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The BMW 501 - Germany Getting Back on Track

At the time it was launched, the BMW 501 was a sensation. BMW had gotten back on its feet rapidly after the war but everyone was amazed to see it come back with a massive six-cylinder sedan stuffed with luxury goodies. The 501 was produced from 1952 through 1958 and was first introduced to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show.  Looking much like a Bentley (oops, did we say that?), the 501's rather grand styling inspired its 'Baroque Angel' nickname given by the German public.

BMW 501 on the Left


The 501 came with a new perimeter frame chassis with torsion bar suspension all around, four-speed column-change gearbox, prewar 326 engine, bored out to 2.1 liters from 1955. Out of all editions of this classic BMW, the desirable two-door coupe and cabriolet were glorious white elephants in austere postwar Germany.

If you can still find one, a 501 can demand prices all over the map. Overall, this classic car earns three out of five starts for reliability and maintenance costs. It earns a paltry one out of five for parts/support and market appeal - but every vintage car has its niche of followers. You probably won't find too many 501s hanging around your local cruise-in so if contrarian is your thing, this may be a car for you!  We'll try and find you one for sale later this week, stay tuned.

(Description courtesy of Sports Car Market magazine)

Jeff Walker

About Jeff Walker

Jeff Walker is a Classic Car Insurance Specialist and financial services professional; As the son of a Drag-Racer and auto restorer, he was born with a wrench in his hand and learned the trade at an early age. His specialty is 60’s and 70’s American Muscle but his mechanical ability has afforded him the opportunity to work on all types of cars from Alfa-Romeos to Gullwings and everything in-between. Jeff is also a motorcycle fanatic and maintains his own stable of classic & collectible bikes. He is happiest when a car or motorcycle project is underway in his garage.

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