BMW 503 coupe, 1958
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Updated: 28-May-2024 10:47

BMW 503 coupe, 1958

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Model information
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BMW 503 coupé, year 1958. The BMW 503 was introduced in the same period as the legendary 507, which shares the same technology. Both car models were designed by Graf Goertz. The sporty 503 and 507 models were positioned above the 502 'Barock Engel'. BMW hoped for major sales successes in the top class, but due to the improbably high pricing (41,900 guilders in the Netherlands), the cars remained a rare sight. Only 412 BMW 503s were built between 1956 and 1960, of which 273 coupes and 139 convertibles. For comparison, 254 of the BMW 507 were built in the same period.

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The BMW 503 was designed by Count Albrecht von Goertz who was also responsible for the famous BMW 507 (which was based upon the 503).
The 503 was presented on the 'Salon de Genève' in the year 1955 as successor of the 502 model. The 503 however, was place more up-market. Like the 502 the 503 featured a fabulous 3.2 litre V8 engine and a full aluminium bodywork. The BMW 503 convertible was the first German cabriolet with an electrically powered hood.
The BMW 503 was a very expensive automobile to be compared with Rolls Royce and other very exclusive makes. The 503 was sold for a staggering 30.000 Mark in the late fifties of the twentieth century. The automobile was available as a two door coupe and as a two door convertible. Only 412 BMW 503 models have been built, 273 coupe models and 139 convertibles. Nowadays the 503 is a very rare and highly desirable classic.

Technical data*

V8 engine (OHV)
cylinder capacity: 3168 cc.
carburettors: 2 x Zenith 32 NDX
capacity: 140 bhp at 4800 rpm
torque: 215 Nm at 3800 rpm
top-speed: 190 km/h – 119 mph
acceleration 0-100 km/h: 13 sec.
gearbox: 4-speed, manual (floor-shift)
brakes: power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes all round
dimensions LxBxH in meters: 4,75 x 1,71 x 1,40
electrical system: 12V
weight (empty): 1475 kg.

*Source: BMW Sportwagen by Schneider/ Simons

Marc Vorgers
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Marc Vorgers