Sinaia Concours d’Elegance in Romania was the scene of a historical comeback of the BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster. After its last major international racing event, in Kronstadt Gran Prix in September 1940, only 50 km away from Sinaia, in the heart of Transylvania, the famous roadster was once again presented in Romania. It was also an emotional encounter, as Marin Dumitrescu, 98 years old and a winner of Sinaia Hill Climb race with the 328 in the early ’50, stepped out of the famous Mille Miglia Roadster on the Sinaia Concours red carpet to open the event.
Organized under the patronage of His Majesty, King Michael the First of Romania, the Sinaia Concours d’Elegance has a tradition that started in the midd 1930s, with two events in 1934 and 1935. The event was reborn in 2011 in the same location and is developing to international fame. It enjoys the participation of owners from Romania and neighboring countries, among other the famous car collector and former tennis player Ion Ţiriac.
Unique is the “Made in Romania” category that is bringing back to life the forgotten history of the Romanian automotive industry. This year the winner was a Dacia Estafette, one of two models known to still exists and the only one ever restored. This year event was about power and performance, with cars Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9 or the Jaguar XJ12. The best of show winner was the Cadillac V16 Series 90.
The rich history of Citroën was perfectly reflected by the participants with a Citroën Traction Avant, a Citroën CX Prestige and a Citroën DS Cabriolet coach built by Chapron, one of the few that enjoyed the Chapron special treatment. Another special car this year was an Ego 4/14, one of the two models in existence. This is a car that was almost destroyed by the communism’ Secret Service in the late 1980s to be rebuilt again in 2005 and to feature in a Romanian famous movie, “The Rest a Silence” driven in a cameo by the movie director himself, award winning Nae Caranfil.
Sinaia was also the scene of a BMW Group Classic exhibition, which marked several anniversaries of the brand. 40 years of BMW 7 Series was marked with the exhibition of a BMW 745i E23, the first BMW 7 Series also equipped with a turbo engine. 30 years of BMW V12 engine was celebrated with a BMW 7 Series 750i E32, the first German V12 after World War II. The story of the V12 engines was continued with a BMW 850 CSi. The presentation of a BMW Z1, in the rare colour “Purblau” (Pure Blue), marked 30 years of the launch of the first modern roadster. Also at the event, showcasing a long tradition of special editions for M sports car, was the BMW M3 GT, one of the 365 cars ever produced.
A historic comeback
The last major international race that the roadster was ever entered as a modern car, was the Kronstadt (Braşov) Grand Prix in September 1940, with plans to participate at the Bucharest Grand Prix only a week later. Due to the War, the cars only participated at the trainings in Kronstadt and needed to be retired. This is the first time after 77 years that the BMW 328 is again on the Romanian ground.
BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster is the one of three legendary roadsters prepared for the famous Mille Miglia race. It is the one of the two models with body produced by Carrozzeria Touring after BMW specifications. All of the three roadsters finished Mille Miglia and assured the win of BMW also in the team standing, next to the overall win with the BMW 328 Touring Coupe. The BMW 328 Roadster presented in Bucharest, finished 3th overall and 2th in the 2 liter class. It is one of the cars that BMW is still presenting at international events such as Mille Miglia or Goodwood Festival of Speed. Underlining further its significance and beautiful styling, a Mille Miglia Roadster is exhibited at the BMW Museum, in the “Treasure Room”.
The reunion with legendary Marin Dumitrescu was another emotional moment. The 98 years old Romanian racing driver has a special connection with the BMW 328, as he dominated the Romanian competitions with such a model modified and prepared in the Bucharest Vulcan Factory. He later became one of the most influential figures of national racing, with over 30 titles of National Champion in various events. He gained further recognition as a rally team manager and an engineer, with a career that spans over 30 years. His grandson, Andrei Dumitrescu, is continuing his legacy as racing driver. He was also present at the Sinaia Concours d’Elegance driving the Cadillac V16 90 Series, as technical consultant of the Ţiriac Collection restauration workshop.
While BMW 328 and Marin Dumitrescu marked the start of the event, the Concours was closed with the presentation of the Braşov “Blue Streamline”, the most successful Romanian Formula Student Team, as a reference to next racing and automotive legends.
“Today we honoured an amazing Romanian legend with a German icon in a historical reunion. People are the soul of our brand and it was a privilege to have Marin Dumitrescu next to BMW 328 after more than 60 years. The BMW brand is a lasting success because passionate racing drivers and engineers like him. Thank you, Marin Dumirescu!” declared Alexandru Şeremet, Corporate Communication Manager BMW Group Romania.
Sinaia Concours d’Elegance
– Best of Show CES 2017 – Cadillac Series 90 V16 (1939)
– Public award – Fiat 500 L (1971)
– Best restored pre-war car- Cadillac Series 90 V16 (1939)
– Best restored post-war car – Renault 12 TL (1971)
– Award for longest distance travelled by car – Citroen CX Prestige (1983)
– Oldest car entered in the competition – EGO 4/14 (1924)
– Best preserved car – Peugeot 404 (1970)
– Special jury award – Bentley S1 Special (1957)
– Special prize awarded UNIQA Asigurari – Citroen DS 21 Cabriolet Chapron (1971)
1. Cadillac Series 90 V16 (1939) – Tiriac Collection
2. Fiat Balilla (1932) – Marius Vargatu
3. Mercedes 170 V (1938) – Cristian Antoniewicz
1. Unic L3 Torpedo (1925) – Kiss Tamas
2. Fiat 520 Torpedo (1928) – Iulian Todirica
3. EGO 4/14 (1924) – Gabriel Balan / Muzeul Tecuci
1. Citroen CX Prestige (1983) – Adrian Pintea
2. Citroen Traction B11 (1954) – Serban Dumitriu
3. Renault 12 TL (1971) – Remus Azoitei
1. Citroen DS 21 Cabriolet Chapron (1971) – Cars Auto Solutions
2. Chevrolet Impala SS (1966) – Florian Marin
3. Cadillac Eldorado (1975) – Ilie Zoltareanu
1. TVR Grantura (1964) – Alexandru Ciolan
2. Chevrolet Corvette C2 (1966) – Camil Alexandru Perian
3. BMW 2000 CS (1965) – Adrian Bortica
Fabricat in Romania
1. Dacia D6 Estafette (1977) – Levente Dudi
2. Dacia 10 (1982) – Dan Becheanu
3. Dacia 1300 (1972) – Cezar Popescu
Dacia 1300 (1971) – George Tertan