BMW 502 3,2 Baur

Car producer : 



502 3,2 Baur





The V8 engine was introduced at the 1954 Geneva Motor Show as the engine of the new BMW 502 saloon car. Using the same chassis and basically the same body as the 501, the 502 was more luxuriously appointed  and, with its light V8 engine producing 100 horsepower (75 kW) with a single two-barrel Solex carburettor, was much faster. The published top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph) was far higher than that of the first six-cylinder version of the Ponton Mercedes launched the same year. At the time of its introduction the 502 was reportedly Germany's fastest passenger sedan in regular production.


The 502 was acclaimed as Germany's first post-war V8 powered car, but its high price of DM17,800 led to low sales; only 190 were sold in its first year of production.

The 502 was distinguished from the 501 by additional chrome trim and more lavish interior fittings. Fog lights and individual front seats were also now included as standard features. The 502 was mildly restyled in 1955 with a wraparound rear window.

The engine and the model designation were altered again in the spring of 1955. The 501A and 501 B were replaced by the 501/3, with an updated M337 engine. The 501/3 was introduced alongsinde the 501 V8, which featured a detuned version of the 2.6-litre V8 introduced in the 502 the previous year. The 501/3 and 501 V8 were continued until 1958, when the six-cylinder engine and the 501 model designation were discontinued.

As well as the saloon version, BMW offered Baur built two-door cabriolet and coupé versions of the 502 in 1954 and 1955. 501s and 502s were also converted into ambulances and hearses.

The 501 and 502 model designations were discontinued in 1958, when the 501 V8 was renamed the BMW 2.6 and the 502 was renamed the 2.6 Luxus.The cars were continued under these model designations until 1961 with only two notable changes: Power steering became an option in 1959, while front disc brakes were added in 1960.

In 1961, the model designations were changed again, to 2600 and 2600L. The engine in the 2600L was tuned to give 110 horsepower (82 kW). Production ended in 1963.

A further development of the V8 engine was introduced at the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show. This had a 82 millimetres (3.2 in) bore, giving a capacity of 3,168 cc (193.3 cu in). The engine made its debut in four new cars at the show, the 507 two-seat convertible, the 503 coupe, the 505 limousine prototype, and the BMW 3.2, a development of the 502 that did not have a model number and was identified simply by its displacement in litres. As used in the 3.2 and the 505, the engine had a compression ratio of 7.2:1, up from the 7.0:1 of the original 2.6 L V8 engine. In this tune, the engine yielded 120 horsepower (89 kW) The final drive ratio was raised from 4.225:1 on the smaller-engined sedans to 3.89:1 on the 3.2 to reduce the fuel consumption of the larger engine.

In 1957, the 3.2 Super with a 140 horsepower (100 kW) engine, was released. The 3.2 and 3.2 Super were continued under these model designations until 1961 with only two notable changes: Power steering became an option in 1959, while front disc brakes were added to the 3.2 Super in October 1959 and to the 3.2 in 1960.

In 1961, the 3.2 and 3.2 Super were replaced by the 3200L and 3200S respectively. The 3200L had a single carburettor engine that produced 140 horsepower (100 kW), while the 3200S had a twin carburettor engine that produced 160 horsepower (120 kW) at 5600 revolutions per minute.

A report on a 3.2-litre BMW saloon estimated the 502's consumption at 15 L/100 km (19 mpg-imp; 16 mpg-US).

The Sport Cabriolet one of five produced by Karosserie Aurenrieth, of Darmstadt, which was an old-line firm that was highly respected for their work on a variety of German chassis both before and after World War II. This style differed from the standard cabriolet as it had only two doors and side windows, as well as a lowered, sleek boot line.

BMW entrusted Baur, a respected Stuttgart coachbuilder, to produce the cabriolet and coupe bodies, as BMW production facilities had been compromised by the war. Baur had been building BMW convertibles since the 1930s and was well acquainted with BMW’s high standards. From the time the 502 Cabriolet was introduced for 1956, 57 two-door cabriolets were produced by Baur. The cars were sold through the BMW dealer network and built to order. Buyers had to be affluent, as the list price was DM 21,900, as well as patient, since delivery could take upwards of six months. The combination of price and patience made ownership of a 502 an exclusive investment.

Production ended in 1963.

Sold for: 341000 USD
Go to restoration
See other models

You may also like these cars

to top