<b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152
Lot 211
1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET
Chassis no. 69146
Engine no. 30152
Sold for US$ 330,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
<b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152 <b>1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET  </b><br />Chassis no. 69146 <br />Engine no. 30152
1957 BMW 503 CABRIOLET
Coachwork by Bertone

Chassis no. 69146
Engine no. 30152

3,168cc OHV Aluminum V8 Engine
2 Zenith Carburetors
140bhp at 4,800rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Front Independent Suspension – Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes


*Excellent example of BMW's rare 503 Cabriolet
*Recent mechanical restoration
*One of just 129 Bertone-bodied Cabriolets built
*Eligible for the world's finest driving and Concours events
*Offered with BMW Certificate of Authenticity and restoration files



THE BMW 503

At the end of WW2, BMW was in a much worse state than Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart because one of its major plants – the old Dixi works at Eisenach in Saxony - was within the Russian Zone and would soon be cut off from the West behind the 'Iron Curtain'. Nevertheless, BMW recommenced car production in 1952 with the introduction of the 501 luxury saloon, a bullish choice for an impoverished country still recovering from the ravages of war. The 501 had been announced in 1951 and first appeared with a development of the company's pre-war six-cylinder engine before gaining a much needed performance boost, in the form of a 2.6-liter V8, in 1954. Designed by Alfred Böning, this new power unit had been inspired by American V8s but was constructed entirely of aluminum rather than cast iron. Towards the end of 1955 a 3.2-liter version was introduced and the big saloon's model designation changed to '502'.

Clearly, this new state-of-the-art V8 had considerable potential as a sports car engine. Sales Director Hanns Grewenig had been pressing for a V8-engined sports car for some time but it was not until Mercedes-Benz introduced the 300SL that the project was given the green light. BMW was encouraged by Austrian-born entrepreneur Max Hoffman, at that time the US importer of various European makes, who knew just the man to style the car: Count Albrecht von Goertz, an independent industrial designer who had worked for the legendary Raymond Loewy on the latter's trend-setting Studebakers. Designer of everything from fountain pens to furniture, Goertz had never before styled an entire car and would not work for BMW again until the 1980s.

Goertz was commissioned to produce two different designs, a Coupe and a Cabriolet, both of which debuted in prototype form at the 1955 Frankfurt Auto Show. With its long bonnet, 2+2 seating and generously sized boot, the 503 looked every inch the elegant Grand Routier. Even Pinin Farina was impressed, declaring it to be the most beautiful car in the show. Bertone was appointed to manufacture the handcrafted aluminum Cabriolet bodies, and the 503 Cabriolet became the first German Cabriolet with electrically operated top and windows.

BMW high-performance, V8-engined cars of the 1950s attracted a wealthy, discerning clientele, including some very well known names from the motor sport world. Expensive and exclusive, 503s were built to an extremely high quality, and only 206 Coupes and 129 Cabriolets were produced between 1956 and 1960.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

According to the Certificate of Authenticity issued by BMW Classic for this 503, this elegant Cabriolet was completed at the Munich plant in May of 1957, finished in Papyros White, fitted with a Becker Mexico radio, and delivered to the first owner through legendary racing driver and automobile distributor, Autohaus Wilhelm Glöckler of Frankfurt, Germany. The sporting Cabriolet remained in Germany for some time, before being exported to the US. By the 1990s, the 503 had become part of the well-known Blackhawk Collection in Danville, California, and remained there until purchased by Robert Pond of Palm Springs. California. The BMW is reported to have been in remarkably original condition at this point. While in Mr. Pond's impressive collection, the 503 was treated to a comprehensive restoration that included a re-paint, re-trim of the interior and numerous mechanical refurbishments.

The 503 was later purchased by Connecticut-based enthusiast, Michael Schudroff, before being acquired by the consignor in 2009. While in his collection, the elegant Cabriolet has been treated to much mechanical work and an engine refurbishment by RM Restorations, and has been tastefully upgraded with period-correct Rudge wheels. Well sorted mechanically, and extraordinary well presented cosmetically, this rare 503 Cabriolet must be one of the finest examples in existence today. It offers its next owner exquisite styling, super performance and sophisticated German engineering in a very usable open top Grand Tourer package, eligible for the finest driving and Concours events worldwide.

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