BMW Mille Miglia ‘Buegelfalte’ in RM’s Monaco Sale
The latest addition to RM Auctions’ Monaco sale on 1 May is the ‘one-of-a-kind’ BMW 328 Mille Miglia, chassis no. 85032. The ‘Buegelfalte’, which means 'trouser crease' and refers to the creases on top of the wings, is the only special roadster ever built in its entirety at the BMW factory in Munich.
Created as a standard-bodied car in May 1937 for Rudolf Schleicher’s Experimental Department at BMW, the car took part in the 1937 Le Mans, driven by A.F.P. Fane, as well as the 1937 Tourist Trophy, this time with H.G. Dobbs at the wheel.
It then competed in the 1938 Mille Miglia, winning the 2.0-litre class, again with Fane driving and William James as co-driver. After scooping a Gold medal in the ‘German Alpenfahrt’ and an overall win in the same event in 1939, chassis 85032 was dismantled by the racing division and significantly re-engineered as an all-new open streamliner. The intention was to use it as a factory entry in the 1940 Mille Miglia, alongside the two factory fixed-head ‘streamliners’ – and the outcome was an excellent sixth place.
The unique bodywork of the re-engineered car became the pattern for a whole generation of post-War sports cars, and clearly influenced such models as the Jaguar XK120 Roadster. Among the other modifications was an intricate tubular steel framework, while key components such as brakes and the Hurth gearbox were uprated to cope with the increased performance of the 130PS engine and lighter kerb weight of 725kg.
After the War, the car became part of the reparation payments and was given to the USSR and ultimately to Artiom Ivanovich Mikoyan, head of the Mikoyan i Gurevich Design Bureau (the creator of Russian MiG warplanes). In 1972, his son traded the car… for a brand-new Lada. After the collapse of the Iron Curtain, the car was driven from Riga to Munich and stored by BMW in its museum. A copy of the Büegelfalte was made and now resides permanently in the BMW Museum.
Says Max Girardo, managing director of RM Europe, “The totally unique nature of this BMW and its fascinating history make it an exceptional opportunity for any collector of significant motor cars.”
For further information, see www.rmauctions.com.
To see early entries to the May 1 2010, Sporting Classics of Monaco auction in the Classic Driver car database please CLICK HERE.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: RM Auctions
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