Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2017

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1956 BMW 502 V8

Lot No.: 517

Registration: 888 JMT
Chassis Number: 61-595
Engine Number: Not Specified
Year of Manufacture: 1956
Sold for (£): Unsold

The BMW 502 was a luxury saloon built by BMW from 1954 until 1958, and in terms of character and style, is often regarded as the ancestor of the current 7 Series. It succeeded BMW's first post-war car, the 501, a somewhat underpowered and uncompetitive 6-cylinder limousine. The company's response, launched at the 1954 Geneva Motor Show, was the 502, with its V8 engine, and subtle styling changes. There were four variants offered with the 3.2-litre Super at the top of the range. The 502 was Germany's first post-war car with a V8, but its high price of 17,450DM resulted in low sales figures, with only 190 units being sold in its first year of production, and total production of the 3.2-litre V8 variant standing at 3,865.

Very few 502s were manufactured in right-hand drive, and ‘888 JMT’ is seemingly one of just twelve cars produced in this format. Our vendor purchased this rare car directly from BMW dealer Richard Cound many years ago as a road car, but during his ownership, the car has been given a competition focus. A regular in the St. Mary’s Trophy at the Goodwood Revival meeting over the years, it has been driven by many famous racing drivers including Marc Surer and Alan Jones, 1980 F1 World Champion. As is sometimes the case with racing hard around the fast flowing corners of Goodwood the original engine had a bit of a bad day and the engine currently in the car is a period correct, 2.6 V8 that’s fresh from a rebuild, having only covered 250 miles since.  Included with the car are the original block and remanufactured engine parts including pistons, liners, valves, etc, and the original engine could be re-commissioned and returned to the car ensuring originality. Our vendor runs a highly respected BMW racing team and has also run and looked after the car whilst in competition trim, so understands this classic BMW well. 

Before enjoying the sights and sounds of Goodwood, we understand this 1956 BMW 502 may well have been the original Earls Court Motorshow car, which given how the original buff log book (which accompanies the car) shows AFN Ltd as the first keeper, could well have been the case. Accompanying that original log book are a variety of previous MoTs and a letter from a previous owner in 1975 going through various details such as parts included and registration documents. This rare and special car offers unique access to the glamour of Goodwood, whilst remaining a rare and stylish road car with lots of provenance.