CHASSIS NO: 62906
• BMW’s first post-war luxury sedan and Germany’s first post-war car with V-8 power
• Elegant styling; known as The Baroque Angel
• Center-post door latching
• The only known restored example in the U.S.
• Outstanding handling and performance; reliable V-8 power
3.2-litre OHV V-8 engine, 140 HP, Zenith dual-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, torsion bar front suspension with torsion bar de Dion axle and rear suspension, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 111.6”
In the early 1950s, BMW wanted to get back into automotive production. Immediately after the war, the only thing they were being allowed to produce were much needed pots and pans. However, BMW had an excellent reputation in Germany and eventually the authorities gave the OK for Munich to start building, first motorcycles and then automobiles. BMW’s first post-war model was the 501 introduced in 1952. The conservative styling featured soft flowing classic lines and it offered room for up to six in relative comfort. Powered by a 2.0-litre inline six rated at 60 HP, early critics complained that while the coachwork was up to German standards the car was woefully underpowered. BMW answered that in 1954 with the 501A which had an improved rating of 72 HP. Still lacking performance of passenger cars coming out of the USA, and with German automotive media panning the car, BMW’s new chief engineer, Fritz Fiedler, set his team to work. BMW surprised the crowds, this time at the 1954 Auto Show in Geneva, Switzerland with the new V-8 powered 502. Touted as a 2.6-litre engine that could deliver 95 HP. The result was one of the fastest production sedans available in Europe, combining style and performance. Production of the new 502 started in 1955 and would continue until 1958 when the BMW 2.6 was released, basically an evolution of the previous model with a slightly more powerful engine which would see a final update in 1961 and continued to the end of 1963 as the 2600. A total of 5,136 of these handsome V-8 sedans were produced between 1955 and 1963 and today they are a highly prized and are a rarely seen example of post-war German hand-built workmanship. One reason for the limited distribution was the asking price, well over 15,000 DM, was often out of the reach of the average German citizen. In addition to the 502’s more powerful engine, there were a few design changes which included the addition of fog/driving lights mounted below the headlights, and a more lavish use of chrome trim. Up front, the trademark BMW “Double-Kidney” grille, first introduced in 1933, made this car instantly recognizable even without the aid of the company logo. Dual forward fender mounted rearview mirrors were standard equipment and the pierced steel wheels were adorned with simple hubcaps that also carry the company logo. The interior’s simple but luxurious, using quality fabrics and leathers, while the dashboard had a simple layout which was adorned by real wood trim across the top of the panel that flowed into the garnish moldings of the front doors. Many German auto connoisseurs gave the 502 the nickname “Baroque Angel” as they said the body reminded them of those littler cherubic creatures from the heavens above.
This gorgeous 502 is a European model that made its way to the United States in either the late 1970s or early 1980s. It benefits from a previous high quality restoration and is finished in German Silver with show quality chrome trim that gleams in the daylight. The interior has been reupholstered in fine dark red leathers complete with the original headrests for the front seat occupants. Passengers are sure to be impressed by the fine woodwork on the dashboard that has been restored to perfection and dazzled by the beautifully presented instruments placed directly in front of the driver. Under the hood sits a 3.2-litre V-8 engine rated at 140 HP. The car has been on static display for the past couple of years and a reawakening is highly recommended before hitting the road. During our research, we found several other BMW 502s that are in the United States, but this example appears to be the only restored example on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, and we are sure it will cause excitement and interest wherever it should be driven or exhibited. If you strive to show up at car events in a great car that no one else will have, this 502 will turn heads and leave you, the new owner smiling at every moment.