Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344

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Lot 285
1958 BMW 503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé

Sold for € 212,750 (US$ 224,259) inc. premium
Delivered new to Belgium
1958 BMW 503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé
Chassis no. 69344
•One of only 206 made
•Three Belgian owners from new
•Highly original example
•Matching numbers/matching colours
•Lovely patinated original interior

Footnotes

  • Introduced on the 501 luxury saloon in 1954, BMW's new state-of-the-art V8 clearly had considerable potential as a sports car engine. 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.

    Goertz was commissioned to produce two different designs, both of which debuted in prototype form at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1955. The more conservative of the two – the 503 – retained the 502 saloon's chassis, suspension and centrally mounted, column-change gearbox, while the 507 was built on a much shorter wheelbase, which necessitated attaching the gearbox directly to the engine. (The Series II 503, introduced in 1957, used the 507-type engine/transmission arrangement complete with floor-mounted change). As installed in the alloy-bodied 503, the 3.2-litre V8 produced 140bhp, which was good enough for a top speed of 118mph (190km/h). With its long bonnet, 2+2 seating and generously sized boot, the 503 looked every inch the elegant Grande Routière. Even Pinin Farina was impressed, declaring it to be the most beautiful car in the show. Had the 507 not debuted at the same time, it would no doubt have also been the most memorable.

    BMW's high-performance, V8-engined cars of the 1950s attracted a small but discerning clientele, including some very well-known names from the motor sports world. Expensive and exclusive, the 503 was built both as a closed coupé and a convertible, only 206 of the former and 138 of the latter being delivered between 1956 and 1960.

    Chassis number '69344' was delivered new in 1958 to Garage du Rond-Point in Brussels and first owned by a knitwear manufacturer from Sint-Niklaas. The first owner kept the BMW for around 10 years before selling it to a local metals dealer, who in turn owned it for six years. The car then remained in the dealer's warehouse until circa 1998 when it was re-commissioned and the bodywork repainted with the exception of the roof, which is believed to retain its original black paint. Following its re-commissioning the BMW was driven on the occasional rally and eventually was sold to the current owner. Belgian domiciled from new, and always in East Flanders, the car remains highly original and has a lovely interior with beautifully patinated leather.

    Mechanically in order and said to drive very well, this superior example of a very rare model is offered with Belgian registration papers and BMW Classic certificate of originality confirming matching numbers.

    Livrée neuve en Belgique
    BMW 503 3,2 litres série II coupé 1958
    Châssis n° 69344

    •Une des 206 construites
    •Trois propriétaires Belges seulement
    •Exemplaire particulièrement authentique
    •Numéros et couleurs concordants
    •Intérieur d'origine magnifiquement patiné

    Dévoilé sur la berline de luxe 501 en 1954, le nouveau V8 dernier cri de BMW montrait indéniablement un potentiel considérable pour une sportive. BMW fut encouragé par l'entreprenant Max Hoffman d'origine autrichienne, à l'époque importateur de nombreuses marques européennes aux États-Unis, qui connaissait la personne capable de dessiner une telle voiture, le comte Albrecht von Goertz, un designer industriel indépendant qui avait travaillé avec le légendaire Raymond Loewy sur les Studebaker à la dernière mode.

    On demanda à Goertz de faire deux dessins différents qui firent leurs débuts sous forme de prototype au Salon de Francfort en 1955. Le plus conservateur des deux – pour la 503 – reprenait le châssis de la berline 502, sa suspension et sa boîte de vitesse à commande au volant, alors que la 507 était construite sur un empattement bien plus court, qui avait permis de monter la boîte accolée au moteur (la 503 série II, dévoilée en 1957, reprenait entièrement l'ensemble moteur/transmission de la 507 avec levier au plancher). Tel qu'installé dans la 503 à carrosserie en alliage, le V8 3,2 litres développait 140 ch, suffisants pour une vitesse de pointe de 190 km/h. Avec son long capot, son habitacle 2+2 et son généreux coffre, la 503 était la parfaite illustration de la grande routière. Même Pinin Farina fut impressionné, déclarant que c'était la plus belle voiture du salon. Si la 507 n'avait pas débuté en même temps, elle aurait sûrement aussi été la plus mémorable.

    Les BMW hautes performances à moteur V8 des années 1950 attirèrent une petite clientèle de connaisseurs, comprenant même quelques grands noms du sport automobile. Chère et exclusive, la 503 était construite aussi bien en coupé qu'en cabriolet, respectivement 206 et 138 exemplaires de chacune étant livrées entre 1956 et 1960.

    Le châssis numéro 69344 a été livré neuf en 1958 au Garage du Rond-Point à Bruxelles à un industriel du tricot de Sint-Niklaas. Ce premier propriétaire garda la BMW environ 10 années, avant de la vendre à un marchand de métaux local qui la conserva six ans. La voiture resta alors dans les remises du concessionnaire jusqu'à environ 1998, lorsque sa carrosserie fut repeinte, à l'exception du toit qui conserve pense-t-on sa peinture noire d'origine. Suite à sa réfection, la BMW fut conduite pour quelques rallyes occasionnels et finalement vendue à son actuel propriétaire. Domicilié en Belgique depuis son origine, toujours en Flandres orientales, la voiture est restée largement authentique et présente un magnifique intérieur avec un cuir joliment patiné.

    En parfait état mécanique et agréable à conduire, cet exemplaire de qualité d'un modèle particulièrement rare est vendu avec ses papiers d'immatriculation belge et son certificat d'origine BMW Classic confirmant ses numéros concordants.
Contacts
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
Delivered new to Belgium,1958  BMW  503 3.2-Litre Series II Coupé  Chassis no. 69344
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