1957 BMW 503 ConvertibleSOLD

RM Vintage Motorcars in Arizona - Biltmore Resort & Spa, Friday January 19, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $140,000 - $180,000

$165,000 Sold

140bhp, 3168 cc overhead valve alloy block and head V8 engine with twin Zenith carburetors, four-speed standard transmission, independent front suspension via upper and lower A arms, live axle rear suspension with torsion bars and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 111.6"

Wartime damage combined with management and control issues to delay the resumption of production at BMW. With a strong sporting heritage based upon the excellent six used in the legendary prewar 328, it is logical that BMW ’ s first postwar “ modern ” car, the 501, was powered by the same six-cylinder engine used in the prewar cars. Introduced in 1951, production began in 1952.

At the same time, development of an all-new, all-alloy V8 engine was well underway. Introduced at 120bhp in the 502, the new engine was a sensation, developing almost double the horsepower of its six-cylinder predecessor.

For 1956, a new series of coupes and cabriolets were introduced, based upon the chassis of the 501/502 but with entirely new coachwork by Count Albrecht Goertz, an American of German extraction. Called the 503, the new model was built on the same wheelbase as the sedan, which resulted in pleasing long hood, short deck proportions.

For the new 503, an upgraded version of the new V8 engine was designed. With improved breathing and twin Zenith carburetors, output climbed to 140bhp. The same engine would be used in the legendary 507 Roadster – also designed by Goertz.

At the same time, the Italian coachbuilding firm Bertone began work on a stylish alloy convertible. Featuring smooth flanks and gently rounded contours, the design was quite striking. Although expensive, some 43 examples were built. Today these cars are highly sought after, offering four place comfort combined with the mechanical specification of the 507.

The Bertone-bodied 503 offered here is a well-known example, acquired by its previous owner in largely original condition. Little was required to return the drivetrain and chassis to proper working order, and as a result, much of the mechanical restoration consisted of inspection, cleaning, and detailing. At the same time, a bare metal strip and respray was undertaken, along with a full new leather interior and a new canvas top.

The BMW recently underwent a light mechanical service, as it has been used only sparingly by the current owner over the last three years. Accordingly, we recommend a thorough mechanical going through to ensure the BMW ’ s reliable running condition. Today, this BMW is an excellent example of the rare model, restored to drive and enjoy, but finished to a standard that will permit showing at judged concours events.

Reference Number 5817

as of 1/10/2007

Car 1957 BMW 503 Convertible
VIN 69146 
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