arise from that. This unique vehicle could only have
been built by automobile developers
who groom traditions based on their convictions, purposefully use their competence and who are open to new
visions in all areas.
Successes for eternity.
The name is the programme and it has a legendary sound: Mille Miglia.
Right from its inception, the road race covering 1,000 miles was
considered the greatest challenge imaginable for the race drivers
and their automobiles. Those who could pass the Mille Miglia had
thus proven their ability to compete not only in motor sports but
also all-together in automobile construction.
24 races were held between 1927 and 1957 in northern Italy. The
races were a spectacular event for umpteen thousands of motor sports
fans and a great stage for race drivers such as Tazio Nuvolari,
Stirling Moss, Rudolf Caracciola, Juan Manuel Fangio and Fritz
Huschke von Hanstein. On top of everything, the Mille Miglia was
always the most important trial of strength for the automobile
In 1977, the Mille Miglia celebrated its
resurrection. As a reliability and constancy drive for historic
vehicles, it has held the spirit of classical racing sports alive
Four young men from Brescia, just as wealthy as they were excited by
racing sports, had already made a determination in 1925 to turn
their hometown into a motor sports centre. Two years later, they
were able to see their plans come true. Henceforth, the start and
finish line in Brescia became a real carnival; the drivers and their
automobiles were enthusiastically celebrated. Year for year, racing
sports fever spread throughout the land and not only because the
cars dominating the races were initially of Italian manufacture.
The first Mille Miglia led through Bologna and Florence to Rome and
from there through Ancona, Ferrara, Treviso and Vicenza back to
Brescia. The races also ran in the subsequent years on earth roads
and through tight villages.
It put people and material through a tough test and exuded the
incomparable atmosphere of a spectacle in which not only the drivers
driven to their limits. What the critics were worried about actually
happened during the race in 1938: ten people died during a terrible
accident near Bologna.
The tragedy instigated the Italian government
to immediately prohibit racing sports events on public roads.
A victory for BMW and a record for eternity.
Only two years later, the substitute for the rally was found: the
1st Gran Premio Brescia delle Mille Miglia.
The course once again
covered 1,000 miles but
now on paved roads in the city triangle between Brescia, Cremona and
Mantua. This course was driven nine times. The spectators not only
had to get accustomed to a new route but also to a totally new kind
of victorious car.
For years and years, the eight cylinder bolides from Alfa Romeo with
up to 360 PS powerful compressor engines had dominated the Mille
Only in 1931 did Rudolf Caracciola manage to break through this
Italian winning series, using a powerful compressor-Mercedes SSKL.
But a new kind of sports car suddenly appeared on Europe’s racing
circuits: the BMW 328 - actually a delicate vehicle when compared to
its competitors with its 2 litre engine and a stock power of a
modest 80 PS. The small two-litre class roadster had already won the
Mille Miglia back in 1938. BMW had thus made a breakthrough, but the
really great triumph followed in 1940.
BMW 328 Mille Miglia Coupé with a Touring body, Fritz Huschke von
Hanstein and Walter Bäumer drove to a historic victory. Driving at
an average speed of 166.7 km/h, they set a record that would last
for all time. The second place car, an Alfa Romeo, only reached the
finish line a quarter hour after the victorious BMW 328.
For BMW at the same time, the spectacular success was to remain the
only total victory in the classical race. The Second World War
initally put an end not only to the Mille Miglia but also to BMW’s
motor racing activities. With the restart in 1947, the Mille Miglia
led from Brescia to Rome and back for the first time again. After
the prelude victory for Alfa Romeo, Ferrari took over the dominating
role in the subsequent years.
After the war, BMW no longer sent
factory teams to Italy. And despite some spectacular races - such as
in 1955 with the Stirling Moss and David Jenkinson victory in a
Mercedes 300 SLR - the end of the Mille Miglia was only a question
The field of participants became increasingly confusing;
occasionally there were over 400 vehicles
at the start line even including diesel vehicles and oddities such
as the ISO tiny car - the predecessor of the BMW Isetta -, which
bravely tormented themselves over the Apennines passes in 1954. But
above all, driving on the roads and arriving safely at the finish
line became increasingly riskier in the race cars that became more
powerful and faster from year to year.
The tragedy of 1938 repeated
itself in 1957 - a serious accident in Guidizzolo claimed twelve
fatalities - and spelled out the end for the Mille Miglia.
1977: The fascination returns.
The fascinating moments of the Mille Miglia remain stuck in the
memories of many automobile enthusiasts. And they can be experienced
once again today in the Mille Miglia storica.
In 1977, exactly a
half century after the first
Mille Miglia, a new version of the legendary race was staged for the
first time. Meanwhile, it is completed year for year in May in
historic sites as a reliability and consistency run. The chase for
best times has turned into a demonstration
of automobile-engineering art stretching over three days and
attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators to the roadsides.
vehicle models that participated in the classic Mille Miglia at
least once between 1927 and 1957
are permitted to start. Of course, the BMW 328 and other vehicles
such as the BMW Isetta and BMW 507, two models deployed in the 50’s
in private races, also take part. Each year, the BMW Group Mobile
Tradition brings a series
of vehicles from their stock to the Mille Miglia start line. On top
of that, private teams always secure their participation in the
For fans of classical automobiles, today the Mille Miglia has an
importance comparable to the significance of the original races for
the motor sports scene back then. Nowhere other than between Brescia
and Rome is motor sport
and automobile engineering history celebrated so intensely and
impressively. The Mille Miglia storica pays homage to the design
engineers and their works, which continue to inspire professionals
and lay persons even today.
it will be held for the 24th time. That means exactly the number of
races will be reached that were held between 1927 and 1957 during
the fights for minutes and seconds. The places in the starting field
are still just as coveted as back then.
As not only the memories but
above all the vehicles allowed to participate are lovingly groomed
by their owners - nothing stands in the way
of the future of the Mille Miglia storica.
Forerunner of modern motor sports.
Agility, acceleration ability, reliability and lightness.The
constructors of the BMW 328 concentrated on the essential and thus
opened up a new era
in motor sports. At a time when highly tuned compressor racers
dominated the racing scene, the merely 830 kilogramme and, in the
only 80 PS powerful BMW 328 Roadster was a sensation.
Because it put
the large, powerful and heavy competitors way behind, thus becoming
the forerunner of modern motor sports in which only the connection
of power with maximum efficiency leads to success.
70 years ago, on
14 June 1936,
the BMW 328 with the legendary Ernst Henne at the wheel won its
first race, on the Nürburgring. More than 200 additional victories
were to follow up into the 50’s - a success story that was unique up
to then for a vehicle of this class. Hardly any other model has
distinguished a company in motor sporting history as the BMW 328
with its 2-litre six-cylinder in-line engine.
The BMW Group Mobile Tradition has groomed this legend up to today
with special devotion: not only in its workshops and exhibition
halls but regularly also with appearances at historic races, where
the BMW 328 as a roadster as well as in the Coupé style still
continues to attract admiring looks from automobile lovers. The BMW
328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé has won a place of honour in the
collection since 2002. Fritz Huschke von Hanstein and
Walter Bäumer won the Mille Miglia with this vehicle in 1940.
BMW in motor sports: Success right from the start.
Motor sports have set the tone of BMW’s history right from the
start. Following the great successes on two wheels, the constructors
were able to get an
early start on ensuring attention during automobile races.
first entry during the alpine route in 1929 ended with a convincing
team victory for
Max Buchner, Albert Kandt and Wilhelm Wagner in their BMW 3/15 PS,
powered by a four-cylinder engine. Numerous victories after that
quickly let the brand become well-known, so four years later the
thrust into the six-cylinder class was watched with excitement.
new six-cylinder in-line engine proved its predestination for motor
sports with its performance and revving ability,
its slight weight and its reliability. Accompanied by additional
racing victories, the power of this machine grew until 1934 to 55 PS
with its displacement expanded in the meantime from 1.5 to 1.9
litres. The BMW 319/1 Roadster equipped with this engine won, among
others, the 1936 alpine circuit.
But during the triangle race in Munich it was relegated to second
place: by a BMW 328, the brand’s new sports car, which thus
dethroned its predecessor and started an unprecedented string of
Already in June of 1936, Ernst Henne clearly won the
Eiffel race in the Nürburgring with this totally new design of a
two-seater. Another 130 victories came on top of that up to 1940.
Outstanding power source: The six-cylinder in-line engine.
With a top speed of 150 km/h, the BMW 328 already advanced to the
second fastest car in Germany in 1936, following the Mercedes
But things didn’t stop there. The engine power
quickly grew to over 100 PS. As special racing fuel finally became
available, the six-cylinder in-line engine even managed to produce
136 PS. As far back as 1938, the BMW 328 was able to make its first
glittering appearance during the Mille Miglia.
The two-seater roadster took first place in the two-litre class. The
climax followed in 1940: during the first and only Mille Miglia to
take place on
a high-speed course, “racing baron” Fritz Huschke von Hanstein and
his co-pilot Walter Bäumer secured total victory with more than a
lead. Their car reached a top speed of 220 km/h. With an average
speed of 166.7 km/h, the Mille Miglia victor set a record that has
remained ever since.
Huschke von Hanstein and Bäumer won their spectacular victory in a
very special BMW 328. Both the open two-seater and the closed
variation, initially fabricated in Munich, impressed through their
advantageous performance weight. But an even lighter Coupé was
needed for the race in Le Mans
in 1939 and Brescia in 1940.
The order was awarded to the Milan
bodywork forgery Touring. Of all companies, it was the “house
tailor” of the largest competitor of back then, Alfa Romeo, and they
gave the small BMW an aluminium body which turned out to be just as
streamlined as it was light.
A victorious automobile was born. With its lattice frames and the
“superleggera” chassis, the ready-to-drive Coupé weighed a mere
BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé: Victory run and odyssey.
The victory run during the Mille Miglia was to temporarily remain
the last public appearance of the Touring Coupé. The traces of the
vehicle were initially lost
in the war confusion of the subsequent years.
In 1945, the BMW
re-emerged. The former BMW engineer Claus von Rücker discovered a
badly demolished Coupé after an accident. He managed to acquire the
car from the US occupation forces and to rebuild it.
At the end of
1947, von Rücker emigrated to Canada, where he sold the BMW 328 to
the photographer and race driver Robert Grier. Grier drove several
races with the Coupé and following his death in the middle of the
50’s the BMW stayed hidden in a garage for about
30 years in the small town of Wallingford/Connecticut. It was only
in the middle
of the 80’s that the Californian collector Jim Proffit’s attention
was drawn to the rarity.
After intensive restoration, Proffit
participated in several historic car races with the BMW. Already
back then, he made the determination to return the only car of its
time back to Germany. Things progressed that far in 2002: after long
negotiations, Proffit and the BMW Group Mobile Tradition agreed to
transfer the Coupé to Munich. The BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé
is now a showpiece in the Mobile Tradition collection.
Between 1936 and the summer of 1940, 464 type BMW 328 vehicles
emerged. Many of them are still being used in historic races. The
BMW Group Mobile Tradition also regularly takes the vehicles in its
collection to the
starting line - often with prominent drivers sitting at the wheel.
For instance, the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustav started together with
Leopold Prinz von Bayern in a BMW 328 Touring Roadster during the
new version of the Mille Miglia, held as a consistency run. In 2004,
a special success was added to the
more than 200 racing victories achieved up into the 50’s with the
With the 1940 victory vehicle, Giuliano Cané managed
together with his
co-driver and wife Lucia Galliani the feat of winning the Mille
Miglia even under the new regulations. Since then, the BMW 328 Mille
Miglia Touring Coupé
is the first vehicle that could roll over the finish line as the
victor in both the classical races as well as in the new version of
the Mille Miglia.
History made tangible.
In the BMW Concept Coupé study Mille Miglia 2006, the heritage of a
successful motor sports history is unified with the technical
expertise of the present and the fascinating perspectives offered by
The unique specimen fabricated on the occasion of the
Mille Miglia 2006 is a spectacular proof of how closely historic
values, current competence and visionary
power are related with each other in the BMW Group.
mind back to the product and brand history is a permanent process.
The values and principles that have distinguished the history of the
BMW Group continue to provide important impulses for the company’s
power of innovation even today.
The corporate division BMW Group
Mobile Tradition was especially created to ensure the best possible
handling of the valuable heritage. All activities concerning the
history of the BMW Group worldwide have been coordinated there since
1994. The mission of the Mobile Tradition is to keep the company
history and its products alive, to groom them and to make them
accessible to the public.
The BMW Group Mobile Tradition is considered the soul and memory of
the company. That includes inactive brands along with the active
ones and attention is not only turned to the BMW brand. The absorbed
brands Dixi and Glas also find consideration. Along with MINI, the
Riley and Triumph brands also take their places. On top of that,
grooming the Rolls-Royce brand was added in 2003.
History made tangible: Historic collection and the BMW Museum.
The heart of Mobile Tradition is the historic collection. Its
storehouse comprises over 400 automobiles and 170 motorcycles as
well as a number of aircraft, motorcycle and automobile engines. Its
exhibits provide a cross-section through the product history from
the founding of the company in 1916 up to today.
Over and above the
static presentation, Mobile Tradition, fitting
to its name, also ensures presence during domestic and international
events like the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and the Mille
Miglia. Vehicles from the historic collection are sent every year to
hundreds of events - as rolling ambassadors of a fascinating
The gap between the past, present and future is impressively
just as in the BMW Museum. The museum, located next to the corporate
headquarter, is one of the best-visited facilities of its kind. The
history of mobility is made tangible there not only using permanent
pieces but also with alternating special exhibitions.
extensive renovation, reconstruction and expansion, the BMW Museum
will be reopened in the summer of 2007.
The corporate memory: The historical archive.
The systematic and scientific preparation and organisation of
is pursued in the BMW Group’s historic archives.
leaflets, photographs, operating instructions, publications and
trophies are kept available in this collection. For historians,
journalists, authors and owners
of historic automobiles, this is an inexhaustible source of
not only about products from the BMW Group but also about the
the company and the personalities who defined it.
A IV system
developed especially for the historic archive facilitates
computerised access to the information sought.
Service for oldtimer friends: Providing parts.
For owners of historic vehicles, the BMW Group Mobile Tradition is a
dependable contact for maintenance, grooming and repair of their
Service and parts sales support oldtimer
friends throughout the world in professionally maintaining their
vehicles. Experienced experts provide individual advice to customers
and dealers. A parts catalogue, also available electronically, eases
selecting the required items.
Thanks to highly developed logistics,
fast provision of all products is ensured. The BMW Group Mobile
Tradition also controls the remanufacture of parts that would
otherwise no longer be available.
The fascination exuding from current and historic vehicles from the
BMW Group is also reflected in the community spirit that brings fans
together with the brand. Worldwide, more than 180 BMW clubs note
The BMW club organisation is the largest in the
world in the entire sector. Their members see themselves as
ambassadors of the brand and preservers of the BMW tradition. BMW
Group Mobile Tradition supports these clubs in preparing and
disseminating information. They are provided with all the important
facts and data through the Council of BMW Clubs and the
international umbrella organisations.
The BMW Clubs act as important
partners for market information for providing parts for historic
The BMW Group Mobile Tradition is also represented in the Internet.
It imparts a glance into its multifarious activities at the address:
The historic archive can be found in
the worldwide network at the address: www.historischesarchiv.bmw.de