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Closed Auction- Unsold

1959 BMW 501 V8

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  • Mileage~48,602 KM on clock
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine2.6-litre
  • LocationLondon

AUCTION CLOSED

1959 BMW 501 V8

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Introduction

Andrew Taylor
Professional Consigner

Still in daily use this ‘Baroque Angel’ is a truly evocative piece of automotive history.

In the year Che Guevara entered Havana, this car brought opulent and luxurious travel to its new Swedish owner.

Recently imported from Sweden and currently in daily use; this is a rare survivor of a top quality car.

Launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1951 the extravagant 501 was dubbed the ‘Barockengel’ (Baroque Angel), reflecting a styling reminiscent of the Baroque era. The newly developed V8, 100hp engine was fitted to later 501s having been designed for installation in the 502 released in 1954. This car has that wonderful all alloy V8 engine with figures of the day reporting an impressive 100-mph top speed.

By the time the car was discontinued in 1963 some 12,700 V8s had been sold. Few examples remain in daily use today making this a unique opportunity to own and enjoy a glorious example of post war BMW history.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Andrew after meeting Arya the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

It’s a true express cruiser - it drives effortlessly due to its amazing V8 engine and is comfortable and quiet.

Arya used to live in Sweden and had fallen in love with this car about 20 years before he could persuade the owner to sell it to him. He finally managed to buy it in February this year and brought it back to London. An intrepid fellow, he has been using it as his daily driver ever since, reporting that it easily holds its own in the cut-and-thrust of city driving.

Arya says “The car has an amazing shape, great V8 engine, good comfort and above all soul. It was love at first sight. I love everything about it - the way it looks, feels and drives”.

Having bought a property in sunny Spain, Arya now needs to sell the 501. He is sorry to see it go but is keen to pass on the privilege of ownership to another enthusiast.

Arya
Vehicle Owner

Ask the Owner

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Exterior

With high quality engineering, flowing lines and suicide rear doors the 501 is both beautiful and purposeful.

Wheels and Tyres

The wheels are the original blue painted pressed steel and appear structurally sound but do have some areas of surface corrosion and would benefit from refurbishment, as can be seen from the photographs and video.

The wheels are fitted with Michelin tyres with significant tread remaining, and there is a set of brand new tyres with the car as well as a spare wheel in the boot.

Bodywork

The bodywork appears clean, sound and straight and panel gaps look remarkably good with the doors closing positively and precisely.

The underside has been undersealed in the past and seems solid, as can be seen from the photographs.

All in all the car bodywork appears remarkably original.

Paint

The paint is a beautiful deep blue and retains a deep lustre together with an even and consistent finish.

The paintwork was refreshed to a decent standard in the 1990s and has held up remarkably well, although there are inevitably some age-related marks and chips as can be seen from the pictures.

While the car is eminently usable as it is, it could be smartened up over time as desired.

Glass and Trim

The glass and mirrors appear good and the chromework is remarkably sound given the age of the car, particularly the bumpers and hubcaps.

The door handles have some pitting and the badging is peeling on the hubcaps and bonnet.

The windscreen and rear window seals are starting to perish and would benefit from renewal.

Interior

Totally '50s - the cabin is well appointed, comfortable and spacious.

Seats and Carpets

As can be seen in the photos, the interior could do with some attention to the door cards, carpets, and rear parcel shelf, but the seats are undamaged and the interior appears very original.

The headlining has some marks but is free from tears.

Dashboard

The panel is in good condition although does have some age-related wear that actually adds to the charm of the car in many ways.

The instrument glasses are unbroken and very clear given the cars vintage and instrument surrounds are in good condition too.

It is worth studying the photographs carefully to fully appreciate the condition of the panel.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The magnificent off-white steering wheel and the column change gear lever appear sound and are very fitting for the car's vintage .

There is some damage to the horn surround at the centre of the steering wheel, as can be seen from the pictures.

Mechanics

The wonderful V8 with plenty of torque offers effortless, understressed cruising and of course that characteristic soundtrack.

Engine and Gearbox

Recently serviced the car has been fitted with a new stainless steel exhaust system and a high-torque starter motor costing £1,500 and £299 respectively.

Arya confirms that the car has been starting promptly and running beautifully with a lovely V8 burble from the twin exhausts.

Suspension and Brakes

Arya advises the suspension and brakes all work as they should .

The Drive

More for cruising than sprinting. Arya describes the car as an absolute pleasure to drive and, with a lovely burble from the understressed V8, well able to hold its own in modern traffic.

The Mechanical Review video shows the cold start and how the car quickly settles down to a steady, even tickover.

Electrics and Other

Arya confirms all electrics work as they should and switches and wiring all appear in good condition.

The car has a period radio fitted.

History and Paperwork

An original factory manual printed in German adds some real authenticity to the overall package.

Although there is no real history with the car, Arya confirms that it sailed through its last Swedish MOT in May 2019. It does come with two original handbooks (one for the 501 and one for the 502, both in Swedish) plus a copy of an original factory workshop manual in German.

The V5C records it as a Historic Vehicle and the car was first registered 01.01.1959.

The car is now reading 48,602 KM on the clock,

We've done all our usual checks on the seller, V5 and is HPi clear.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
See paperwork n/a n/a
Key Details
  • Model501
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date01.01.1959
  • CC2580cc
  • Mileage~48,602 KM on clock
  • ColourBlue
  • Interior ColourGrey
  • Chassis #55743
  • Last ServiceRecent
  • RestoredNo
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes - clear
  • Former KeepersNot Known
  • Tyre BrandMichelin
  • Security SysNo
  • LHD or RHDLHD
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned8 mths
  • Key FeatureOriginality






Auction Closed

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Vehicle Location

London

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