1937 Frazer Nash-BMW 328

Bonhams' 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed sale
Friday, 24 June - Sunday, 24 July
£636,600 ($781,299)
Sale Price
£650,000 - £750,000
Est. Range
24 June 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Recent restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. 85114; Engine no. 85114. Blue over red leather. RHD. 1971/79bhp with triple Solex downdraft carburetors, 4-speed, rear fender skirts.

Evaluation: Bought new by Denis Flather, who later founded the British Trials and Rally Drivers’ Association, was an early Chairman at BRM, and was one of the parties to buy Aston Martin out of receivership in 1975. In present ownership since 1950 and extensively campaigned too. Professionally restored by Thornley Kelham in 2017 with little use since. ‘Best in Show’ at the London Concours in 2017 and eligible for the Mille Miglia, etc.

Immaculate concours-finish coachwork with perfect paint and panel fit. A new grille and fresh chrome complete an immaculate first impression. The controls, dash and instruments are as new. The chassis, engine bay, suspension and every mechanical part are perfectly presented. The best presentation of an older car here by miles.

Bottom Line: The BMW 328 was one of the quickest and best prewar sports cars. It was also usable, and has been called the first modern sports car. Starting in 1934 Britain’s BMW importer AFN Limited (aka Frazer Nash) began to import the 328 to Britain and sell it as a Frazer Nash BMW. That Frazer Nash’s name adorns the blue and white beachball along with BMW on the badges doesn’t make a serious difference to value, and this one’s impeccable condition makes it a standout not just at this auction but anywhere it goes. It is one of the most expensive 328s ever sold, and it deserved to be.

by Andrew Newton
13 July 2022
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  • David Lightfoot says:

    One correction on the history: AFN started importing the 328 to Britain in 1937, not 1934. The 328 debuted in 1936 and customer cars weren’t available until 1937. AFN did import other models of BMWs earlier.

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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.