The BMW 321: The Automotive That Saved the Eisenach Works


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Our Senior Editor Chuck Vossler, uncovered this gem on the interwebs not way back. On Copart’s website was one “1948 BMW .01”. Odd BMW wasn’t constructing vehicles in 1948, in reality BMW simply plain wasn’t something in 1948. The top of World Conflict II introduced an finish to the businesses actions. BMW was formally in purgatory, size of penance required unknown.

The automobile proven had a few odd points. It appears to be like very very similar to a pre-war BMW, of the 320/326 selection. These vehicles used both an M78 2.0L inline six cylinder (later often known as the M303) or the M320 2.0L inline six cylinder. The 320 additionally had entrance hinged doorways on the 2 door coupe mannequin. The automobile Chuck discovered has suicide doorways (hinged on the B-pillar). Huh? One thing is a bit odd.

The engine within the footage seems to be an M320 primarily based on the openings on the valve cowl. The wheels are flawed as is the entrance bumper (the 2 lights mounted low on the physique work correspond to the mounting places for the right entrance bumper). So what is that this? No matter it’s, it’s neither fish nor fowl.

The traditional Thuringian city of Eisenach lay 10 kilometers into the Soviet zone of occupation on the finish of World Conflict II. The Individuals who had overrun the city relinquished management of Eisenach to Soviet authorities in July of 1945.

BMW 321 image 3

BMW had not but been reconstituted after the warfare – there was some debate as to whether or not they could be allowed to exist. Whereas the BMW factories within the Munich area have been out of fee, the BMW works in Eisenach nonetheless was able to manufacturing. The issue was, being within the Soviet zone, one may count on the plant to be crated up – lock, inventory, and barrel – and shipped east. If the manufacturing facility have been to be dismantled the hopes of employment could be additionally.

The story is informed that Albert Seidler, who had been in-charge of bike manufacturing in Eisenach, got down to impress Marshall Zhukhov, the victor of the Battle of Berlin, with the manufacturing facility’s capability to supply autos for the Soviets. Zhukov was proven a pre-war mannequin that had been lately assembled on the manufacturing facility ground. Zhukov is alleged to have left impressed, ordered various vehicles, and, subsequently, the manufacturing facility remained in Eisenach.

Nevertheless it was underneath new possession now often known as the Sowjetische AG Maschinenbau Awtowelo, Werk BMW Eisenach. Later it could change into the VEB Automobilwerk Eisenach (AWE). And after the ‘wild west’ years of submit warfare Germany the courts dominated that the Eisenach agency may not use the BMW title and badging, they settled for awhile on EMW, Eisenacher Motoren Werk and in a while the ‘Wartburg’ model.

The automobile Albert Seidler was claimed to have proven Marshall Zhukov was a BMW 321.

And the automobile Chuck discovered on Copart is a BMW 321, principally a brief wheelbase model of the BMW 326. It was in-built small numbers between 1939 and 1941 after which once more from 1945 to 1948 in Eisenach. The 321 used the M320 2.0L six cylinder making round 45 hp. It utilized transverse leaf springs on the entrance (decrease finding hyperlinks for the unbiased suspension – very similar to Corvettes use them) just like the BMW326. It might have been an honest dealing with car given the 1930s/40s timeframe.

The automobile Chuck discovered would require a ton of labor (learn cash) to revitalize and, whereas it’s uncommon, it isn’t that uncommon. The 1948 on the market on Copart would have been within the batch constructed after the warfare, most of which might have ended up in jap Europe. Round 9,000 ‘BMW’ 321s have been constructed between 1945 and 1948.

Neat discover!


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The BMW 321: The Automotive That Saved the Eisenach Works

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