BMW Makes new 328 Transmissions Available

Reproducing BMW 328 Gearboxes

I love it.

Another manufacturer is working to keep their vintage sports and racing cars on the road and ready to race. Like our earlier look at Porsche licensing the Type 547 engine to Capricorn, BMW has licensed the gearbox from the 328 to transmission manufacturer ZF. Keeping these cars on the road is clearly a priority for manufacturers, and taking these kinds of steps is a great boon for vintage motorsport.

The mighty BMW 328For racing, there’s a great effect here as well. BMW 328 drivers know that they can really race their cars without fear of a blown gearbox sidelining their car indefinitely. Well done, BMW. Keep ’em coming and keep ’em on the road.

Reader Photos: Peter’s Mitty Paddock

Peter Hoag took some time out from his duties with Regogo Racing to walk the paddock at the Mitty a few weeks ago and sent in these wonderful images of some of the competitors in various stages of preparation for their run. We tend to focus on the action on the track, but often the most fun at a vintage event can be had just wandering around the paddock spotting the cars, chatting with drivers, or listening in as two competitors hop out of their machines and rush to congratulate one another and recount their on-track battles.

The cars are what lured me in to vintage racing but the community is what keeps me going back every summer. Thanks for sending these in Peter!

BMW 2002 101

I’ve always loved them for their boxy, quintessential, even rudimentary “car shaped” silhouette, but it wasn’t until I spent some time in my buddy Paul’s 2002 that I realized what a sensational little machine it is. Even my dream garage is getting crowded but there’ll always be room for one of these.

Shiny Doesn’t Win Races

1968 Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300TI with black steel wheels

Similar to my love for the Momo Prototipo and Jaeger gauges, there is a kinship I feel with BlackSteelies.com. There’s something special about finding a solitary slice of perfection and watching it prove itself in situation after situation. What these items share is an innate ability to improve the aesthetic or performance of any car they’re added to. It’s as true for the Prototipo as it is for simple black steel wheels. Whether on modern Minis or vintage Porsches and BMWs, the desire to throw out unnecessary and frivolous (and oversized) chrome in favor of a more simple solution is a quick route to my heart. Keep at it, gentlemen.

Lancia Aurelia GT with black steel wheelsBMW 2002 with black steel wheels

Breathing Life Back into a Written Off BMW CSL

It’s never an encouraging thing when you encounter a photo like this one. This photo of a “written off” BMW CSL popped up this morning on Bring A Trailer’s Facebook feed. I remember seeing this photo last fall shortly after a driver fell asleep at the wheel and careened into Jon Furley’s 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL. The loss of a CSL is a bad thing.

Any CSL is rare, but this is one of only 500 RHD models made. That sounds bad, right? But Furley’s example is a damn-sight rarer, as her original owner was Chris Amon. This CSL was Amon’s street car during the era when he raced the Batmobile BMWs. Noooo!

So, what has happened in the year since the crash? I’d assumed that this one was stripped of her valuable bits and given a tearful good bye. Thankfully that’s not the case. A very brave team has decided that she must live again. After all, what’s one lost corner between friends?

This album on CSI Garage’s Facebook shows that her restoration has begun this past November. Looks like they’ve welded in a replacement front end, rebuilt part of the frame, and pulled and assessed the engine (which was relatively unscathed with only a broken timing case cover and cylinder head cover).

There’s something infectious about the optimism in the vintage sports and racing car community that I love. Insurance adjusters look at this and call her a write off. A random person off the street looks at it and calls it scrap. Hell, most “car guys” would see these photos and say it’s beyond saving. A good restoration workshop looks at this and says, “Yeah, we can do that.” This is not a project for the weak of heart and I’m looking forward to their continued updates—though perhaps not as much as Jon.

Also see this thread on PowerFanatics for many more photos of the teardown. More good news, the family cat that went missing after the crash made it home. Ok, now I’m going from concerned sports car nerd and entering weird internet stalker territory.

Yee-Ha!

Onboard at Nurburgring 1967