Live Auctions

Pick One: 1939 BMW 321


The BMW 321 is a rare car but here are two that have recently hit the market. Thanks to Dik S for finding the black and white example that was listed here on eBay in Swindon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom. The black one is listed on Classic Cars in San Diego, California. The one on eBay runs and is a more original car. The one in Classic Cars does not have the original drivetrain installed, but the original engine and transmission come with the car along with the original wire wheels. The BMW on eBay had a BIN of £15,000, while the asking price for the one on Classic Cars is $19,950.


The interior appears to be ready for restoration on the eBay car. I don’t see any daylight through the floor, but media blasting might well reveal more holes than metal. There are no pictures of the interior of the other BMW.


Things under the bonnet of the eBay car look complete and original. There’s no pictures of the engine in the posting of the black BMW. Hopefully no serious damage was done installing the drivetrain.


Both cars need complete restoration. The eBay car (which just sold) appears much more complete and more original but it is a long way away from we colonialists and is likely quite rusty, but it sets the bar and pricing for the other. The black one is “surprisingly rust free” according to the posting. If the car wasn’t damaged seriously in the power train transplant, it really isn’t very rusty and the interior is complete this may be the better car despite its looks. The shipping from San Diego would certainly be cheaper for most of us.


  1. Tirefriar

    Der Urgroßeltern of the Nuclasse! I love the hood side vents and with the twin kidney grilles you will never mistake it for anything else…

    • Rovinman

      Bristol 401 ?

  2. motoring mo

    One already sold? Not fair. Sad!

  3. Peter

    I doubt if the brake booster and plastic fan would be original.

  4. Mark S

    If I had a choice and could afford it I’d take the black one and do a complete restoration of the body and interior. Then I’d totally upgrade the chassie and drive line to a more modern domestic system, probably 250cid inline engine and 700r trans out of a GM car. The spare engine trans I’d sell to a restorer to help pay for the restoration . I’d probably switch it to the white and black paint just because I like it. It would be a more reliable car and you could get your parts at Napa.

  5. tirefriar

    Brakeservo, for some reason your comment comes up in my email but I can’t pull it up here.

    You are right, I forgot about the rip off job the Brits did on the BMW (claims that they bought the rights are doubtful, sounds to me like repatriation but then I don’t have all the details so lets just leave it as my opinion). However, one look at the BMW grille and you will see TWO separate kidney grilles whereas Bristol had the grilles siamesed. The brits were also too cheap to copy the side extrusion vents. So, yes I stand by my earlier statement regarding the unmistakable factory appearance of the pre-war BMW cars.

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