Thursday 6th September 1951
The BMW 501, the first motor car to be manufactured and sold by BMW after the Second World War, was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Under the bodywork, there was the old six-cylinder engine and all-new independent suspension. It was a good car, but Mercedes-Benz was producing better cars and selling them for less money. BMW improved the 501 during its life, first with the 501A, then the 501/3, and the model eventually evolved into the V8-powered 502 – a much better machine. These cars weren’t the saving of BMW, but they allowed it to stay in business during a time that saw off plenty of seemingly more stable car companies.