Introduced at the 1951 Frankfurt Motor Show with production commencing October 1952, the 501 holds the distinction of being the first BMW production model of the postwar era. Clearly paying homage to BMW’s prewar models, particularly the 326, the 501 offered greater passenger comfort with longer and wider dimensions. Featuring soft edges and flowing curves, the 501 immediately gained the nickname “Barockenangel,” translated to “Baroque Angel” in English, with the car’s design language praised by none other than famed Italian stylist, Battista “Pinin” Farina. Based upon a solid box-section/tubular chassis with well-proven mechanicals, the 501 was exceptionally versatile and formed the basis for a diverse array of high-end offerings from BMW through the first half of the 1960s, supported by the Isetta, 700, and their variants at the entry level.
The 501-8 joined the BMW model range in 1955, positioned immediately between the six-cylinder 501/3 and the more luxurious 502, which had arrived in 1954 with BMW’s new 2.6-liter V-8 engine. Both the 501-8 and 502 shared BMW’s efficient hemi-head 2.6-liter V-8, which immediately gained renown for its robust factory-rated output of 100 horsepower and uncanny refinement. By autumn 1958, the 501-8 was renamed the BMW 2.6, also known as the BMW 2600, and produced with select updates through 1963.
Rarely seen in North America, this marvelous 501-8 Sedan was discovered in Brussels, Belgium during 2005 and subsequently purchased by a BMW Club member and prolific marque collector from Colorado, following inspection by a friend and fellow classic BMW owner. Prior to its importation to the United Sates, the vehicle was lovingly restored to a high standard in Europe, with mechanical work performed by marque specialists at Erwin Brummer & Son near Munich, Germany, and the coachwork and interior restored by the respected specialist and craftsman Marek Matejcek of Pilsen in the Czech Republic.
While roughly 15 years have passed since the restoration was completed, the quality of the workmanship remains abundantly clear, with the BMW remaining in superb condition inside and out. The panel fit, paintwork, and brightwork are all restored to a demonstrably high standard, and the leather upholstery remains taut and fresh in appearance. Attractively finished in silver over blue leather upholstery, the 501-8 features such desirable period-correct features as a Becker Mexico radio, VDO ambient temperature gauge, and Golde sliding canvas sunroof, plus proper details including Bosch headlamps and Pirelli CA67 tires. Limited use and proper care and storage have maintained the restoration’s freshness.
These rare, handsome, and historic German sedans are seldom restored to this high level due to the requisite complexity, cost, and difficulty involved in a proper job. Under prior ownership, this very car received the blessing of Mr. Goetz Pfafflin, the late driving force behind the BMW Vintage & Classic Car Club of America, who declared this 501-8 as “…very likely the best restored Baroque Angel in the U.S. today.” Furthering the BMW’s outstanding presentation is the clean and detailed engine bay, housing the 2.6-liter overhead-valve BMW V-8 powerplant, paired with a four-speed manual transmission.
A truly rare and attractive postwar German legend, this historic and compelling 1958 BMW 501-8 is well-known in BMW circles. As offered, it presents a unique opportunity for the next owner to exhibit it on the concours lawn or enjoy it on classic touring events, where its power, quality, and presence will surely attract admirers wherever it goes. Truly fit for a committed BMW enthusiast’s stable.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 7481
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