8 September 2014

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Lot 129

1937 BMW 319

  • Chassis no. 55018
  • Engine no. 55018

Sold for £140,000

55 bhp, 1,911 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptic leaf-spring front and rear suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,400 mm

  • A charming early BMW
  • Beautifully finished and rarely seen

The Bavarian Motor Works got their start building the Dixi, a charming copy of the popular British Austin 7 Roadster, which was manufactured under license. The Dixi was initially a low-cost, bare-bones “people’s car”, but it would eventually evolve into models that were increasingly both more powerful and more interesting, and these would pave the way for the high-performance “ultimate driving machines” that followed.

Amongst the early BMW models was the 315 Roadster, which was designed by Peter Szymanowski, who would become the company’s chief of design following World War II. It grew from 1,490 cubic centimetres at its introduction at Frankfurt in 1935 into the 1,911-cubic centimetre model 319 offered here, which boasted a top speed quoted by the factory of 81 mph, thanks to an engine with two Solex carburettors that could produce 55 horsepower. Simply put, the adorable BMW 319 was one of the swiftest European sports roadsters of its time, and it was considerably faster than most of its British competition, making it a true wolf in sheep’s clothing. It can be considered the grandfather of the performance BMWs that would follow, as its design would evolve into the famed 328, which would in turn influence the 507 produced in the post-war years.

The properly restored 319 Roadster offered here has been freshly completed and virtually no miles have been recorded since its restoration. Its body has been properly refinished in a striking combination of electric blue and silver grey, which is accented by matching leather upholstery that faces clear, crisp, and freshly restored gauges. Chrome headlights, rear wing “spats” decorated with the roundel, and disc wheels with chrome knock-off hubs accentuate the sporty and dashing appearance whilst also nodding to the streamlined trend then in style. Trafficator turn signals and dual windshield wipers are also fitted.

BMW 319s are seldom ever offered for sale, making the opportunity to acquire one that is nicely restored a rare chance indeed.


Please note that this car is finished in electric blue and silver grey, not blue and white as stated in the catalogue. It is also fitted with two Solex carburettors.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more