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BMW 507 Roadster

Best ever.

Die Wege des Herrn seien unergründlich, heisst es. Was genau hat den Herrn Max Hoffman in den frühen 50er Jahren wohl getrieben, BMW dazu zu bringen, einen direkten Konkurrenten zum Mercedes 300 SL zu konstruieren? Was konnte sein Antrieb sein, denn schliesslich hatte Hoffman, damals wichtigster Importeur von Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Jaguar etc. in den USA, den 300 SL quasi «erfunden»; er konkurrenzierte mit dem BMW 507 ein Produkt, das er selber schon bestens verkaufte. Doch Hoffman nahm dies wie viele seiner Geheimnisse mit ins Grab – er verstarb 1981 -, und seine spannende Lebensgeschichte muss zuerst noch geschrieben werden.

Also konzentrieren wir uns hier auf die Geschichte des BMW 507, vorgestellt im Sommer 1955 zuerst im Waldorf-Astoria in New York, dann auch noch auf der IAA in Frankfurt. Gebaut zwischen November 1956 und Ende 1959, 253 Exemplare sollen enstanden sein (plus der eine oder auch andere Prototyp, oder waren es nur 252, oder gar nur 251?). Die Anregung zum 507 soll, wie erwähnt, der amerikanische BMW-Importeur Max Hoffman gegeben haben, dies 1954, und in der offiziellen Version heisst es, dass er einen Sportwagen haben wollte, der die Lücke füllte zwischen dem teuren Mercedes 300 SL und den günstigeren Porsche 356. Die Hoffman ebenfalls importierte, genau wie Delahaye, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Daimler, Lanchester, Hotchkiss (ab 1947), Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Austin, Cooper, Rover Lea Francis, Volkswagen (ab 1949), Jowett (ab 1950).

Es gab schon den BMW 501 (ab 1952, mit 2-Liter-Reihensechszylinder) sowie den 502 (ab 1954, zuerst mit 2,6-Liter-V8, dann auch mit 3,2-Liter-V8), und es sollen erste Entwürfe für ein Cabriolet 503 existiert haben, gezeichnet von Ernst Loof. Doch Hoffman, in den USA der wohl wichtigste Abnehmer für teure Fahrzeuge, fand diese Zeichnungen zu wenig ansprechend, heisst es, und er soll Albrecht Graf von Goertz (um genau zu sein: Albrecht Graf von Schlitz gen. von Görtz und von Wrisberg, 1914 – 2006) ins Gespräch gebracht haben.

Goertz war kein gelernter Designer, ganz im Gegenteil, er hatte nach seiner Ankunft in den USA 1936 zuerst einmal nur Autos gewaschen, doch sein feines Händchen setzte sich schnell durch. Nach dem 2. Weltkrieg lernte er Raymond Loewy kennen, der ihn für Studebaker anstellte. Doch die beiden sturen Köpfe kamen nicht miteinander aus, also machte sich Goertz selbständig und erhielt tatsächlich von BMW den Auftrag, auf Basis des 501/502 die Modelle 503 und 507 zu zeichnen. Da gehen die Zahlen dann aber etwas auseinander, es heisst, Goertz habe schon 1953 den Auftrag erhalten, doch es ist anscheinend nachgewiesen, dass sich Hoffman erst 1954 für das Projekt interessierte.

Egal, Goertz zeichnete einen 503 und auch einen 507, und beide Fahrzeuge wurden gebaut. Hoffman hatte den Wunsch geäussert, dass der BMW-Roadster sich in den USA zu einem Preis von etwa 5000 Dollar verkaufen lassen würde, und er war der Überzeugung, dass sich dann etwa 5000 Stück pro Jahr verkaufen lassen würden.

Doch die hohen Produktionskosten führten dazu, dass der 507 in Deutschland dann 26’500 Mark kostete, fast so viel wie ein 300 SL mit Flügeltüren, und in den USA zuerst für 9000, dann für 10’500 Dollar angeboten werden musste. Der Grund lag darin, dass die Alu-Karosse komplett von Hand aufgebaut werden musste – es gibt keine zwei 507, die genau gleich sind. Das hat dann auch Folgen für das handgedengelte Hardtop, mit dem die meisten Fahrzeuge bestellt wurden – ein jedes passt nur genau auf jenen 507, für den es gefertigt wurde. Mit 1330 Kilo war der BMW aber deutlich leichter als der ebenfalls mit einer Alu-Karosse versehene 300 SL. Der 507 baute auf der gleichen Plattform wie das unterschätzte 503 Cabrio auf, doch der Radstand wurde von 2,84 auf 2,48 Meter verkürzt. Der BMW ist aber trotzdem beachtliche 4,83 Meter lang, dafür nur 1,26 Meter hoch.

Die Fahrleistungen hingegen waren eher, na, sagen wir einmal: mittelmässig. Der 3,2-Liter-V8 aus dem BMW 502 war zwar eine feine Maschine, doch die 150 PS bei 5000/min waren nicht gerade wild; zwei Solex-Zenith-Doppelvergaser sorgten für die (reichliche) Benzinzufuhr. Geschaltet wurde über ein manuelles 4-Gang-Getriebe, das mit verschiedenen Achs-Untersetzungen zu haben war. Mit dem Standard-Getriebe wurde ein 507 von der «Motor Revue» einst gemessen, die Höchstgeschwindigkeit lag bei noch beachtlichen 196 km/h, doch für den Sprint von 0 auf 100 km/h brauchte der BMW nicht gerade berühmte 11,1 Sekunden. Wir hatten auch schon das Vergnügen mit einem 507. Einmal abgesehen davon, dass er berauschend schön ist und sein V8 auch einen fetten Sound hat – er ist eine lahme Ente. Da geht nicht viel, auch dafür nicht, dass er ein Auto aus dem 50er Jahren ist, ein 300 SL hat viel, viel mehr Dampf (wie wir aus guter eigener Erfahrung ebenfalls erzählen können). Das riesige, sehr dünne Bakelit-Lenkrad verhindert allzu sportliche Ambitionen, doch denen wäre das unglaublich weich abgestimmte Fahrwerk sowieso nicht gewachsen. Der 507 ist definitiv viel mehr amerikanischer Cruiser als deutscher Sportwagen.

In der Folge sammeln wir, was wir halt so finden und kriegen können:

Chassisnummer: 70015

Motoren-Nummer: –

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, London 2007, verkauft für 423’000 Pfund

Chassis-Nummer: 70019

Motoren-Nummer: 40028

Auktion: Bonhams, Zoute 2022, Schätzpreis 2’000’000 bis 2’500’000 Euro, angeboten mit folgendem Text: «Glamorous and ultra-rare, this beautiful Series I example was built in March 1957 and delivered new to its first owner in Switzerland, their identity being unknown. This particular car is one of only 34 Series I models from a total of 254 units produced, and it was the second to get the ’stronger spring arm and brackets‘ that became standard subsequently. Also known as the ‚Continental Version‘, the Series I is identified by a body-coloured panel behind the seats, which covers the area occupied by the fuel tank. This car comes with a rare factory hardtop and has the desirable Rudge wheels. From 1963 to 2009 the BMW was owned by a Mr Pichler in Zurich (registered ‚ZH-4166‘) and was fully restored between 2007 and 2009. In 2009 the car was sold to noted collector Lukas Hüni in Zurich, its registration changing to ‚ZH-4133‘. Mr Hüni had to have the body repainted out of necessity – he dislikes over restored cars and strives to keep all his as original as possible – but fortunately the original interior was still in good condition. The carpet had been replaced many years previously. In 2013, Mr Hüni took ‚70019‘ to Pebble Beach where it finished 3rd in class, the only Series I entered. Later that some year the BMW was sold to Jaroslaw Pawluk and registered in the UK as ‚486 YUR‘. BMW Group Classic, Munich purchased the 507 in 2016 and kept the car for a year before selling it to the current vendor in 2017. Running to 91 pages, the car’s comprehensive BMW Classic Master Expertise is on file. The car also comes with a spare original Series I cylinder block supplied by BMW Classic at the time of purchase, as it is currently fitted as many 507s are with a fully rebuilt 503 block with all 507 ancillaries.»

Chassis-Nummer: 70044.

Motoren-Nummer: 40051.

Wurde von RM Sotheby’s 2017 in Villa Erba versteigert, Schätzpreis 1’700’000 bis 2’000’000 Euro – nicht verkauft.

Chassis-Nummer: 70048.

Motoren-Nummer: 40052.

Wurde von RM Sotheby’s 2011 in Villa Erba für 728’000 Euro versteigert.

Chassis-Nummer: 70059

Dazu haben wir eine Geschichte, hier.

Chassis-Nummer: 70067.

Motoren-Nummer: 40074

Dieses Fahrzeug hatte nur einen einzigen Besitzer: den grossartigen John Surtees. Er kaufte ihn neu 1957 und behielt ihn bis zu seinem Lebensende. 70067, besser bekannt als ««22 GKN», wird am 13. Juli von Bonhams in Goodwood versteigert, Schätzpreis: 2’000’000 bis 2’500’000 Pfund. (Wir haben auf Wunsch selbstverständlich mehr Bilder. Und selbstverständlich gehört John Surtees zu unseren «Helden».)

Chassisnummer: 70073

Motoren-Nummer: 40059 (aber nicht original)

Karosserie: 1072

erster Besitzer: (Italien)

weitere Besitzer: Stuart Hanford (USA); Leland House (1979, USA); Lothar Hoess (1986, USA); Frank W. Pritt (2000, USA)

Auktion: Christie’s, New York 1998; Gooding & Co., Geared Online 2021, Schätzpreis 2’250’000 bis 2’750’000 Dollar

Chassis-Nummer: 70081

Motoren-Nummer: 40090

Auktion: Gooding & Co., Pebble Beach 2017, verkauft für 2’750’000 Dollar

Chassis-Nummer: 70082

Motoren-Nummer: 40073

Auktion: Bonhams, Quail 2024, noch kein Schätzpreis, aber ganz tolle Geschichte (unten in den Kommentaren).

Chassis-Nummer: 70089

Motoren-Nummer: 40255

Auktion: Gooding & Co., Monterey 2024, noch kein Schätzpreis und auch keine weiteren Angaben.

Chassis-Nummer: 70110

Stand zum Verkauf bei Fantasy Junction (April 2022), 2’450’000 Dollar. This beautiful Series II example, serial no. 70110, is the 110th of the just 253 BMW 507 examples made. According to the BMW Classic Zertifikat accompanying this car, 70110 was completed on January 14, 1958, and is documented to have been delivered with a factory equipped hardtop. Considering the rarity of any 507, this sultry example is further distinguished by the factory color „Silbergrau“ metallic silver, one of just 21 examples finished in this elegant color. Upon completion, this example is believed to have been displayed at the BMW Munich Pavillion before being sold to the first owner in May 1958, when the car was dispatched to Caracas, Venezuela making it one of just 13 examples delivered new to Venezuela. The first owner, Gustavo Zingg, was a German businessman who also served as the official representative for Mercedes-Benz in Venezuela. According to research obtained from the BMW Classic Car Club of America, this 507 is believed to have spent time in South America, eventually returning to Germany around 1960 and remaining in Europe for the next five decades. By the late 1960s, it was owned by Ludwig Hahn who passed the car on to Nicholas Hahn, presumably a relative. In 2005, this 507 was offered for sale by Erich Benz and subsequently restored to a high standard from 2006-2008. In May of 2014, under the ownership of Hamburg, Germany resident Jan Onne, 507 70110 returned to BMW Classic for an extensive inspection and factory expertise report covering all aspects of originality, quality of finish, and component authenticity, a bound copy of the report accompanies the car. The BMW Classic Expertise book states that 70110 retains its original chassis, suspension, braking system, and bodywork. It further confirms that the car’s engine and gearbox are original-type replacement components; the engine is an unstamped, late-production block with improved 11-bolt cylinder heads, while the gearbox is a proper four-speed ZF unit. The 507 was also subjected to a full road test and mechanical inspection, with no significant issues noted. A compression test taken at the time shows consistent readings, with a range of 8.4:1 to 8.7:1 recorded on all eight cylinders. In the final originality evaluation summary, this 507 roadster scored 900 out of 1,000 points, placing it in Category 1, the highest rating, with an overall condition grade of 1.6, between good and immaculate condition. Under American ownership for the past six years the BMW has only been displayed at The Quail Motorsports Gathering in 2016. Currently finished in its factory-correct Silver Grey, with red leather upholstery and accompanied by a contrasting dark gray hardtop, this 507 is sensational in appearance, highlighted by its ultra-rare sporty factory original, date stamped Rudge wheels and period-correct whitewall tires. Desirably equipped with front disc brakes and a Becker radio, 70110 is accompanied by its BMW Classic Expertise book, as well as a proper under-hood tool kit with Hazet components and rarely seen 507 literature including an owner’s manual, repair manual, maintenance charts, and sales literature.

Chassisnummer: 70127

Motoren-Nummer: 40133

Karosserie: 1126

erster Besitzer: Elisabeth Bartels (bis 2004, ein Geschenk ihres Gatten Wilhelm)

weitere Besitzer: (Deutschland)

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, Paris 2018, verkauft für 1’776’875 Euro

Chassis-Nummer: 70128

Motoren-Nummer: 40140

Auktion: Gooding & Co., Pebble Beach 2009, verkauft für 935’000 Dollar

Chassisnummer: 70131

Motoren-Nummer: 40137

Karosserie: 1131

erster Besitzer: Carlo Sivestrelli (Zürich)

weitere Besitzer: Pierre Struys (Montreux, 1967, 50’600 Kilometer); Oskar Bloch (Basel, 1969, 77’000 Kilometer)

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, Paris 2016, verkauft für 2’016’000 Euro

Chassis-Nummer: 70134

Motoren-Nummer: 40146

Karosserie-Nummer: 1133

Auktion: Gooding & Co., Amelia Island 2014, verkauft für 1’815’000 Dollar. RM Sotheby’s, Paris 2020, noch kein Schätzpreis.

Chassis-Nummer: 70136

Auktion:  sbxcars.com (April 2024), angeboten mit folgendem Text: «This Series II 507 roadster, originally finished in Old Ivory paint, was produced on 5th May 1958 and reportedly exhibited in the BMW pavilion in Munich before export to Cuba. It arrived in Havana on 7th June 1958 and was delivered to BMW Importer Cia Importada. This example made its way back to Germany in the 1980s and has been in the care of its current owner since 1988. It received an extensive restoration in Munich between 1988 and 1993 by BMW specialists Hagel and Brunner. At that time, it received its current black exterior finish. During this restoration, the original engine was removed in favor of a more reliable late-production version. The original design used 10-bolt cylinder heads which were found to become unreliable in the 507’s high-compression (7.8:1) configuration. Toward the end of the 507’s run, an eleventh bolt was added, improving reliability. The car is currently running the 11-bolt engine, but the owner has retained the original engine as well. At around 41,000 km, the owner had the latter engine overhauled, once again employing 507 specialist Brummer. In total, the car has been driven around 60,000 kilometers. The older restoration is now showing its age and evidence of its use, which the owner describes as a reliable and enjoyable rally car».

Chassisnummer: 70140

Motoren-Nummer: 40152

Auktion: kommt am 14.Mai 2022 bei RM Sotheby’s in Monaco zur Versteigerung, noch kein Schätzpreis

Chassis-Nummer: 70143

Motoren-Nummer: 40151

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, München 2022, Schätzpreis 1’600’000 bis 2’000’000 Euro, angeboten mit folgendem Text: «Chassis 70143, a Series II Roadster, was completed on 12 June 1958 before being delivered to Casa dell’ Automobili in Rome on 19 August. Originally finished in Dolomite Grey, little is known of the 507’s early life until its reappearance in March 1973, when it was offered at auction in Geneva. It is believed to have passed into the care of a prominent Swiss BMW dealer, who is understood to have had it restored before finally selling the car in 2013. Photographs of the car mid-restoration feature in Michael Kliebenstein’s SuperFinds, published in 2020, while correspondence with BMW confirms that both chassis and engine numbers match factory records. In recent years, the BMW has formed part of an automotive museum exhibition. As a result of its time spent on static display, this car will require mechanical inspection prior to returning to road use.»

Chassisnummer: 70156

Motoren-Nummer: 40024 (Original: 40167)

Karosserie: 1155

erster Besitzer: Alan Friedland

weitere Besitzer: Malcom S. Pray (1972 bis 2014)

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, Amelia Island 2014, verkauft für 2’420’000 Dollar

Chassis-Nummer: 70157

Auktion: Gooding & Co., Pebble Beach 2014, verkauft für 1’925’000 Dollar. RM Sotheby’s, Arizona 2019, Schätzpreis 2’500’000 bis 3’000’000 Dollar. (Angaben gemäss RM Sotheby’s: am 10. Juli 1958 ausgeliefert an G. Dagmar in München, damals: Weiss. Weitere Besitzer: Werner Preis, Düsseldorf; Rick Thompson, Bellevue, Washington. Verfügt anscheinend nicht mehr über den originalen Motor, obwohl die originalen Motor-Nummer in die Ersatz-Maschine eingestempelt ist.)

Chassis-Nummer: 70171
Motoren-Nummer: 40183

Auktion: Broad Arrow, Amelia Island 2024, Schätzpreis 2’600’000 bis 2’900’000 Dollar, angeboten mit folgendem Text: «507 ownership was limited to a select group of well-to-do clientele and high-profile celebrities, counting Elvis Presley, Alain Delon, Ursula Andress, John Surtees, and King Baudouin of Belgium among its exclusive list of owners. One such member of this discerning club was New Orleans jazz musician Pierre Dewey LaFontaine Jr., known professionally as Pete Fountain. As a rising clarinetist in the city that created jazz, Fountain made a name for himself performing with best known jazz bands in the country including the Basin Street Six, The Dukes of Dixieland, and Al Hirt, before later transitioning to television with his many solo performances on the ABC television show, The Lawrence Welk Show in the late 1950s. It was around this time that Fountain acquired BMW 507 chassis number 70171, the Papyros white Roadster offered here. According to BMW Group Classic, this 507 was completed on 17 September 1958 – a desirable Series II example equipped with Girling front disc brakes – and dispatched to the United States. Fascinatingly, the 507 was not delivered through the usual importers Fadex or Hoffman and is believed to have been specially ordered by Fountain, with a period image on file of the famous jazz musician behind the wheel of chassis 70171 – the earliest known image of the car – as well as a 1963 New Orleans inspection sticker that remains affixed to the windshield. Documentation resumes in the 1990s when the 507 was registered to attorney and BMW collector Terrance K. Knudsen of Wisconsin. By the end of the decade, the car had found a new long-term caretaker in Melvin F. Weiss of New Jersey, who is believed to have cherished the elegant roadster for over two decades until 2023».

Chassisnummer: 70180

Motoren-Nummer: 40188

Karosserie: 1179

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, New York 2013, verkauft für 1’650’000 Dollar

Chassis-Nummer: 70183

Motoren-Nummer: 40184

Auktion: Gooding & Co., Scottsdale 2012, verkauft für 962’500 Dollar. Dann wieder Gooding & Co., Amelia Island 2023, Schätzpreis 1’600’000 bis 1’800’000 Dollar, verkauft für 1’820’000 Dollar (ach ja, Motorennummer: 40184):

Chassis-Nummer: 70192.

Motoren-Nummer: ?.

Wurde von RM Sotheby’s 2011 in Monterey für 1’072’500 Dollar versteigert.

Chassisnummer: 70203

Motoren-Nummer: 40190 (nicht original)

Karosserie: 1201

erster Besitzer: (Puerto Rico)

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, Phoenix 2012, verkauft für 990’000 Dollar

Chassis-Nummer: 70205.

Motoren-Nummer: 40230.

Wurde von RM Sotheby’s 2015 in New York versteigert, Schätzpreis 2’300’000 bis 2’600’000 Dollar – nicht verkauft (mehr Bilder gibt es: oben).

Chassis-Nummer: 70228

Auktion: Gooding & Co., Amelia Island 2022, verkauft für 2’150’000 Dollar.

Chassis-Nummer: 70241

Motoren-Nummer: 41298

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, Paris 2019, Schätzpreis 2’000’000 bis 2’200’000 Euro, nicht verkauft. Aber wir haben dafür noch eine kleine Story zu diesem Fahrzeug, hier.

Chassis-Nummer: 70242

Auktion: Mecum, Kissimmee 2024, Schätzpreis 1’500’000 bis 2’000’000 Dollar, angeboten mit folgendem Text: «This 1959 BMW 507 Roadster is No. 242 of those 252 produced. As a late-production Series II model, it benefits from the revised cabin that increased space and leg room by moving the fuel tank aft to the trunk floor. Early cars were drum-braked, while front discs later became an option; however, this example features the very rare 4-wheel disc-brake option, developed in conjunction with BMW by none other than British motorcycling world champion and future Formula 1 world champion John Surtees for his own 507. Another extremely rare extra is the hard top, which it’s reckoned was supplied to just 11 BMW 507s. Each of the hard tops was individually fabricated to fit a particular car, as the hand-crafted bodies varied from one car to another. The BMW 507 also features a Blaupunkt radio, three-piece luggage set and a tool kit under the hood. This BMW 507 Roadster was previously owned by well-known BMW collector Goetz Pfafflin, a long-time BMW Car Club of America member and founder of the BMW Vintage and Classic Car Club of America. Its 3168cc/150 HP all-aluminum V-8, backed here by a ZF 4-speed manual gearbox, was rebuilt along with the suspension and brakes in 1997 by BMW specialist Brummer of Munich, Germany. A professional restoration by Bruce Kelly’s Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis, Minnesota, followed in 2001, focusing on the bodywork, paint, upholstery, top and chrome. That same year, Pfafflin completed the 3,500-mile BMW Vintage Marathon of Europe, with Brummer repairing the wiring system prior to the rally, and the BMW was displayed at the 2021 Concours d’Elegance of America».

Chassis-Nummer: 70244

Auktion: Gooding & Co., Scottsdale 2015, verkauft für 1’815’000 Dollar

Mehr BMW (zumindest ältere Modelle) haben wir in unserem Archiv.

1 kommentar

  1. Beschreibung von 70082: «This remarkable example of BMW’s iconic 50s Sportscar carries an incredible 63 years of tenure in its current ownership, something that may well be the longest of any of these cars, eclipsing even John Surtees‘ 61 years to its sale by Bonhams|Cars in 2018 for the world record price of $5m. The longevity of this partnership reflects the true knowledge and passion for these cars of its 1961 purchaser, and the respect and esteem with which it has been held by his family as custodians in later years.
    The long-term Venezuelan owner was a good friend of the importer for these cars, Gustavo Zingg and saw a number of the thirteen 507s that were delivered new through him, including this example, 70082, which would originally be retailed by Zingg to Gustavo Quintero in 1958. Factory records state the car was originally ordered on September 5,, 1957, built by November 6, 1957 and delivered on November 29, to Caracas, and as-shipped, it was finished in Silver Grey paintwork. It was likely on the road in January 1958. From dialogue in period with its original owner Quintero, it is known that prior to delivery the car was repainted for him to honor his requirements, in the popular white of which there were no less than three variants presented to buyers in the day, Old Ivory, Papyrus White and Feather White – the latter so famously clothing ‚The King‘, Elvis Presley’s car. And so it is that 70082 has been white for virtually all of its life.
    It is understood that Gustavo Quintero must have raced the car between 1958 and 1960, although details of this are unknown, and very little is recorded of these cars being raced there in this period, it seems this was probably closed road sprints. By 1961, the BMW was clearly surplus to Quintero’s requirements and the current ownership was able to purchase the car in August/September that year for the not inconsiderable amount of $4,179.
    As with all cars of this era, the factory consistently updated the model during production, and from the owner’s knowledge of these cars (also affirmed by the book „The Legendary BMW 507“ by Dr. Karlheinz Lange), the current owner has been able to decipher that 70082 included the following improvements:
    Introduced from car 70018-on, stronger spring arm and brackets; 70030 on, standardized brake shoes; 70050 on, deletion of idler switch for heater; from 70052 on, new radiator, steering knuckle bearing journals joint elements; from 70059 on, new centrifugal pump for windshield washer; from 70067 on, 44-mm opening in chassis cross-tube. (torsion-bar springs were making contact); from # 70073 on, the engine and transmission were lowered by 5mm; from 70077 on, additional heat treatment was applied to the flange in the gearbox. In addition, 70082 also shows some additional modifications introduced in 1957 – including: Rubber bushings in the front suspension; softer high-speed tires (Continental); improved synchromesh gearbox; flexible joints in the steering column to reduce kickback; and increased compression ratio of 7.8:1 for the 100-octane gasoline soon to be available; valve rocker arm ratio, camshaft and pushrods; warm-starting assistance.
    Beyond these very technical aspects, it is understood that the car was equipped with a number of the key options which have proven so popular with collectors today, namely – Aluminum Hard-top; Rudge Center-lock wheels; Becker Le Mans Radio, with Rheims Short Wave addition; automatic aerial for AM and Manual aerial for Shortwave; Underbody protection; headlamps with asymmetric low beam; and back up lights below the rear bumper.
    From new, this car has been lovingly enjoyed. In 1966, and at an odometer reading of 72,750kms, it was in need of some technical refreshing and was taken to BMW of Caracas where it is reported to have received thorough updates and work on the car’s engine, clutch, transmission, differential and brakes, using by then period/original BMW parts. Some of the invoices for this work are on file. Around the same time in the late 1960s the car was repainted in an ultramarine blue.
    In 1986 the decision was made to ‚give the car a birthday‘ and return it to the way in which it had been when bought. With the mass of accumulated knowledge over his already decades of custody, the owner ensured it was reconditioned as authentically as possible, and in the minutest detail. To discuss these cars with him is a fascinating and educational journey. When needed, the car was repainted to its previous white and the interior retrimmed in the red leather it had been since delivered new. Even the rubber mats were copied perfectly in Italy and refitted. The original soft top which the car still retained and does to this day was copied with absolute precision in German Happich, Sonneland Black material with its characteristic tan Criss Cross backing. By that stage the windshield showed a hairline crack and a decision was made to have this copied also and replaced. Otherwise, virtually everything is original in this car down to its keys.
    In 2014, the 507 passed within his family and was imported to the USA. Its use in the past decade has been extremely limited, and in fact there are only a few hundred miles (2,430km) covered since its 1967 mechanical refurbishment by BMW. Testament to their love of the car and desire for it to be correct, once in the USA when they felt that the gearbox and clutch required attention, they were shipped to ZF Friedrichshafen AG in Germany and were fully rebuilt. By this time, two of the factory tools were found to be missing, two Hazet screwdrivers, so the exact Hazet pieces were sourced and replaced. One aspect which was never known until recent years was whether its 150bhp V8 was the original unit to the car, correspondence with BMW Group Classic in 2013 provided confirmation that BMW had delivered 70082 with engine number 40073, thus confirming it is a matching numbers car».

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