Friday, January 19, 2018

1937 BMW 328 Veritas barnfind is on the cover of the new Autoweek, found in a barn, in Iowa of all places, where it had been forgotten for 46 years

This special BMW is a hybrid with a very rare BMW 328 lightweight racing chassis and a postwar Veritas body. The monetary valuable part is the racing chassis. To give you an example, the subsequent chassis number received a high bid of 4.3 million euros at an auction in Monaco in 2010, yet the owner decided to pass. Of course, the car we're talking about is nowhere in the same state as the 4-million plus 328, but it is still very valuable being so rare and with a great racing history.

This Veritas/BMW 328 was found by 2 car enthusiasts from Iowa: Dereck Freshour and Heath Rodney. When they bought the car from neighbouring farmer, they thought it was a postwar Veritas, worth a fraction of a 328, even though some Veritas were built using 328 parts (which their car obviously was). Yet, underneath the relatively mundane body lied a very special chassis. Chassis #85031 is a rare BMW 328 lightweight racing chassis that everybody thought was lost.

Out of the 434 328's produced by BMW between 1936 and 1940, only 61 were made to lightweight specs with a 70% more powerful engine (from 80hp to 136), a close-ratio gearbox, a 100-litre racing tanks, bigger drum brakes, and, of course, a much lighter and more aerodynamic body.

Chassis 85031 was raced at the 1937 24hr of le Mans, almost right after it left the factory, where it got into an accident.
Then it was shipped to England to enter the Tourist Trophy, where it was driven by racing royalty Prince Bira of Siam to 3rd overall and first in class.

The next year, it came 3rd in class at the Mille Miglia where BMW swept the podium in the 2-litre class.

After an unsuccessful run at the 1938 Tourist Trophy, the car was retired from racing by BMW.

Then it disappeared

The car became a Veritas after the war probably because the Americans forbid construction of new cars in Germany as a retribution of war.

So Veritas, the new company started by former BMW employees, used old BMW chassis to build new cars

Somehow chassis 85031, now a Veritas, found its way to the US, probably imported by some US Army serviceman in Germany reutrning to the states after the war and was used until around 1966 in Iowa.

The car was stored in 1966, then bought by a farmer in 1971 who thought of restoring it but never did and was finally acquired by Dereck and Heath.


  1. How in heaven's name does something like that end up in a barn in Iowa?

    1. bought by a farmer... but, the more thorough answer may be in the article, I haven't read it yet

  2. It ends up in Iowa the same way something special ends up in Long Beach, or Portland, Or. or San Marcos, Texas. The pomposity of some people, often posted here, amazes me. I live in Branson, Missouri, the Ozarks, Hill Billy country and in recent years either own or have owned rare Jaguars, Delahayes, Ferraris, Porsches, Bentleys and more. Have You? Please take your Geographic superiority and find a place to hide it. Thank you

    1. Jim, who pissed in your wheaties? Who talked shit about your mom? Did someone light a bag of dog shit on fire, on your porch?
      Then why are you being an ass on my blog? If you're offended by anything I've written, tough shit. You weren't invited to read it, I didn't send you a copy, and I have no idea why you woke up on the wrong side of the fucking cave this morning with bear shit in your hair.
      So drop the fucking attitude.
      As for the quizzical nature of the mystery about why Iowa was a place this rare racing BMW was found... pardon the fuck out of me and every one else who figures it's natural to find a rare old BMW in Germany. Not in a barn in Iowa.
      As for Long Beach? Huh, maybe no one would find it too strange to locate an old BMW in Long beach... oh, I dunno, because of the fucking number of collectors there! Or maybe the racing people involved in the Long Beach Gran Prix! Or all the other race car focused people in So Cal.
      Does a farmer in Iowa with a race car in his barn NOT seem odd to you? Maybe too many UFO abductions happen in your area, and you're used to strange stuff.
      As for Portland, again, a fucking racetrack. Maybe you've heard of it, since you seem to think Iowans are so erudite. It's been there since 1960.
      When I reach out to piss of people in Branson Missouri, I'll be sure to look you up, and work out some special insults that are sure to get you hunting for ammo and guns, knives and salt, maybe even jumper cables. I won't let up til you lose your mind, and bark like a dog.
      Until then, smoke a joint and chill the fuck out. No one rattled your expensive car loving chain, now piss off Cox.

  3. Probably some US soldier won the car in a poker night somewhere in post WWII Germany sent the car back home but for some reason never went to claim it.
    Probably some Nazi trade the car for some safe pass to USA.
    Probably was stolen and left hidden in the country side till MP forget about it. IDK it could be a movie, or a HBO mini-serie :P