Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | July 3, 2021
Here’s another small car from BMW’s early era. The company launched the 303 in 1933. It was their first six-cylinder car and the first BMW with “kidney” grilles – two things the company continues to be known for. In 1934 they introduced the 309, which was essentially a 303 with two fewer cylinders. It was intended as a replacement for the 3/20.
The 309 is powered by an 845cc inline-four that made 22 horsepower when new. Rubber engine mounts were used to reduce vibration in the cabin, and the cars carried bodies from Ambi-Budd. You could choose from a two-door sedan (as shown here), a cabriolet, or a tourer.
Approximately 6,000 examples of the 309 were produced through 1936. This one has known history back only a few decades, and it was restored in Austria. Pre-war BMWs are rarely seen, and the fact that this was about as basic of an example as you could get in 1934 makes it even more impressive that it is still around. It should bring between $14,000-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
After BMW bought out Glas, they decided to drop the 1.6-liter M10 inline-four from the Neue Klasse 1600 into the sporty, Frua-bodied Glas 1700 GT. Output was rated at 103 horsepower. Styling changes were more or less limited to lighting revisions and the addition of the corporate kidney grilles.
Only 1,255 coupe examples of the 1600 GT were produced between 1967 and 1968. This car has known ownership history from new, having spent its early years in Italy. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $55,000-$73,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 14, 2021
The Z8 was BMW’s retro-inspired halo car that was sold between 2000 and 2002, with a revised Alpina Roadster available for 2003. The car was styled after BMW’s legendary 507 (one of, if not the first, car this site featured was a 507).
Power is from a 4.9-liter V8 rated at 395 horsepower. It could hit 60 in 4.2 seconds and was limited to a 155-mph top end. This car retains its factory body-color hardtop and is one of 62 built finished in red over Crema leather. A total of 5,703 Z8s were produced. While they are sought after today, their $128,000 base price when new did not move them off of dealer lots quickly 20 years ago.
That said, good luck picking one up for under $150,000 today. They’ve aged pretty well and are certainly a future classic. Click here for more info on this one, and here for more from Mecum in Monterey.
The BMW 502 was the V8-powered version of BMW’s six-cylinder 501. The 501 went on sale in 1951 and the 502 in 1954. Confusingly, there was also a “501 V8” model sold, with a detuned version of the 502’s.
The 502 was also better appointed than the 501, which made it expensive. They only sold 190 in the first sales year. The standard body style was a sedan, but Baur-built coupes and cabriolets were also available. This car is one of 57 cabriolet examples.
This one is powered by a 3.2-liter V8 sourced from a later BMW 3200L. The 502 was Germany’s first post-war V8-powered car. With a single carburetor, this engine was rated at 140 horsepower when new. The removed factory 2.6-liter V8 is included with the car.
This car was restored between 2011 and 2013, and it looks pretty fantastic. It’s been at Pebble Beach and is being offered out of a museum. The bidding is already at $125,000 as of this writing, and it is scheduled to end two days from this posting. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021
This site doesn’t feature too many post-war German cars, but people love BMW’s 2002. The name was a little short-sighted, but I guess they never imagined having to try and Google “BMW 2002” only to get a ton of results for 2002 325Cis.
The 2002 was mixed in with a number of other visually similar but mechanically different models, including the 1602, 1802, 1502, 1600, and 1800. The 2002 went on sale for the 1968 model year and would be offered in base, cabriolet, ti, and tii forms through 1976. There was one model that topped all of those, and it was the Turbo, which was sold between 1973 and 1975. Only 1,672 examples were produced.
It was BMW’s first turbocharged production car and features a turbocharged, fuel-injected 2.0-liter M10 inline-four rated at 168 horsepower. Top speed was 130 mph. The Turbo is easily the most sought-after 2002 variant, with prices that can easily climb into the six figures. Check out more on this one here, and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Dorotheum | Salzburg, Austria | October 17, 2020
The Dixi was an Austin Seven built under license in Germany beginning in 1928. In late 1928, Dixi was overtaken by BMW, and in 1929, the cars were re-badged as the BMW Dixi 3/15 DA-2. This model was produced from 1929 through 1931. Two more versions of the 3/15 would be produced through 1932, but the DA-2 was the last to carry the Dixi name.
Power is from a 747cc inline-four good for 15 horsepower. You could get a two-door sedan, a delivery van, or a convertible like the one you see here. Only 300 examples of the convertible were produced, and I’d bet there are very, very few left today.
For perspective, the 300 convertibles were out of an entire DA-2 production run of 12,318. This one has been restored and is expected to bring between $14,000-$21,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 11, 2020
In the mid-1950s, BMW had yet to have a real hit. They were still pushing Isettas on the German people, and alongside that, they were offering the ultra-exclusive 507 Roadster. Meanwhile, they were trying their hand at a luxury 2+2 with this, the 503.
Produced between 1956 and 1959, the 503 was powered by a 3.2-liter V8 that made 140 horsepower. The car could be had as a coupe or a convertible, and they all had four seats. This is a Series II example, the type of which was introduced in 1957. It featured a floor shifter for the four-speed manual transmission.
Only 413 examples of the 503 were built, and just 138 of those were drop-tops. This example was restored in 2002 and is certain to be its next owner’s ticket to any major car event worldwide. It is expected to bring between $410,000-$530,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | August 29, 2020
In 1904, a car company sprang up in Eisenach, Germany, that sold vehicles under the Dixi brand. In 1928, BMW took over that company. BMW dated back to 1916, but they didn’t produce their first car until after taking over Dixi. The Dixi 3/15 was an Austin Seven built under license, and they were branded as BMWs from 1929 through 1932.
The followup to the Dixi 3/15 was the BMW 3/20. That technically makes this the first BMW car, as the Dixi was not initially a BMW. It still used the Austin engine – a 788cc inline-four making 20 horsepower. The car itself was larger than its predecessor and was built in four versions, with this, the AM1, being the first.
The 3/20 was manufactured between 1932 and 1934. These early BMWs are very rare. Most pre-ware Bimmers offered at auction are just 328s. These are unusual. And interesting. It should bring between $14,000-$21,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Eric Broadley’s Lola Cars was a long-time race car manufacturer based out of the U.K. They built open-wheel and sports cars between 1958 and 2012. In the 1970s, one of their big focuses was prototype sports cars, which included fantastic-looking racers like this one.
The T290 series was introduced in 1972 and was produced for a few years in six different variants. In all, 108 examples of the series were built, including this T296, which was made for the 1976 season. It features an aluminum monocoque and was built to accept four-cylinder engines.
This was the first of eight T296 examples produced and was purchased new by Mader Racing Components. It’s competition history includes:
1977 24 Hours of Le Mans – 52nd, DNF (with Georges Morand, Christian Blanc, and Frederic Alliot)
1978 24 Hours of Le Mans – 40th, DNF (with Morand, Blanc, and Eric Vaugnat)
1979 24 Hours of Le Mans – 48th, DNF (with Vaugnat, Daniel Laurent, and Jacques Boillat)
It’s competitive career ended after the 1980 season, but before the decade was out, the car was active again on the historic circuit. It featured a Ford-Cosworth engine in-period, but is now powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter BMW M12 inline-four. This car a green card into almost any historic automotive event, and it can now be yours. Click here for more info.
How do you take one of the coolest “classical supercars” and make it look even more badass? Turn it into a killer race car for a one-make series, that’s how. BMW built 399 M1 road cars between 1978 and 1981, along with 53 race cars.
Those race cars were destined for the BMW M1 Procar Championship, a one-make series devised by the head of BMW Motorsport. Strange homologation rules sort of necessitated the series, which was run as a Formula One support series for the 1979 and 1980 seasons. The cars were also used in different sports car racing series all over the world.
M1 Procars were more or less ground-up race cars. They had big front and rear wings, among many other changes from the road cars, and they are powered by a 3.5-liter inline-six tweaked to make 470 horsepower (the road car made 273).
The race history for this car, #36, includes:
1982 24 Hours of Daytona – 40th, DNF (with Joe Crevier, Fred Stiff, and Dennis Wilson)
1982 12 Hours of Sebring – 19th (with Crevier, Paul Fassler, and Bob Zeigel)
The car was also driven by Al Unser Jr. prior to the 1982 season. It’s been completely restored and used in historic competition. The current owner bought it in 2012 and it’s now for sale in Europe. Click here for more info.