Our look back over the history of aerodynamics, which began at the start of the last century, has taught us two things: first, that automotive innovation has always been impeded by the fact that customers want the reassurance of familiar and well-established lines, and are therefore little inclined to accept new and unusual shapes.
The second is that efficient, streamlined forms are inspired by the air. And here we are thinking of airships more than planes. Paul Jaray’s patents of the early 1920s were studied and interpreted by numerous enthusiasts, including Reinhard Koenig Von Fachsenfeld, a German aristocrat who was passionate about motorcycles and cars, which he raced successfully. Indeed, as we see here, he created several cars of considerable historical interest.
In 1931 he built a lovely aerodynamic sedan, based on DKW mechanics. This car, which he confidently named “Record”, caught the attention of Daimler Benz, which was looking to build a single-seater on SSKL mechanics. Von Fachsenfeld came up with a clean, essential-looking car, devoid of any element that might interfere with the airflow around the vehicle. Indeed, it resembled an airplane fuselage. In 1932, Manfred von Brauchitsch drove it to victory on the Avus circuit.
In 1936, after purchasing Jaray’s patents, Reinhard Koenig Von Fachsenfeld, taking the BMW 328 series model as his starting point, developed two versions of his BMW Wendler Streamlinien. In the 1930s, great store was set by managing to combine esthetics and aerodynamic efficiency, and in this sense these cars represented an important achievement. Unveiled in 1937, the BMW 328 Streamlinien conveyed a clear message concerning the technical-aesthetic trend that would be followed by German cars in the future.