1956→1959 BMW 503 Coupé
At the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in 1955, BMW presented not one, but two spectacular new automobiles, the BMW 503 Coupe and the BMW 507 Roadster. Both models were powered by the eight-cylinder engine, which had been increased to a capacity of 3.2 litres and which delivered 140 hp to the BMW 503 and a breathtaking 150 hp to the BMW 507. With features which included leather upholstery and electric windows, the four-seater BMW 503 fulfilled the burgeoning desire for luxury and extraordinarily elegant design during the early phase of Germany’s economic miracle.
The designs for the BMW 503 and BMW 507 were drafted by the young German designer Albrecht Graf Goertz. The former student of the famous industrial designer Raymond Loewy succeeded in melding long, stretched side contours and powerfully swept fronts with an elegance and lightness which until then had only been achieved by Italian automobile designers. Even today, this combination is still a perfect example of the sporting elegance which is also expressed by the BMW 6 Series Coupe.
The BMW 503 was also a pioneer in terms of technology. Parts of its bodywork were made of aluminium, the lightweight V8 engine accelerated the coupe to 190 km/h. A brake servo was part of the standard equipment and from 1957 onwards, the gearbox was married directly to the engine and for the first time was operated by a gear stick on the floor and not by a gear shift on the steering wheel, as had been the case up until then.
|type||Series Production Car|
|production years||1956 – 1959|
|body stylist||Graf Goertz|
|block material||Aluminum Alloy|
|valvetrain||OHV, 2 Valves Cyl|
|fuel feed||2 Zenith 32 NDIX Carburettors|
|displacement||3168 cc / 193.32 in³|
|bore||82 mm / 3.2 in|
|stroke||75 mm / 3.0 in|
|power||104.4 kw / 140 bhp @ 4800 rpm|
|specific output||44.19 bhp per litre|
|bhp/weight||93.33 bhp per tonne|
|torque||215.6 nm / 159 ft lbs @ 3800 rpm|
|body / frame||Aluminum Body over Box-Steel Frame|
|f suspension||Double Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar|
|r suspension||Live Axle w/Hydraulic Dampers|
|curb weight||1500 kg / 3308 lbs|
|wheelbase||2835 mm / 11.1 in|
|front track||1400 mm / 55.1 in|
|rear track||1420 mm / 55.9 in|
|length||4750 mm / 187.0 in|
|width||1710 mm / 67.3 in|
|height||1440 mm / 56.7 in|
|top speed||~190 kph / 117.99 mph|
|0 – 60 mph||~12.8 seconds|
Auction Sales History
1957 BMW 503 Coupe 69185 – sold for $220,000 3.2-Litre 503 Featuring the 507 V-8 Engine. One of Just 273 BMW 503 Coupes Produced. Matching-Numbers Example. Highly Original Throughout. Rare Factory-Fitted Single Rear Jump Seat. Equipped with Front Disc Brakes. Fascinating History and Prior Long-Term Single-Family Care. Eligible for Many Shows and Classic Touring Events.
Auction Source: The Amelia Island Auction by Gooding & Company