Automotive, Iconic, Inspiration

Paying Homage

Nothing speaks the past better than the actual product. For example the Ferrari 1965 250 GT Lusso is irreplaceable and when you see one you know exactly what is represents. Recently car companies have been trying to re-ignite people’s love of historic cars with newer, modern cars that embody the past.

In order to celebrate a car’s 75th birthday BMW has decided to pay homage to one particular car, the 1936 328. This iconic vehicle carries the BMW story directly from its roots in motoring racing to the modern era of motoring. Below are some pictures to help remind you of this ride classic ride.

As you examine the photos pay close attention to the rounded front fenders and the swooping lines that flow all the way back to the rear tire. You will instantly notice the stretched nostrils are the flagship front grill of the modern BMW. Immediately following the grill, on the top of the bonnet, you’ll see the strong blue and white emblem that gives the car its signature style. Moving back to hood you’ll notice the brown belts holding it in place. These touches were so fun and gave the car character that is still talked about today. We can even argue this the side of the engine of the 328 provided the template for the M3 side grill on today’s car. Moving to down, focusing on the wheels, you’ll see that historic lock nut that had to be hammered into place with every tire change. Oh the beauty.

The classic German sport model had been produced in a limited series of about 450 units and according to the official press release around 200 vehicles are left in existence today. In terms of performance, the German roadster is powered by a 2.0-liter six-cylinder engine producing around 80 horsepower. Not very much, but considering that it weighs just 1720 pounds thanks to a lightweight structure, every pony makes its presence felt.

Now here’s how BMW decided to Pay Homage to this classic car.

The new BMW’s 328 hommage has defined modern features all created with a bit of historic twist to them. While I do like the streamline body I felt the lack of front curves were a missed opportunity to more “accurately” reflect the classic driver’s car. The clock on the dash clearly are derived from space age material but replica their historic counterpart. Being true to the original design the hommage was constructed out of carbon fiber reinforced plastic to maintain the car’s lightweight principle. Everyone knows carbon fiber is the material of the future and where it was used on the car BMW has let you know by leaving it unpainted and in plain sight.

Look at those belts! That thick, belting leather that is so iconic for holding the engine cover on is now replicated to look as if they were being woven through the body.

The windshield of the 328 Hommage is reminiscent of the historic racing car. The low outward sloping windshield gives the driver all he needs at high speeds due to the aerodynamic nature of the car.

On a side note, I strongly believe this will be the future niche market of the vehicles – bespoke cars direct from the factory. I can see it now, a dedicated team of designers will work with clients to build their dream machine based on existing parts the manufacture has in it’s current line-up. The 328 Hommage has just started the future of motoring.

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