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1940 BMW 335 Cabriolet by Autenrieth

2016 Pebble Beach Award Winning Restoration. Matching Numbers. Exquisite Presentation and Performance. Exceedingly Rare, Fastidiously Documented, Ready to Drive or Show Anywhere.

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Price $395,000
VIN 100319
Exterior Color Black
Interior Color Red Leather
Mileage 1948 Kms TMU
Engine 3.5 Litre Inline 6-Cylinder
Transmission 4-Speed all Synchromesh
Status Inventory
Stock FJ2101


1940 BMW 335 Four-Door Cabriolet by Autenrieth
s/n 100319, Engine No, 100319
Black with Red Leather

BMW has long been regarded as one of the leading manufacturers of exceptional luxury road cars. Decades of superbly engineered cars, resplendent with leather interiors, beautiful bodywork, and performance engines, are all hallmarks of Bavarian excellence. Yet excellence in luxury was not always a part of BMW, particularly in the late 1930s when Mercedes-Benz was heralded as the dominant leader in this class. But all this changed in 1938 when BMW launched their prototype 335 at the London Motor Show, clearly indicating their interest in the luxury segment. Response for the car was overwhelming, resulting in production commencing the following year, which would continue until 1943, albeit short-lived, due to the war. The 335 has since been largely credited for launching BMW into the high-performance luxury market. Yet historic import and luxury brand genesis are but a few of the many features of distinguished excellence represented in this particularly stunning example.

This stately BMW is one of only 415 Series 335 models built during the production period of 1939-1943. Believed to be one of only 5 cabriolet four doors remaining, this example is currently the only one of its kind residing in the US. Formerly from two well-respected collections under long-term ownership, this beautiful car was restored in 2007 by marque experts with an eye for authenticity and excellence. It has won a range of awards each time it has been shown including, most recently, second place at Pebble Beach in 2016. The coachbuilding house of Autenrieth built 40 examples of the four-door cabriolet configuration, making this largest and most powerful BMW at the time all the more rare and desirable. In addition to the stunning coachwork, the 335 was built with a 90-hp, 3.5-liter straight six mated to a four speed full synchromesh manual gearbox (the first of its kind for BMW), making the car not only luxurious but capable of obtaining speeds over 90mph – a remarkable achievement considering the period.

The history of this car begins in Europe, where, given the price, it is very likely a prominent citizen purchased the car for family use. According to one of the earliest owners, William McIntyre, this 335 was one of the last cars liberated from Europe and allowed into the United States. A military captain is reported to have been the first US owner, having the car delivered to Fort Meade Military Base. The captain owned the car for two years, selling it to another captain, who subsequently sold it to a civilian. Unable to maintain the car, the car was again sold to two engineers who proceeded to disassemble the car in preparation for restoration. Mr. McIntyre became aware of the car when the two engineers lost interest in the project, cleverly arranging for purchase in exchange for “a gallon of dry Beefeater martinis and other consideration”, and titling the car in his name on April 18, 1963. McIntyre corresponded with BMW expert Robert Sonsten or Los Angeles, Ca., who availed himself for translation regarding mechanical details on the car. Attracted to the idea of a complete and running car, McIntyre arranged for a trade with Sonsten on his restored 327, concluding the sale in fall of 1967. The car was shipped to Sonsten where he began restoration in earnest. In 2004, Sonsten passed away, resulting in his collection of cars being sold off to various collectors. This 335 then departed the US, having been sold to Brain Classic & Company, Cheshire, England.

In 2005, the owner (an expert on BMWs with a collection of over 40 historic examples and personally awarded the Prof. Gerhard Knocklein – BMW Classic for collecting, preserving, and restoring BMW cars) purchased the car and commissioned a ground up restoration, completed by the prominent German restorer, Andreas Freundenberger during 2005-2007 in Eggenfelder, Germany. Upon completion, the car arrived in the US where it won first place at the Broadmoor Concours d’Elegance. This 335 has since won several other awards including the coveted Palmetto Award at the Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance in 2001. Most recently, and under the current ownership period, this 335 was sent to Jeff Symer’s Jeff’s Resurrections in Taylor, Texas where Andreas Freudenberger’s award winning restoration was further refined and refreshed for the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where it was class award winner, proving itself yet again, among the best restorations in the world.

Today this 335 remains a stunning example of one of the finest grand convertible designs of the pre-war era. The fluid coachwork and elegant interior create a refinement and harmony truly deserved of this world-class restoration. For such a grand car, one would expect the coachwork to have some visual heaviness or austerity, particularly in black. Yet the lower fender lines, tightly tapered hood, and delicate details create a clean and tailored presence. These elegant shapes have been exceptionally well-crafted, enhanced by beautiful reflection lines rendered by exquisite quality paint with a deep and engaging luster. All opening features function with ease, have excellent closures and seam lines at all openings. The exterior bright work has been properly restored showing consistent luster and excellent hue. The legendary BMW twin-kidney grille has been beautifully restored – a feat of detail involving hours of careful spacing and proper finishing of each delicate blade. All exterior glass, proper Bosch headlamps, and lenses are in excellent condition. The handsome black canvas roof is easily unlatched and stored against the rear of the car. In the up position, the fit is taut and quite elegant with the nicely finished landau bars creating a regal accent to the contrasting black finishes.

The interior has been restored using high quality leather with a rich red hue. All trim and various handles, knobs, and switches have been restored with amazing attention to detail. Of particular note are the lightly tinted instruments, proudly displaying the original finish on the dial faces, numbers and needles. The gloss black dashboard is finished with crisp trim lines and again, excellent reflections. The pleated seats and door panels are beautifully trimmed in leather accented by black piping, rear handle grab bars, front seatback pouches, and delightful touches of lacquered wood delicately decorating the interior panels of each of the four doors.

Under the hood, the clean lines of the in-line 6 cylinder engine have been finished with correct factory materials, proper hose clamps, and correct fasteners, all composed with a unified and elegant appearance. Unlike so many superbly restored cars, this BMW has also been restored with mechanical excellence befitting its heritage. The refinement and attention to detail continues throughout the engine compartment, along the firewall, and into the complete set of factory tools displayed in a form-fitting case. For a car that was restored ten years ago, the restoration has not only held up very well, the owner has done a fantastic job of maintaining, detailing, and tending to any and all cosmetic and mechanical needs. This effort continues when viewing the underside of the car. Every mechanical feature including suspension, proper rear axle limiters, brake drum assemblies, suspension arms, and various hard lines are all not only properly restored, but continue to display a high level of presentation.

For such a grand car, one might expect the driving experience to be heavy and somewhat daunting. This is not the case at all. While most certainly a commanding presence, the car starts easily, runs idles quietly, and is accelerates rather easily despite the long wheelbase and large capacity. Shifting is very smooth, entirely attributed to the advanced fully synchromesh gearbox. The car pulls nicely once underway, delivering a floating ride typical of cars of this era. Surprisingly agile with responsive steering, the car handles admirably, benefiting from the 90 hp engine, which has good torque and low end while still allowing highway speeds without overworking. With the side glass raised, and the top down, interior wind noise is limited, allowing polite conversations for occupants, even at higher speeds. When the top is raised, interior noise is surprisingly minimal, offering a cozy embrace from the interior leather, wood, and other high quality materials. This wonderful car comes with numerous documents, notations from the various owners, owners manual, maintenance and repair manual, and a full tool set.

This BMW 335 offers a new owner an exceptional opportunity to acquire an extraordinarily rare and beautifully restored car, ready to show at any of the top shows or drive in multiple events with confidence and pride. Wearing highly desirable four-door cabriolet coachwork by Autenrieth, this beautifully restored car has been documented by experts tracing decades of history and ownership. For any enthusiast eager to experience grand classic touring at the highest level of refinement and restoration, this BMW 335 will surely deliver many years of elegance and driving joy. Included in the sale is a full complement of books and tools, a BMW maintenance and repair manual, and a fascinating documentation binder containing a detailed photographic essays of the restoration process, letters to and from previous owners detailing the history, pre-restoration photos, extra keys, operating instructions, wiring diagrams, and several articles about the 335 Series BMWs.


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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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