BMW 326 restoration: unrest status

BMW 326 restoration
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' Lothar has a new old-timer again ', is how the BMW 326 rolls on its first tour through Schauenburg near Kassel. Sure, almost everyone in this small town knows Lothar Scherb. At least those who own a car, because Scherb managed the local Esso petrol station from 1966, which he later added with a workshop and paint shop. In 2003 he left the management of the company to his children and retired to the older workshop area to restore vintage cars.

The restoration took four years

That was not hidden from many petrol station customers, And so one day a gentleman appeared in Scherb's workshop who was very enthusiastic about his new project, a BMW 326. The man had once chauffeured his boss in such a vehicle in Eisenach. Now he wanted to document the restoration with his camera.

Scherb had nothing against it, but the photographer needed patience. It would take four years for the BMW 326 to be completed. The former petrol station tenant had his first experience of restoration with a BMW AM 1, which was joined by an AM 4. Then he looked for a bigger BMW, preferably a two-seater roadster. 'But they are priceless, but I noticed an ad in a magazine that offered a BMW 326,' recalls the 68-year-old.

The BMW 326 came to Germany from the GDR via the Ukraine

The BMW 326 was in Karlsruhe. Optimistically, Scherb immediately set off with money and a trailer. The seller was a former Russian officer. He had brought the BMW from the GDR to Germany via the Ukraine. That was probably the last trip of the rather battered car, which was then immediately shut down. Many years later it was now for sale. 'It was important to me that the car was complete,' says Scherb, explaining his purchase decision. However, he later discovered that not all of the assembled parts were original.

But that was not the only surprise. When the BMW 326 was dismantled, which began in December 2008, further defects came to light. The frame and body showed numerous rust perforations, and he found sand, oil, filler and dirt in the cavities of the Ambi-Budd body. Lots of welded metal sheets were evidence of the previous owners' efforts to keep the car alive. The poor fit of the doors and hoods suggested that the BMW had probably also had one or two accidents.

The workshop equipment got bigger and bigger

'But that didn't bother me, close my eyes', was Scherb's motto. First he had the frame and body of the BMW 326 sandblasted, then he set about restoring them. Because there were no spare parts for it, he bought two sheets of tin. After realizing how much work he actually had to do, he upgraded his small workshop with an upsetting and stretching machine and a roller smoothing machine.

Repairing the frame of the BMW 326 was the easiest task. The many parts with curves and beads such as the doors, the fenders, the bonnet and the front mask made higher demands. The latter two in particular strained his patience. 'Sometimes you were happy to finally finish a job, and a little later you didn't like the result after all,' says Scherb, explaining the reason why he tackled the bonnet a second time. He also had to change the front mask again after fitting the BMW kidney grille. He had assembled the kidney grille from the best components from a total of three copies.

Before starting work, he had looked at and photographed the exact dimensions of the body and many details on other BMW 326s at BMW meetings. He discovered that the curves of the rear end corresponded to those of a certain VW Beetle bumper. He procured a corresponding part and cut it apart or cut to size so that he had a stable base for attaching further sheets in the rear area. He was able to use the denting skills he had now gained on the headlight pots, which had many dents.

The folding roof cutout had been sizzled up

Originally the BMW 326 had a folding roof, but that was closed with a large piece of sheet metal and the seams were filled. It goes without saying that the hobby restorer wanted to restore the original condition, so he made a corresponding roof himself.

All the window panes of the BMW 326 were scratched, but because they were not curved, they could easily be glazed cut to size in safety glass. The only annoying thing was that the windshield had to be made twice because the first one had cracked due to tension in the frame.

Scherb then made new bumper brackets, and when all parts fit perfectly, he dismantled everything again Doors and fenders and pushed the BMW 326 into the paint shop belonging to the gas station, where the car was given a two-tone paint job. Strictly speaking, the two-tone color scheme he chose was only available after the war, but it is quite common in the BMW scene.

Lengthy sheet metal work

Between thelengthy sheet metal work, all other components of the BMW 326 were restored to new condition. The six-cylinder engine was overhauled by the Stolze company in Brandenburg an der Havel, the interior by a local saddler, and the chrome plating of all the attachments was done by the Brinkmann company in Hanover. The revision of the axles, shock absorbers and brakes, the production of the wiring harness and all assembly work was carried out by Scherb himself.

A lot of time went into the search for spare parts or in detailed work on the BMW 326 Ignition and steering lock. Scherb found an EMW lock without a key, but it was the wrong way round. He rebuilt its innards and painstakingly fine-tuned a suitable ignition key from a blank that he got from a locksmith.

First Test drive at the photo session

On the occasion of our photo session, the BMW 326 received a daily registration and started its first test drive. He wasn't quite finished, however. A lot of detailed work is still to be done, such as the assembly of suitable instruments with white dials or a decorative ring on the spare wheel cover. So the man with the camera has not yet taken his last picture. But when the time comes, he can go on a test drive, Scherb promised that.

Place of purchase /year : 2006 in Karlsruhe
Condition of purchase : The car was not ready to drive, had rust and accident damage, but appeared complete at first glance. But much was not original, as it turned out later.
Prehistory : Brought from the GDR to the Ukraine by a Russian officer and later transferred from there to Karlsruhe, where the car was in a shed for a long time stand.
Scope of restoration : Total restoration of the frame and body with the help of numerous self-made metal sheets. All windows renewed, new, self-made folding roof installed, seats refurbished and reupholstered like the panels. Attachment parts partly newly procured or made from old parts, all trim parts and bumpers chrome-plated. Electrics renewed and converted to 12 volts. Wheel suspensions and brakes overhauled, engine and gearbox overhauled, new carburettor and intake manifold obtained
Restoration period : 2008 to 2012
Expert support and spare parts suppliers : Scherb OHG, 34270 Schauenburg , www.esso-scherb.de (paintwork); Brinkmann GmbH, 30161 Hanover, www.brinkmann-chrom.de (chrome plating) , Stolze Moto-Tech, 14774 Brandenburg, www.moto-tech.de (Motor), Döpper company, 51647 Gummersbach, www.doepper-profile.de (seals, fabrics), Sebastian Breitschaft, 34270 Schauenburg (Sattler), BMW Veteranen Club, www.bmw-veteranenclub.de ( Tips)
Costs : Around 40,000 euros
Value : According to the report, 70,000 euros

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