Home BMW History BMW Profiles 9: The Legendary BMW 507
Bimmer, February 2006 - cover

Bimmer - February 2006

BMW Profiles 9: The Legendary BMW 507 review from Bimmer, February 2006

Mobile Tradition illuminates post-war BMW roadster development

"With each new release, the BMW Mobile Tradition library just keeps getting stronger. The latest book from BMW"s official history department, The legendary BMW 507 by Dr. Karlheinz Lange, adds to the knowledge with an unexpectedly thorough look at the development history of the quintessential BMW roadster.

Why "unexpectedly"? Because this book goes beyond the history of the 507 to offer a portrait of post-war BMW that's unlike anything yet published. Most enthusiasts of BMW history are aware of the tough times that befell the company after World War II, but few of us know much about the wrong turns and false starts that marked the period, and which preceded the 507's arrival. Lange goes into that history in detail, chronicling the development of the 503a convertible and the stillborn 528 roadster before finally arriving at the 507. And once the story of that car has been told in all its dimensions, Lange follows with that of the car"s potential successors, the roadsters built by Raymond Loewy and Giovanni Michelotti as well as the in-house designs that didn't make it past the BMW board, like the 520 and 535 midsize cars that were drawn but never built.

As impressive as Lange's attention to detail is, we're even more impressed by his willingness to acknowledge the historian"s limitations. Some facts simply can"t be verified, and where that's the case Lange attempts to deduce the truth from those that are available, always laying out his argument for the reader to accept or reject. It's a smart approach that gives him a good deal more credibility than would a reliance on unsubstantiated assumptions.

The quality of the artwork is every bit the equal to that of the text. The Mobile Tradition photo archives have been put to good use here, as have the design department's historical sketches and engineering"s blueprints. We also like the inclusion of the 507's original color chart, as well as the table that shows how many cars were built in each of the 18 colors available?what, no takers for a 507 in Lime Green?

All told, The legendary BMW 507 represents another excellent installment in Mobile Tradition's "Profiles" series, now up to nine volumes. Big props to BMW for making the investment in its history, and to BMW historians like Dr. Lange for doing such an excellent job in its telling"
?Jackie Jouret

Bimmer, February 2006

Bimmer, February 2006, page 6

Bimmer, February 2006

Bimmer, February 2006, page 8