501 1952 to 1958

BMW 501 1952 to 1958

Glossing over the 340 and other prewar models that were being built at the old BMW plant in the East; this model is the start of BMW's post-war life. The 'new' BMW, based in Munich managed to progressively restart manufacturing of househild goods, then bikes, and finally, cars in 1952. Using the prewar 326 engine, and an all-new frame and body, the 501 was a good car, but an expensive one, at a time when European markets (and especially Germany) needed cheap motoring. It took BMW some time to realise this, and to turn away from its prewar self-image.

BMW built saloons with flowing styling that gained it the nickname 'Baroque Angel', and provided chassis for other companies to put coupe and convertible bodies on. The engine was enlarged in 1955, and the V8 from the 502 became an option in the 501 body.

Standard tyre fitment was a 650-16, or 670-16 crossply until 1955. The later models, from 1955, were fitted with a 550-16 crossply tyre.

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