403 Squadron’s Captured BMW Sports Car

A Captured Jerry Car

Although the quality of this picture leaves a lot to be desired, it is one of my favorites from my father George White’s collection.

The captured “Jerry Car” shown in this picture with the ERKs of 403 Squadron, is a pre-war BMW 328 sports car. You will recognize the two ERK’s from some of my dad’s other photos.

A Captured Jerry Car

This car was likely built from the 1937 – 1939 period.

Note the Roundels, the star on the hood and the blackout headlight(s).

The truck in the background I believe is a 3.0 Bedford QL sporting the Maple Leaf and belonging to 127 Wing.

The number of regular 328’s produced until the start of the War is estimated at 426.

Over 200 cars still exist, a remarkable feat for a country where many cars were confiscated by the Nazi authorities. What apparently has contributed to its survival is that the engines of the 328 required very high quality petrol, which was hardly available, making the car unusable during the war and not attractive to the ruling party. And besides that, by the end of the war, Goering was probably too fat to fit into a BMW a BMW 328 Roadster.

It was however very popular with the pilots and ERKs of 403 Squadron. I recall my dad telling me how impressed the “boys” were at how fast this car was.

No doubt, the Luftwaffe enjoyed this car also. They would have had a good supply of high octane, high quality aviation gas for the Messerschmitt 109s and Focke Wulf 190s to keep the cars’ high performance high compression engine happy.

I often wonder if this particular car survived the war and where it might be now.

It would be worth a small fortune today if it was still around.


Mark White

December 28 2012.

4 thoughts on “403 Squadron’s Captured BMW Sports Car

  1. Hi Mark –

    I came across your image of the BMW sports car.
    This is actually a BMW 327 ( not 328). It could be a 327/55 ( 55hp twin carb) or a 327/80 ( 80hp triple carb). I own a Left hand drive BMW 327/80 which I have traced back through RAF owners to the 1950’s when it was thought to have been brought over from Belgium. The car still needs full restoration. I attach images for your reference. Although my car was ‘restored’ in the 1950’s, I suspect from the details I can see, mine is not the car in the image. However, please could you tell me if you have any other information about the car or recollections from your father about it, how it was acquired and where. It may lead me to finding out more about my own car and perhaps me being able to find more about yours which I will gladly pass on. I can send you period photos in England taken in the early1960’s, and others of the car as it is now. I have many shots of my friend and others driving Frazer Nash BMW 327’s ( UK supplied cars were sold before the war as ‘Frazer Nash BMW’s’ with Right hand drive, These cars do go very well…

    The 328 ( same engine as 327 but much lighter and only a 2 seater body) you mistook this car for was the GP car of its day…

    Please take a look at http://www.bmwhistoricmotorclub.co.uk of which I am a member. It may be useful.

    Hope this is helpful. I am sure you have much response to your post since last year but thought I would make contact anyway.

    Best wishes

    Shaun Woodward

    Bedford, England

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