1939 | BMW 321
Vehicle detailsVehicle data
Make BMW Model 321 Model name 321 Series Typ 321 Year of manufacture 1939 Chassis number N/A Gearbox number N/A Condition category Restoration project Engine number N/A Body style Saloon Body detail 2-doors Power (kw/hp) 33/45 Cubic capacity (ccm) 1,971 Cylinders 6 Doors 2 Steering Left (LHD) Transmission Manual Drive Rear Rear Brake Drum Fuel Petrol Exterior colour Grey Interior colour Grey Interior material Leather
The car is a renovation project with an unusual history.
In 1945, Eisenach was occupied by American forces, but by then it had already been agreed between the allies that the whole of Thuringia would fall within the Soviet occupation zone: transfer of the region to the Soviets took place in July 1945. It seemed likely that BMW’s manufacturing facility would be crated up and taken by rail to the Soviet Union as part of the substantial post war reparations package. In the meantime, surviving workers returning from the war recommenced automobile production, on a very small scale, using prewar designs. Albert Seidler, the man in charge of Eisenach motor bike production, demonstrated the 321 to Marshal Zhukov and secured from him an order for five new cars.
The Russians were evidently impressed, and the plant passed under the control of “Sowjetische AG Maschinenbau Awtowelo”, a Soviet directed holding company focused on vehicle production. A further 8,996 BMW 321s are thought to have been built between 1945 and 1950. Most appear to have remained to the east of the Iron Curtain, many being taken to the Soviet Union as part of a reparations package in respect of the Second World War.
The car has no papers and the engine may be from the USSR.
Evidence also exists for exports to the west: the car was advertised in Switzerland in 1949 with a retail price of CHF 10,300. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_321
Condition & Registration
Registered Ready to drive Vehicle-ID: 195463