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BMWs That Will Be Missed: BMW 335

The dispute between BMW and Mercedes-Benz can be tracked all the way back to the pre-Second World War period. Back then the two German titans were competing mostly on the domestic market but this was a fierce clash.
BMW 335 4 photos
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The 335 was another innovative car from the Bavarian manufacturer. Even in those ages, innovation was one of BMW's main focuses. Unlike its predecessor, the 326, this new model was the first car to offer a 4-speed gearbox with full synchromesh on all ratios.

That meant that the 3.5-liter inline 6-cylinder 90 HP engine equipped with the innovative gearbox could take the heavy car up to a top speed of 145 km/h which was extremely impressive for 1939. Yes, you heard right, the 335 was built between 1939 and 1941, the first years of the second World War.

However, production of the car began in 1937, 1 year before the official unveiling in London. Today that seems impossible, especially from the war perspective but in those day, between 1934 and 1939 BMW was responsible for building a popular version of the Austin 7.

The design chief for the 335 was Fritz Friedler who later became BMW's chief engineer and the one responsible for the 502. The car was exceptional for its time but, due to the 1939 German invasion of Poland and triggering of the world's biggest armed conflict to date, production ended in 1941 with only 400 units assembled.

The 335 came in 2 models: the 4-door cabriolet and the 4-door sedan. Today we can still see the legacy this car left behind in the current 3 Series sedan and cabriolet versions that still carry the numbers 335 on the boot lid but with a completely different meaning.

 

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