BMWs don't get much rarer - or more beautiful - than this.
Lately, it seems that BMW is going out of its way to purposefully design some of the most horrible new cars on the market, from a styling perspective anyway. But it wasn't always this way. Exquisite beauties like the BMW 507 and the BMW Z8 - one of our favorite roadsters ever - prove that the Bavarian brand isn't incapable of producing stunning sports cars. Another great example is the 328, which BMW used as justification for the vertical kidneys on the latest M4 Convertible. While a tenuous link can be made, there's no doubt that the M4's upright grilles look laughable while those on the 328 appear as nothing but elegant. Proving that point is the example being sold by DriverSource. This one is particularly special, as it's a supremely rare Superleggera version.
The 328 was designed by Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera of Aston Martin and Ferrari fame, and this particular example is a 1940 model. As a Superleggera, the body is made of thin-gauge aluminum over a tubular steel frame, but it has even more reasons to make it worthy of its scandalous asking price of $795,000. This example is said to be one of the first special Touring body cars built for BMW and just one of seven ever produced with a dry-sump engine. Better yet, it's pretty much original. In the 1950s, the owner at the time seems to have struggled to procure parts for the car and ended up placing it on a Simca chassis, but this was reversed and the car placed on its original frame by 1990. A decade later, a ground-up restoration was carried out by celebrated coachbuilder Fran Roxas.
Power comes from a pushrod-actuated, twin-cam 2.0-liter straight six, which produces 80 horsepower and 93 lb-ft of torque. That's scant, but with a low curb weight of just 1,720 pounds, not to mention the lack of a proper windscreen, this car has more than enough fire to keep things exciting. 0-60 mph takes a pedestrian 10.5 seconds and top speed arrives at 93 mph, but wouldn't you rather just look at it? No, you'd want to drive it and experience the old-school mechanics of this car, especially since it's been lightly upgraded with three Solex 30 JF downdraft carburetors. Then again, World War II breaking out killed BMW 328 production early, and only six prototypes of the car were built with Touring Superleggera bodywork. The company that built the body also went bust in 1966, although it eventually reopened in Milan in 2006.
All of those factors mean that this is one of the rarest, prettiest, and purest BMWs ever made. If only BMW of the 21st century would take some notes.