2023 |Amelia Island Auctions
1958 BMW 507 Series IIRegister to Bid
$1,600,000 - $1,800,000
Among the Most Rare, Collectible, and Iconic BMWs of All Time
Desirable Series II Model; One of Only 218 Examples Built
Formerly the Property of Noted Collectors Oscar Davis and Tony Wang
Recent Cosmetic and Mechanical Attention Overseen by Sargent Metal Works
Eligible for Numerous Driving Events, Concours, and BMW CCA Events
3,168 CC OHV 90º Alloy V-8 Engine
Twin Zenith 32 NDIX Carburetors
150 BHP at 5,000 RPM
4-Speed ZF Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Front Independent Suspension with Parallel Wishbones and Torsion Bars
Rear Live Axle with Torsion Bars, Panhard Rod, and Transverse A-Arm
Oscar Davis, Elizabeth, New Jersey (acquired circa 1971)
Al Marino, Staten Island, New York (acquired from the above in 1975)
Tony Wang, Lloyd Harbor, New York (acquired circa 1985)
Current Owner (acquired in 2012)
When the Frankfurt Motor Show opened in late 1955, the principal BMW attractions were two new variants of the V-8 powered 502: the 503 and the 507. Though both models were designed by Count Albrecht von Goertz, it was the spectacular 507 roadster that stole the show.
The new BMW roadster was so pure and perfect from every angle that it immediately took its place among the all-time great automotive designs. Possessing sweeping, harmonious lines, a purposeful rendition of the classic kidney grille, unmistakable side vents and aggressive rear haunches, the 507’s lightweight aluminum body appeared to be stretched over the mechanical underpinnings and evoked speed even when standing still.
The 507 not only looked like a true sports car, it also performed liked one. With a rigid box frame, upgraded suspension, four-speed synchromesh gearbox, and large Alfin drum brakes, the 507 possessed an ideal foundation for BMW’s robust twin-carburetor V-8 engine. Depending on the gear ratio selected, the 507 was capable of 125–135 mph and offered brilliant acceleration, sprinting to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds.
Initially intended to fill a gap between low-cost English imports and Mercedes- Benz’s expensive 300 SL Roadster, the 507 commanded a princely $8,988 in the US and DM 26,500 in Germany, making it one of the most exclusive cars of its day. As a result, the upscale BMW attracted celebrity customers including pop icon Elvis Presley and motor sports hero John Surtees. Production of the 507 commenced in November 1956 and ended in May 1959 after just 254 examples were built. Today, the limited-production V-8 roadster remains the most desirable postwar model built by the legendary Munich-based company.
The BMW 507 presented here, chassis 70183, is a late-production Series II model, of which a mere 218 examples were built. Originally developed as a separate model for the American market, the Series II 507 became the production standard in mid-1957. These updated cars feature a revised dashboard layout, improved top storage, and a relocated fuel tank, which allowed the seats to be moved rearward to accommodate taller drivers.
While little is known of this 507’s earliest history, it is believed to have been manufactured in September 1958, finished in the seldom-seen shade of Papyrus White, and delivered new to Fadex Commercial Corporation of New York, the official BMW importer, in April 1959.
According to research on file from the BMW Car Club of America, this 507 was restored prior to 1971 by famed Munich-based BMW dealer and motorcycle champion Georg “Schorsch” Meier. In the early 1970s, 70183 was among the first classic cars acquired by Oscar Davis, the well-known collector who would go on to own several historically significant BMWs including a one-off Vignale-bodied 507 and several 328 competition cars. Al Marino of Staten Island, New York, was the BMW’s next owner, and, by the mid-1980s, it had been sold to Tony Wang, the noted Long Island-based Ferrari collector. Refinished by this time in the elegant color scheme of dark blue over red leather upholstery, the 507 remained a fixture in Mr. Wang’s exclusive stable for nearly three decades.
Since acquiring the 507 in 2012, the current caretaker has enjoyed driving the BMW sports car around the country roads of his New England home and entrusted it to the renowned Sargent Metal Works of Vermont for any required mechanical and cosmetic attention. Over the years, this work has included replating the brightwork, fitting a new exhaust system, performing a thorough chassis service, and re-trimming the interior with high-quality beige leather and carpeting.
Undoubtedly among the most iconic, beautiful, and desirable European sports cars of the 1950s, the BMW 507 is a model that is highly sought-after by discerning collectors. Not only are these cars eligible for the most exclusive concours d’elegance and driving events, including the Mille Miglia and Colorado Grand, but they are also the most important BMW sports cars of the postwar era and, as such, represent the ultimate achievement of this legendary German marque.
Compared to their contemporary rival from Stuttgart, the 300 SL Roadster, these BMWs are also exceedingly rare, with the 254 cars built representing a small fraction of Mercedes-Benz’s 1,800-car output.
With precious few produced, a 507 can be extremely difficult to come by – let alone a desirable Series II example such as this, which benefits from a limited roster of knowledgeable owners, a sophisticated color scheme, and consistent professional maintenance. Gooding & Company is proud to offer this outstanding 507 – a particularly attractive example of a distinguished breed.
*Please note that this vehicle is registered 1960.