Factory Black, Exceedingly Well Restored and Well Equipped Series II BMW 507. Miglia Mille Eligible 1957 Year Model. Rudge Wheels, Hard Top, Disc Brakes, Nardi Wood Wheel, and Known Ownership Since New.
1957 BMW 507 Roadster
s/n 70077, Engine: period stamped 40087
Black with Butterscotch Leather
Having first established their engineering prowess as an aircraft engine manufacturer, BMW shifted their focus to automobile construction in the late 1920s under license with a version of the modest Austin Seven. Rudimentary and derivative, early BMWs were merely a faint glimpse of what would evolve to become one of the finest performance brands of the century. And while many remarkable sports cars like the Mille Miglia winning 328 would follow, none would be more inspiring and exquisite than the incomparable BMW 507.
Much like many other European sports cars from the 1950s, Austrian importer Max Hoffman convinced BMW that he could sell a sports car to many of his wealthy North American clientele. A risky proposition to be sure, but Hoffman was sharp enough to see the market, especially for the growing affluent sporting set in the US. With an eye on building a $5,000.00 sports car, 254 examples built with a staggering $10,000.00 price tag. Hoffman did his best to sell each of these remarkable cars, finding ownership among celebrities, aristocrats, and wealthy sportsmen, including legendary figures like race car driver John Surtees and icon Elvis Presley, who bought not one, but two 507s. Offered from 1957-1959, the 507 evolved with features and performance improvements that competed handily with top exotic offerings from premier sports car builders. Built at a time when BMW was struggling to expand into new markets, the costly 507 was hand crafted to such exacting standards it nearly forced BMW into bankruptcy. Ultimately however, much as Hoffman had surmised, the 507 would prove to generate significant brand equity among elite clientele. Using the finest mechanical components derived from the 502 and 503 series production, the overhead valve 3.2 liter V8 aluminum block engine, outfitted with twin carburetors, delivered 150 hp in a light and nimble package. Performance measures were quite impressive for the time, but it would ultimately be the stunning roadster body lines penned by Count Albrecht von Goertz, once again via Hoffman’s urging, that would vault the 507 into iconic status almost immediately after its release.
Divided into two production sequences (Series I and Series II), the Series II cars are preferred for a range of reasons including more passenger room due to the relocation of the fuel tank, a feature which also allows for more convenient fuel filling in the Series II. The most desirable of these rare cars are those outfitted with optional Rudge knock off wheels and Girling front disc brakes. Rarer still are factory optioned cars still boasting their original removable hardtop. Among the rarest of these, only fifteen BMW 507 roadsters were painted black when delivered new. Considering the rarity of any 507 that retains all these valued distinctions and today presents in superlative condition, it is both remarkable and exciting to realize such a fine car, one also that holds the 1957 year of manufacture distinction, thus ensuring eligibility for one of the most coveted vintage events in the world; the Mille Miglia.
This particular early Series II example, serial # 70077, is the 77th 507 built. Having been completed on September 17, 1957, it was optioned new with Rudge wheels, disc brakes, and a removable hardtop. Of the 254 examples built, this is just one of fifteen painted black at the factory. The first owner registered the car in Rome, Italy where it is assumed to have been enjoyed until, like many of these cars, the engine succumbed to head gasket failure. The head casting failure had proven to be a larger issue than BMW suspected, quickly realizing the need for a rapid remedy by offering factory replacement engines delivered to authorized dealerships at no cost to the owners. The replacement engine, a 140 series with eleven-bolt cylinder head castings, was more robust than the failed original ten-bolt design which caused catastrophic cylinder head warping especially in warmer climates like Italy and Venezuela. For # 70077, the new and complete eleven bolt engine was shipped to the local Italian BMW dealer, stamped with the corresponding engine number from the original engine, # 40087, and installed in the car. After the engine was installed, the car remained under thoughtful care throughout a handful of owners until it was reportedly sold in the 1990s to Italian Interior Designer and racing enthusiast Andre Auletta, a resident of Bologna, Italy. The car was later repainted in the correct factory black and the interior beautifully reupholstered in butterscotch leather using correct patterns and trim. In 2000, the car was exported to the US where it was treated to extensive mechanical freshening including an engine out service. In 2002 the car was sold to the current owner who has since enjoyed this handsome 507 with modest use throughout his eighteen years of ownership.
Today this BMW 507 presents as a stunning example, resplendent in deep black with sumptuous butterscotch leather interior. The exterior finish is absolutely breathtaking in every respect. The paint is glossy with mirror-like depth, flowing over smooth body panels which show superb, fluid reflections in the unforgiving black finish. The fine body details, delicate creases, sensuous curves, and exquisite surface transitions are expertly finished and polished to perfection. The doors, hood, and trunk gaps are excellent, opening and closing smoothly, with jambs and underside surfaces of equal polish and structural integrity. Both the front and rear bumpers and headlight bezels have been more recently rechromed and offer luminous surface finishes. The headlights, lenses, glass, and trim gleam with crystal clarity, detailed to a very high standard, with proper factory indications, correct gaskets, and refined fit. The glass, original to the car, has been carefully polished and preserved including the glass in the factory hardtop. Lettering, emblems, and other details are delightful jeweled accents, adding exquisite and elegant touches to the sultry body design. Even the factory side view mirror, itself a work of art, is original to the car, with an authentic hint of patinaed de-silvering on the mirror surface.
The sporty factory Rudge wheels are correctly finished, including gleaming polished aluminum rims, and chrome plated knockoffs with the BMW logo. The knockoffs were purchased new from BMW in 2018 and remain in excellent condition, with one knockoff showing a very small road chip on the edge of the logo enamel. The distinctive split grille is properly finished with excellent fit to the openings and correct polish to the grille mesh. The elongated hood scoop is delicately finished with laser straight chrome trim complementing the BMW roundels flanked on each side in the polished fender vents. The chrome plated trunk handle shows some mild evidence of age to the finish which is visible only upon close examination. Both the convertible top and factory hardtop are in excellent condition. The hardtop has matching black exterior finish which is flawless with the exception of a small dip in the crown of the roof that is only notable when visually guided to the specific area. Otherwise the visual condition of the hardtop is stunning and matches beautifully with the entire car. Even with the hardtop in place, the 507 is arguably one of the best-looking sports cars ever built.
The interior is beautifully presented with rich, taut leather, with a distinguished, elegant, and warm butterscotch hue in keeping with materials one might find in premier luxury fashion offerings. The leather is beautifully creased, stitched, and tailored with details like stitched ‘flex-back’ map pocket pulls and hand crank chrome plated window handles. The interior is perfectly trimmed with correct piping and properly tufted seat pleats. The correctly trimmed and border trimmed low pile carpeting is in excellent condition, showing just mild evidence of use in the driver’s footwell. The rare factory hardtop is lined with proper felt gray, also in excellent condition. Finishes throughout the interior are exquisite including the beautiful dashboard displaying an elegant array of vividly preserved gauges still showing crisp lettering, and bright numeric indication. Further details include the delicately finished ashtray, the iconic black-banded wood-rimmed Nardi steering wheel proudly showing the central blue and white BMW propeller logo, echoing their aviation heritage. Excellent details continue throughout the car including the original patinaed seat lever knobs and beautifully finished dashboard control knobs. The stunning and elegant interior creates a handsome and fashionable presence, particularly so as it contrasts against the vivid black exterior.
Under the hood, the BMW V8 engine has been more recently serviced and is correctly detailed with original accessories, and properly treated hardware. During the engine out service, the engine and engine compartment were detailed to a high standard and great care was given to each component, allowing for authenticity, and respectful refinishing, honoring originality wherever possible while freshening areas to maintain the high standards of visual excellence contributing to the overall presentation. Although some miles and time have passed since completion, the engine presents very nicely even under show level scrutiny as both cosmetic and operational diligence has been fastidiously commissioned by the current owner. A set of factory original tools are housed in a dedicated storage box built into the engine compartment in front of the firewall.
The trunk has been properly finished with correct gray carpeting, concealing the factory correct Rudge spare wheel safely nestled in the trunk recess. Here too, as with the rest of the car, one can admire the attention to detail in the underside trunk finish and side panels. Reviewing the overall car, the detailing under the hood, the beautifully finished door jambs and latching hardware, correct fasteners, and trim all come together in a very cohesive and refined way.
Inspection of the undercarriage reveals a car that has been modestly enjoyed but shows no signs of excessive exposure to the elements or structural compromise of any kind. Originality is once again a major theme, evident in the leather rear axle limit straps, that are still in place, displaying their diligence in the naturally stressed leather. Evidently cared for in every visible respect and properly serviced, the structural integrity, correct finishes, and originality in the undercarriage are respectfully consistent with the history, restoration and ownership provenance supporting this truly exceptional BMW.
Unlike many fussy and seldom driven show cars, this BMW 507 exhibits excellent mechanical refinement and operational confidence. The car starts immediately offering a mild exhaust note resonating from the stainless-steel twin exhaust extending from the factory exhaust manifolds to the correct twin exit pipes beneath the rear bumper. The delicately muffled V8 engine is brisk and responsive when the throttle is tapped. Once in gear and underway, everything about the car delivers a settled and harmonious feel, from the smooth gear selector to the easily engaged clutch. Controls are easy to reach, and the seating position is comfortable with great visibility even with the hardtop in place. The driving comfort and performance is very rewarding, offering a bit of surprise when on the throttle exiting a corner or accelerating to pass. Power is strong when encouraged, with second and third gear being especially rewarding for quick jaunts up to higher speeds. Cruising on the open roads, colorful trees dancing in the reflections of the long hood, the car gently encourages leisurely drives, recalling a time when few people rushed to events and speed was merely a feature of delight. Driving this BMW 507 it is easy to see how these cars continue to delight their dedicated and fortunate owners, particularly those who enjoy roadster touring en route to concours shows or packing luggage for two and engaging in weekend vintage events. The car is accompanied by the original factory hardtop, an original set of factory tools, factory keys, a BMW service book, BMW 507 owner’s manual, fitted California Car Cover, and selected receipts for various parts and services.
The magnificent BMW 507 Series II will always remain an unrivaled icon of both exceptional automotive beauty and sophisticated elegance. An essential halo offering to establish the BMW brand in North America, this factory black, disc brake, Rudge wheel, hardtop example is sure to continue that legacy as an ambassador of fine motoring. Collected by some the most distinguished and discerning connoisseurs, this excellent 507 represents a fantastic opportunity to acquire a sports car of unprecedented elegance, excellent restoration, and unparalleled design.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
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