BMW 503

BMW 503 Cabriolet

The BMW 503 is a two-door, two -plus- two - seat sports car of Bayerische Motoren Werke.

Designed for the BMW 502 sedan eight-cylinder V-engine was and remained a long time the only German cast-aluminum roller. He was chosen as the basis for an ambitious sports car project, which permeated the commercial director Hanns Grewenig against the will of the former BMW chief engineer Kurt Donath.

A first draft of the body Veritas initiator Ernst Loof was rejected by the BMW top. Grewenig commissioned instead Albrecht Graf von Goertz to design a sleek body for the U.S. market. The contact Graf von Goertz was established by the U.S. importer Maximilian Edwin " Maxie " Hoffman. As Goertz the BMW 507, the BMW kidney very wide and flat design, BMW wanted a vehicle with classic BMW kidney grille for the European market. The Supervisory Board gave Goertz order for a luxury sports car in a pontoon, what BMW and the auto world the BMW 503 gave. After only 18 months of development, BMW 503 and BMW 507 celebrated at the International Motor Show in September 1955 her debut. By press and audiences loved it.

Although the BMW 503 was awarded by juries of beauty contests in Cannes, Rome, Lisbon, Vienna and Wiesbaden with gold medals, the car was granted not a great sales success. This was mainly due to high price: For coupe and convertible BMW demanded in May 1956 29.500 Mark, in December 1957 the car cost 31,500 marks and in July 1958 32,950 DM As a terraced house just barely cost twice that at that time only could well-heeled clients - such as Count Faber- Castell, Rudolf- August Oetker and film actress Sonja Ziemann - afford the car.

The aluminum body of the luxury car was manufactured by the body Baur. The engine with 3,168 cm3 displacement made ​​140 hp (103 kW) at 4800 min-1 and caused an acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 13.3 seconds. A top speed of 190 km / h was given. Side " gills" preserved even the BMW 507 in front of a heat buildup in the engine compartment. Aware of the thermal problems BMW made ​​at the customer's BMW 503 with some air vents on the sides of the front fenders. Graf Goertz blessed the technical aids later on as aesthetically valuable.

  • BMW 503 coupe


Overall, only 412 copies were built from 1956 to 1960, of which 139 convertibles and 273 coupes, the last BMW 503 ( a coupe ) got the chassis number 69412; the last to be built convertible received the VIN 69408th It produced two series, are their differences are essentially in the circuit, in the technique of automatic windows and convertible top mechanisms in the position of the ashtray and in the side trim.

The cars of series 1 have a column shifter ( with the exception of the five right-hand drive special for UK customers ), hydraulic windows and a hydraulic soft top, an ashtray under the dash and rear upward curved moldings. The cars of the series 2, however, have a stick shift, power windows, but still a hydraulic top, the ashtray next to the radio speaker on the dashboard and continuous straight moldings.

  • BMW 503 Cabriolet

Dashboard Series 1

Curved trim of Series 1

Air outlet à la BMW 507