To celebrate the 25th running of Argentina's historic thousand-mile race, the 1000 Millas Sport, more than 130 historic sports cars will go head-to-head on November 16. To celebrate the occasion, the BMW Group Classic will send a trio of cars to compete.
They include last year’s winner Juan Tonconogy from Argentina (who won the Mille Miglia in Italy this May) and Frenchman Cyril Despres, a five-times motorcycle winner of the Dakar Rally, which has been co-hosted by Argentina since 2009. The entry list of sports cars built between 1918 and 1983 will be split into seven categories.
The variety of cars in the field is one of the great attractions of the race, while another is the route, which ranges throughout Patagonia. Starting from San Carlos de Bariloche, the competitors will take a different route on each of the rally’s three days.
The first stage along Lake Nahuel Huapi and over the border into Chile is followed by a stretch running parallel to the Andes on Ruta 40 up to the northern village of Junin de los Andes and back. The final stage takes the cars south and includes a detour to a race circuit. Each of the three stages offers magnificent views over the southern Andes. The spring weather (it’s the bottom of the world, remember) and prepared roads provide ideal conditions for the classic cars.
BMW Group Classic is bringing one of the most spectacular cars in its collection to the 1000 Millas Sport. The BMW 328 Kamm racing saloon is a faithful replica of the racing car built in 1939 using the latest aerodynamics and lightweight design expertise. It competed in the 1940 Mille Miglia, somewhat abbreviated by the fact that much of Europe was fighting for its life.
Developed in close cooperation with streamlined design pioneer Wunibald Kamm, the sports car boasted a still impressive Cd of 0.25. Its spaceframe (weighing just 30 kg) and aluminium bodywork gave the BMW a kerb weight of 760 kg, and the 136 hp six-cylinder in-line engine powered it to a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph).
Accident damage consigned the original to the scrap heap in the early 1950s, but in 2010 BMW built this replica, which traces the original design. It has been a regular attraction at international classic car exhibitions and competitions ever since.
The brace of coupes joining the Kamm saloon in Argentina have also earned their place in the sports car history of the brand. In 1965, just a few years after the arrival of the “Neue Klasse”, BMW unveiled an elegantly sporty two-door model series. The BMW 2000 C and BMW 2000 CS were trumpeted as the “rebirth of the BMW 327” at the time. Over the five years the coupe series was in production, 11, 710 examples were sold. The BMW 2000 CS entered in the 1000 Millas Sport 2013 is powered by a 120 hp four-cylinder engine, which accelerates the coupe from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 11 seconds.
For the model generations that followed, BMW designers kept faith with the light and intricate-looking roofline flowing smoothly into a low-slung rear. A longer bonnet lent an even more sweeping presence to the car’s proportions and created space for a straight-six engine, which developed 170 hp in the BMW 2800 CS. That output figure rose to 180 hp in the BMW 3.0 CS entered for the 1000 Millas Sport 2013.
The highlight of the model series – of which more than 30,000 units were sold up to 1975 – was the BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile”, which produced up to 206 hp. This lightweight coupe, with its large spoilers and striking rear wing, was designed to provide the basis for a race-specification touring car. And it racked up six European title crowns in seven years, and by finishing top of the manufacturers’ standings in the American IMSA GT race series in 1975, BMW also succeeded in showcasing its sporting potential in the USA.—Paul Duchene
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