Automotive Mr. Bean

Published on April 12th, 2024 | by Sounder Rajen


Did You Know Mr. Bean Raced The 1939 BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster?

See Mr. Bean actor, Rowan Atkinson, racing in the 1939 BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster

Rowan Atkinson, renowned the world over for his iconic portrayal of the lovable Mr. Bean shares an unexpected connection with automotive history through the legendary 1939 BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster.

Mr. Bean

This vintage BMW, boasting impressive performance capabilities, effortlessly achieves speeds of up to 143 mph, firmly establishing itself as the fastest BMW of its era. In a historic race triumph, the 1939 BMW 328 clinched victory with a remarkable 15-minute lead over its closest competitor.

Moreover, BMW’s collaboration with Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring resulted in the creation of the 328 Touring Coupé in 1938, showcasing a sleek and enclosed design. Its debut at Le Mans in 1939 saw the 328 coupe secure victory in the two-litre class while securing a commendable fifth place overall, owing to its enhanced aerodynamics and reduced weight.

Buoyed by the success of the Touring Coupé, BMW embarked on crafting its own iteration in 1940, known as the 328 Kamm Coupé. Featuring a magnesium-alloy space frame and aluminium body, the Kamm Coupé boasted a lighter build and superior aerodynamic profile, setting new standards in performance and design. Fitting for the comedic Mr. Bean actor.

Mr. Bean

The Kamm Coupé’s prowess was also validated through rigorous top speed tests on public roads between Munich and Salzburg, Germany, where it demonstrated its capability to reach an impressive 143 mph, solidifying its status as the epitome of speed and engineering excellence. In homage to its legacy, BMW commemorated the car’s 70th anniversary by constructing a faithful replica and entering it in the prestigious 2010 Mille Miglia race with Mr. Bean racing in it.

On top of that, the BMW 328 further cemented its racing pedigree with remarkable showings in the 1938 and 1940 Mille Miglia races, where it emerged victorious, showcasing its endurance and performance prowess over the gruelling 1000-mile course through the picturesque Italian countryside. 

The 1940 race, in particular, saw a 328 Touring Coupé outpace its competitors, including the esteemed Alfa Romeo, clinching a historic victory on Italian soil. Even beyond its illustrious racing career, the BMW 328 that Mr. Bean raced continued to leave an indelible mark on automotive history, with just 464 units ever produced.

Mr. Bean

Today, BMW proudly asserts that approximately 200 of these iconic vehicles remain preserved, with 150 still operational or safely stored in Germany, serving as enduring testaments to the legacy of innovation and performance excellence embodied by the illustrious BMW 328.

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