403 Squadron’s Captured BMW Sports Car – Identified?

Guest post from Mark White

403 Squadron’s Captured BMW Sports Car – Identified?

I posted this article and a picture of 403 Wolf Squadron’s “Captured Jerry Car” a few months ago.

https://rcaf403squadron.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/403-squadrons-captured-bmw-sports-car/

Pips Priller 1

After doing some research, I think I may have identified this particular BMW.

It’s just a hunch – what do your readers think?

 Pips Priller 2

Oberstleutnant Josef “Pips” Priller with his Fw190A-8 ‘Black 13’.

His car is a red BMW 327/55 Sport-Cabriolet.

 Pips Priller


Josef “Pips” Priller (27 July 1915 – 20 May 1961) was a flamboyant World War II Luftwaffe fighter ace.

Priller flew 1307 combat missions to claim 101 victories. All his victories were recorded over the Western Front, and consisted of 11 USAAF heavy bombers, 68 Spitfires, 11 Hurricanes, 5 medium bombers, and 5 USAAF fighters.

Priller was the most successful Luftwaffe pilot in battles with Spitfires – claiming at least 68 kills – the highest Luftwaffe ace’s tally for these aircraft.

Priller’s actions were also immortalized in the book and the film The Longest Day when he and his wingman Heinz Wodarczyk flew a single strafing attack on Sword Beach during D-Day June 6, 1944.

Mark White

So what do you think about Mark White’s hypothesis?

Pips Priller 3

Footnote

Click here for more information about that sports car.

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15 thoughts on “403 Squadron’s Captured BMW Sports Car – Identified?

  1. I am astounded as to how you were able to narrow it down, Pierre! What made you determine it was a BMW 327/55 Sport-Cabriolet? Or is it just comparing…? The BMW in the B&W has the vertical bar in front of the door as well as fender mounted turn signals…and the damaged front bumper has a short vertical piece, too. And if the FW in the background is indeed the A-8 model, it wasn’t produced until 1944. Perplexing!

  2. I hope Mark reads the comment section.
    Someone is questioning the identification of a Fw190 A-8.

    As I said the picture was taken elsewhere and before.
    I know that this plane was probably the one Pips Priller flew on D-Day.

  3. Wiki…

    The Fw 190 A-8 entered production in February 1944, powered either by the standard BMW 801 D-2 or the 801Q (also known as 801TU). The 801Q/TU, with the “T” signifying a Triebwerksanlage unitized powerplant installation, was a standard 801D with improved, thicker armour on the front annular cowling, which also incorporated the oil tank, upgraded from 6 mm (.24 in) on earlier models to 10 mm (.39 in). Changes introduced in the Fw 190 A-8 also included the C3-injection Erhöhte Notleistung emergency boost system to the fighter variant of the Fw 190 A (a similar system with less power had been fitted to some earlier Jabo variants of the 190 A), raising power to 1,980 PS (1,953 hp, 1,456 kW) for a short time. The Erhöhte Notleistung system operated by spraying additional fuel into the fuel/air mix, cooling it and allowing higher boost pressures to be run, but at the cost of much higher fuel consumption. From the A-8 on, Fw 190s could be fitted with a new paddle-bladed wooden propeller, easily identified by its wide blades with curved tips. A new outwardly bulged main canopy glazing format, more in the manner of a Malcolm hood rather than a bubble canopy, with greatly improved vision sideways and forward, had been developed for the F-2 ground attack model, but was often seen fitted at random on A-8s, F-8s and G-8s. The new canopy included a larger piece of head armour which was supported by reinforced bracing and a large fairing. A new internal fuel tank with a capacity of 115 L (30 US gal) was fitted behind the cockpit, which meant that the radio equipment had to be moved forward to just behind the pilot.
    Three-side-view of Fw 190 A-8

    Externally, a large round hatch was incorporated into the lower fuselage to enable the new tank to be installed, and the pilot’s oxygen bottles were moved aft and positioned around this hatch. A fuel filler was added to the port side, below the rear canopy and a rectangular radio access hatch was added to starboard. Other changes included an ETC 501 underfuselage rack which was mounted on a lengthened carrier and moved 200 mm (8 in) further forward to help restore the centre of gravity of the aircraft. This fuselage would form the basis for all later variants of the Fw 190 and the Ta 152 series. The Morane “whip” aerial for the Y-Verfahren was fitted as standard under the port wing, just aft of the wheelwell. Nearly a dozen Rüstsätze kits were made available for the A-8, including the famous A-8/R2 and A-8/R8 Sturmbock models. The A-8/R2 replaced the outer wing 20 mm cannon with a 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannon. The A-8/R8 was similar, but fitted with heavy armour including 30 mm (1.18 in) canopy and windscreen armour and 5 mm (.2 in) cockpit armour. The A-8 was the most numerous of the Fw 190 As, with over 6,655 A-8 airframes produced from March 1944 to May 1945. A-8s were produced by at least eight factories during its lifetime.[39]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Wulf_Fw_190#A-8

    • As to exactly how Hauptmann Priller – even as the scion of a upper-middle class family of brewers – came to possess one of the most expensive and exclusive cars on the European road in 1942 is something that has never been explained. The famous photograph (shown here) was actually an advertising photo done by BMW: the famous ace steps from his world-class BMW sports car to his world-class BMW-powered fighter with which he vanquishes the enemy. At the time, Priller was the top-scoring Fw-190 pilot on the Channel Front, so the choice on the part of BMW was a natural. Likely, giving Priller the car was for BMW what giving a car to Tiger Woods is today.

      http://modelingmadness.com/review/axis/previews/9755.htm

  4. Am I wrong or is the front end (headlight area especially) different? The hood appears a different length as well, or would that be just the camera angle?

  5. Comment from a reader

    The car on the left is a 327/28 80hp that came with “knockoff” wheels from the factory. I have a 1939. The Priller vehicle pictured is a BMW 327 55hp model with spun metal hubcaps. It also has the single blade bumper. The 327/28 has what is left of a less elegant bumper. The 327/28 also has fender mounted signal lights and semaphores, while Priller’s has the semaphores that are recessed in the body panel before the doors.

  6. Reblogged this on RCAF No. 403 Squadron and commented:

    Final answer…

    A comment from Paul

    The car on the left is a 327/28 80hp that came with “knockoff” wheels from the factory. I have a 1939. The Priller vehicle pictured is a BMW 327 55hp model with spun metal hubcaps. It also has the single blade bumper. The 327/28 has what is left of a less elegant bumper. The 327/28 also has fender mounted signal lights and semaphores, while Priller’s has the semaphores that are recessed in the body panel before the doors.

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