1933 BMW 303 Cabriolet  Chassis no. 45255 Engine no. 45255

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 174*
1933 BMW 303 Cabriolet
Chassis no. 45255 Engine no. 45255

Sold for € 54,050 (US$ 61,411) inc. premium
1933 BMW 303 Cabriolet
Coachwork by Ambi-Budd

Chassis no. 45255
Engine no. 45255
The acquisition of the Dixi works at Eisenach in 1928 provided BMW, hitherto a manufacturer of aero engines and motorcycles, with a foothold in car manufacturing. Dixi's built-under-license version of the Austin Seven was gradually developed and improved, ending up with swing-axle suspension and overhead valves, and then in 1933 came the first true BMW - the six-cylinder 303 – additionally historically significant as the first model to carry the firm's trademark kidney-shaped radiator grille. The 303 adopted a twin-tube frame and abandoned the rear swing axles in favour of a conventional live axle, while up front there was superior transverse-leaf independent suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. These features, along with the four-bearing, overhead-valve 1.2-litre engine, provided the basis for the more powerful sporting models to follow. Bodies were provided by Daimler-Benz's Sindelfigen coachworks initially and later by Ambi-Budd in Berlin. The BMW range now began to evolve more quickly and within a year the 303 had gone, superseded by the 1.5-litre 315. Only 3,210 were ever made.
This rare and highly desirable BMW 303 cabriolet was imported into Switzerland in 1933 and remained with its original owner until 1955. The second owner, manager of a large garage, supervised the BMW's restoration in the garage's workshop and on its completion sold the car to the current vendor in 1963.
In 1992 the engine was rebuilt by one of the late Joachim Bonnier's race mechanics, since when the car has been driven regularly but no more than approximately 500 kilometres per year. We are advised that a total of CHF 9,220 (approximately €7,784) has been spent on servicing and repairs during the last 10 years.
Because of expected difficulties in obtaining spare parts the present owner purchased several, including an engine (1,500cc), gearbox, doors, radiator surround, wheels, window glass, etc) none of which was needed except for a side screen glass. These parts are available from the vendor via separate negotiation.
Finished in grey with brown leather interior, the car comes with owner's manual, parts manual, service booklet, carburettor manual, technical inspection document and Swiss registration papers (Halterauskunft).

Das hier angebotene, seltene und sehr gesuchte BMW 303 Cabriolet wurde 1933 als Neufahrzeug in die Schweiz geliefert und verblieb bis 1955 mit seinem ersten Besitzer. Der Nächste war der Werkstattleiter einer grossen Garage, der eine aufwendige Restauration in der Lehrlingswerkstätte überwachte. 1963 erwarb der heutige Eigentümer den BMW. Dieser liess 1993 eine Totalrevision der Maschine vornehmen, und zwar von einem ehemaligen Rennmechaniker des Rennfahrers Joakim Bonnier. Danach wurde das Cabriolet regelmässig durch den Besitzer gefahren, jedoch lediglich etwa 500 km pro Jahr. In den letzten Jahren wurden für etwa CHF 9.220 Reparaturen und Wartungsarbeiten durchgeführt. Zur Sicherung der anfänglich schwierigen Ersatzteilbeschaffung, wurden bereits 1963 einige wichtige Teile der Karosserie und Mechanik beschafft, so u.a. Türen, Kühlermaske, Motor (1,5 Ltr.), Getriebe, Hinterachse, Felgen, Scheiben. Auf Wunsch können diese Teile ebenfalls erworben werden.
Der 303 war der erste von BMW produzierte Wagen mit der 'BMW-Niere' und verfügte über den ersten BMW-Sechszylinder-Motor, dessen Entwicklung bis zum 328 fortgesetzt wurde. Mit dem Los versteigert werden das Handbuch, die Ersatzteilliste, das Kundendienstheft, sowie ein Vergaserbuch. Die Fahrzeugpapiere bestehen aus der 'Halterauskunft' des Kantons Zürich. In den Farben lackiert, mit Interieur ist das Fahrzeug ausführlich beschrieben unter www.zwischengas.com/303 und in der 'Automobil Revue Nr. 18, vom 4. Mai.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the technical inspection document mentionnned in the catalogue is missing.
1933 BMW 303 Cabriolet  Chassis no. 45255 Engine no. 45255
1933 BMW 303 Cabriolet  Chassis no. 45255 Engine no. 45255
1933 BMW 303 Cabriolet  Chassis no. 45255 Engine no. 45255
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations


If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
* Import low rate

7% USt auf den Zuschlagspreis und der jeweiligen Höhe auf Aufgeld bei in der EU.

USt at 7% on the hammer price and the prevailing rate on buyer's premium if the car remains in EU.