This Beautifully Obscure 1957 BMW 503 Bertone Cabriolet Is Looking For A New Home

BMW has never been particularly fond of letting Mercedes-Benz get all the glory. So in the late 1950s, after seeing what its arch-rival had done with the 300 SL, the Bavarians and their US importer set about marketing a stylish and luxurious convertible of their own.

They came up with two ideas, and put both into production. One was the 507 that we know well as the inspiration behind the Z8 roadster that followed decades later. The other was the little-known 503.

Based on the 501 and 502 sedans, the 503 was less sporty than the two-seat 507, but arguably more elegant. It came in coupe or convertible forms, the latter offering a rare early power roof mechanism. Unfortunately neither the 503 nor the 507 were particularly successful, commercially speaking. This compared to more than 3,000 examples of the 300 SL that Mercedes made, BMW ended up producing only 252 examples of the 507 roadster, and 413 of the 503 between the coupe and cabriolet models.

The upshot is that the BMWs remain the rarer machines today, and the one you see here is rarer still. It’s one of just 18 examples that were coachbuilt with special aluminum bodywork by Bertone for the US market, and clearly stands the test of time as a classic beauty, combining German engineering and Italian design.

Having won its class at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and awarded Best in Show at the Santa Fe Concorso, this rare matching-numbers cabrio is now consigned to Bonhams for its upcoming auction at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, California, during Monterey car week. Check it out in the gallery below courtesy of Bonhams/Litwinski.

Photo Gallery

  • Matthew Daraei

    Beautiful car. It’s from 60 years ago and looks better than any of current BMW’s models.

    • Infinite1

      +1

  • Blade t

    Nice….that’s gonna be pricey .

  • Bash

    Love it.

  • giancarlo always me

    It seems inspired by Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

  • Miknik

    When Italian Coach building was at it’s peak….

Take An Exclusive Look Into Ferrari’s Special Corse Clienti Club

The Ferrari Corse Clienti includes ex Formula 1 cars and the exclusive XX program.

Mercedes GLE 580 Gets 483 HP Electrified Biturbo V8, $77,795 Tag

The new Mercedes GLE 580 packs less power than the GLE 53 AMG but it has a V8 instead of a straight six engine.

Kia’s New Small SUV Interior Surfaces In Official Sketches

The small SUV gets a 10.25-inch infotainment system, Off-Road driving mode and locking differential.

We Drive The Hyundai i30 N: What Would You Like To Know?

With its first-ever hot hatch, Hyundai has made great waves and surprised everyone – including the competition.

Autopilot’s Automatic Lane Change Feature Cuts People Off And Brake Checks Them

Consumer Reports calls the new feature potentially dangerous.

G-Power Will Tune Your BMW M2 Competition To 532HP For Just Over $1,500

The tuner’s asking a decent €1,400 for this power upgrade, which makes the M2 an absolute beast.

Study Suggests 78% Of Non Sedan Owners Would Consider One In The Future

Interest is sedans remains high, even though Ford and GM are abandoning some segments.

Mercedes Aims To Inspire A New Generation Of Women To Love Cars

Mercedes will give away thousands of toy cars to inspire the next-generation of automotive enthusiasts.

Turns Out The New Toyota Supra Has Much More Than 335 Horses

The Toyota Supra is powered by a BMW-sourced 3.0-liter inline-six and is very punchy indeed.

Used LaFerrari Aperta Will Cost You A Lung, A Kidney, And A Mansion

This 313-mile LaFerrari Aperta will probably shift hands for at least $7 million.