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BMW 309

BMW cars archive - the 1930's

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Visit also: 1931 BMW 3/15 DA 4 | 1932 BMW 3/20 PS | 1933 BMW 303 | 1934 BMW 315 | 1934 BMW 319 | 1935 BMW 3/15 Ihle Type 600 / 800

After BMW had become automobile manufacturers relatively late, in 1928, by acquiring the "Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach", a subsidiary of the "Gothaer Waggonfabrik AG", manufacturers of the Dixi cars, it was content at first to continue to build and improve on the existing 3/15 small car, manufactured under the Austin licence.

1934 - 1936 BMW 309 technical specifications
Saloon, Cabrio-saloon, Cabriolet and Tourer
Fuel type
16kW | 22HP
Top Speed
80km/h | 50mph

Fuel Consumption (l/100km | mpg)


Units produced
Cost at production start

Source for technical specifications:

Around 1931, BMW began to design its own first car. The new model introduced in March 1932, the 3/20 PS AM 1, appealed to customers because of its space and its high level of quality, despite its barely sufficient engine output. It also suffered from poor front axle design. The BMW designers' high standards were by no means satisfied even with this car: in Germany, meanwhile, the national economy was becoming ever stronger and it was becoming possible to sell luxury cars as well.A new car, was therefore introduced in 1933, the BMW 303, with new chassis and suspension design features aimed at satisfying higher standards. For it, engine designer Rudolf Schleicher developed one of the smallest six-cylinder inline engines at that time; it had an output of 30 hp and made the car, which also had a more spacious and more pleasing body built by Daimler-Benz in Sindelfingen, a most attractive performer. In order not to lose customers after the end of 3/20 production, the Type 309 was launched at the start of 1934 and combined the chassis and body of the BMW 303 with the less expensive driveline of the BMW 3/20. In order to match the engine output to the greater vehicle weight, the swept volume was increased to almost 850 cc, thus gaining 2 horsepower. But even with 22 horsepower, the Type 309 was amongst the less exciting cars of its day -capable of scarcely more than 80 km/h.

6,000 customers, however, were more impressed by the otherwise substantial benefits of this model such as economy and a high degree of comfort for a car of this class. Type 309 was able to offer the public a low-cost small car with excellent road behaviour and an attractive appearance. There were various versions available from the factory in Eisenach -saloon, convertible saloon, a two-door convertible and tourer. In addition, over 1,000 chassis were sold for individual bodies to be fitted, and some 100 BMW 309s were used as reconnaissance vehicles by the Wehrmacht (German Army).

BMW 309 production numbers and type of body:

  • 2,859 saloon/sedan
  • 1,456 soft-top saloons/sedans
  • 284 two-door convertibles
  • 179 open four-seaters
  • 101 reconnaissance vehicles
  • 1 roll-top saloon/sedan
  • 1,120 chassis with special bodywork

Source: BMW Group Archive

Visit also: 1931 BMW 3/15 DA 4 | 1932 BMW 3/20 PS | 1933 BMW 303 | 1934 BMW 315 | 1934 BMW 319 | 1935 BMW 3/15 Ihle Type 600 / 800

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