The BMW 507 – One Of The Best BMW Cars

At this year’s Lime Rock Historic Festival the first car that caught my eye was very special.  The BMW 507 is widely regarded as BMW’s ultimate sports car.  It has rarity, speed and beauty.  Yes, the BMW 507 checks all of the boxes to qualify as a first class sports car.

BMW 507 1956 (1)

The BMW 507 Is A Real Beauty

One of the surprising things about the BMW 507 is that it was designed by a Albrecht Count Goertz, a design guru who lived in the USA.  It lacks many of the traits of American car design that were commonly used in the mid-1950s.  In addition to his design work with the BMW 507, Goertz also went on to design the first generation Datsun 240Z.

BMW 507 1956 (5)

The BMW 507 Is A Small Car, With A Somewhat Delicate Look To It

The BMW 507 appears to be a small car, however it is about 1 foot longer than circa 2000 BMW Z3 and also weighs about 120 pounds more than the Z3.

BMW 507 1956 (3)

The BMW 507 Was Available From 1955 to 1959

The BMW 507 was available for about 4 years, but they only built 253 of these cars including two prototype cars over that time.  In 1956 the BMW 507 price tag was almost $9,000.  For comparison purposes, the 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL was listed at about $7,300.  As you can see the BMW 507 was a very expensive car, which no doubt affected sales.

BMW 507 1956 (2)

I Find That The Dash Is Dominated By The Central Radio Speaker

The BMW 507 is powered by a 3,168cc overhead valve V8 engine that produced about 165 horsepower in the USA.  The engine was fitted with two Zenith two-barrel carburetors.  The engine had an aluminum block and aluminum heads.  The BMW 507 had a four-speed manual transmission, although a 5-speed transmission was announced in 1955, it seems that none of the BMW 507 cars were actually fitted with the 5-speed transmission.

BMW 507 Engine

The BMW 507’s V8 Engine (1)

In 2013 I had the opportunity to visit the BMW museum at BMW’s home base in Munich, Germany.  During that visit I saw a BMW 507 for the first time in person.  It had a prominent location in the museum.  The BMW Museum’s 507 is shown in the photo below.

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BMW 507 At The BMW Museum in Munich

For their time the BMW 507 was a fairly fast car.  It would go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 8.8 seconds and had a top speed that has been noted as 125 to 136 miles per hour.  I am not sure why the reported top speed varies so much.

IMG_4222

The White Colored Exhaust Pipe Is an Uncommon Touch

If anyone is in Munich, then I would recommend visiting the BMW Museum.  What I noticed is that I went to the BMW Museum thinking about BMW cars, but once at the museum, I was certainly reminded that BMW is a motorcycle company as well.  In fact, in BMW’s early days it was primarily a motorcycle company.

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The Grey Color Gives This BMW 507 The Look Of A Modern Car

This BMW 507 had a current license plate indicating that BMW does take this car out on the road occasionally.

IMG_4221

Notice How The Color Of The Binnacle Matches The Color Of The Speaker

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It’s A Shame That These Cars Are So Rare

I recently saw on television that a BMW 507 sold at auction for about $2M dollars.  Given their rare status and reputation as the ultimate BMW sports car, I was not surprised.

Reference/Photo

(1) “BMW” by R. W. Schlegelmilch, H. Lehbrink, J. von Osterroth, 2010.

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