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BMW 507 Coupe and Cabrio Dual Build
AussieReg
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#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 01:26 PM UTC
Intro and Background

The gloriously handsome BMW 507 Coupé was initially the brainchild of an American, the car importer Max Hoffman who, in 1954, persuaded the BMW management to produce a roadster version of the BMW 501 and BMW 502 saloons. His idea was to plug the contemporary gap between the expensive German Mercedes-Benz 300SL and the cheap and relatively under-powered British Triumph and MG sports cars.

BMW engineer Fritz Fiedler – of pre-war BMW 328 fame - was assigned to design the rolling chassis, using existing components wherever possible. Early body designs by Veritas-BMW performance-car specialist, Ernst Loof, were rejected by Hoffman, who found them unattractive. In November 1954, largely at Hoffman's insistence, BMW contracted industrial designer Albrecht von Goertz to style both the BMW 503 and the top-end 507.

The BMW 507 Coupé's power unit was an aluminium-alloy pushrod-operated overhead-valve V8 unit, displacing 3,168 cc (193.3 cubic inches). It breathed through two Zenith 32NDIX two-barrel carburettors, and featured a chain-driven oil pump, high-lift cams, a different spark advance curve compared to the associated saloon models, polished combustion chambers, and a compression ratio of 7.8:1. Power output was claimed to be 150 metric horsepower (110kW) DIN at 5,000rpm. This impressive-looking – and sounding – power unit was mated to a close-ratio four-speed manual transmission. The standard final-drive ratio was selected as 3.70:1, with options of 3.42:1 and 3.90:1 optional.

A contemporary road test of a BMW 507 with the standard 3.70:1 final drive appeared in the Swiss magazine Motor Revue, citing 0-100km/h (0-62mph) acceleration in 11.1 seconds and a top speed of 122mph - heady figures for 1956-57. Here indeed was a rocket ship for the public road.

The brand-new BMW 507 made its debut at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York in the summer of 1955 and production began in November 1956. Max Hoffman intended the 507 to sell for some US $5,000, which he believed would support a production run of 5,000 units a year. However, production costs of this svelte new German beauty ran away with the project, and the German market price inflated relentlessly: first to DM 26,500 and later 29,950, which pushed up the US market price initially to $9,000 and then $10,500.

The 507 Spyder and Coupé's undoubtedly startling looks attracted such celebrity customers as Elvis Presley (who owned two), and Hollywood movie director John Derek, while in Germany pre-war Grand Prix racing champion Hans Stuck and motorcycling star Georg 'Schorsch' Meier became prominent owners.

Despite having been conceived to revive BMW's sporting image, and to drive brand perception and sales volume forward, the 507 failed to attract more than 10 per cent of the sales volumes enjoyed by its Stuttgart rival, the six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. Yet for many it was an infinitely better looking, more glamorous, lighter handling – and rapid – alternative.

Their sales difficulties with the 507 instead took BMW to the edge of bankruptcy. In 1959 the Munich company's losses reached DM 15 million. The company lost money on every 507 built, and when production was abandoned late in 1959 only 252 had been completed, plus two prototypes. Fortunately for the Bavarian company, an infusion of capital from Herbert Quandt, and the launch of new, cheaper models (the BMW 700 and later the 'New Class' 1500) intended for a very different sector of the road car market, helped the company recover, placing it on the launching pad to its continuing success.
- Collated from various sources

When I saw these 2 kits posted for sale in a stash clearance I was instantly drawn by the classic 50's lines and chrome, and even though I knew nothing about the car, and had never seen them built or reviewed online, I snapped them up.



Doing some research to look at options for colour schemes, I came across a pair of very significant vehicles that would make a great little display pair.

The first is the Coupe owned from new by the legend John Surtees, sold at auction after his death for almost 4 million pounds, in 2018.


The second is the Cabrio owned by the car's designer Albrecht von Goertz. This one was originally factory silver-grey the same as the Surtees Coupe, but was repainted in the 90's, and I like the red body colour.


A quick look at the kit parts gives me some confidence, the plastic is nice and clean, very little flash and no sign of deformation. The chrome looks quite clean and consistent, and the window parts thin and clear. I will post up detail shots of the sprues and parts as I go.

I'm very much looking forward to working on these 2 kits, and as always please offer up any comments, advice and constructive critique along the way.

Cheers, D
Cosimodo
#335
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Auckland, New Zealand
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Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 04:03 PM UTC
Damian, your stash never ceases to amaze me. What an awesome pair of cars. Looking forward to see how these go!

cheers
Michael
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 04:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Damian, your stash never ceases to amaze me. What an awesome pair of cars. Looking forward to see how these go!

cheers
Michael



Thanks for checking in Michael, great to have you on board! My stash is very modest when compared with a lot of my fellow styrenoholics, but I do tend to hunt down or pick up some of the less common subject matter.

Cheers, D
Joel_W
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Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 01:14 AM UTC
D,
The finds of the century for sure. If you ever want to sell either of them, please pm asap.

These kits are so rare, should I dare say you shouldn't even build them? If it was me, I honestly don't know what I'd do.

Joel
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 01:36 PM UTC

Quoted Text

D,
The finds of the century for sure. If you ever want to sell either of them, please pm asap.

These kits are so rare, should I dare say you shouldn't even build them? If it was me, I honestly don't know what I'd do.

Joel



Joel, there are a few of these listed on eBay at the moment, and not at crazy prices. I picked these ones up at significantly less than today's store retail for similar kits with a view to dual-build and build log them, so that's where they are headed!
If I come across either of them again I will snap them up and let you know.

I'm hoping to make a start on them this weekend while the paint and cement cures on a couple of other builds.

Cheers, D
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Saturday, August 01, 2020 - 03:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I'm hoping to make a start on them this weekend while the paint and cement cures on a couple of other builds.



I love it when a plan comes together!

As with virtually all car kits, these start with the engine assembly.


The first 19 parts fit together with a minimum of effort.






The pulley/belt assembly is dry fitted for alignment while the cement cures.


The pulley/belt assembly, fan and exhaust headers will be painted separately and added later.

Of course, the whole process was completed twice!


Reference images for both vehicles will assist greatly in the paint and detailing process.



In terms of fine detail and accuracy, it is great to see that the kits are true to form with the rocker covers rounded at the top corners and squared off at the bottom, and even include the "BMW" lettering!



First impressions - excellent!

Cheers, D
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 09, 2009
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Posted: Sunday, August 09, 2020 - 03:06 AM UTC
A relaxing hour or so tonight on the BMW assembly line, working on a couple of sub assemblies.



Curiously, there is a big difference in the white plastic between the Coupe and Cabrio kits.
The Coupe is the traditional glossy/soapy Revell plastic, but he Cabrio is much paler satin finish and has an almost chalky feel to it. It might not show up too well in the image, Coupe on the left, Cabrio on the right.



Cheers, D

Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, August 09, 2020 - 04:10 AM UTC
D,
Now that's one impressive introduction and history of both cars. Like I said, I've never seen nor even heard of either before your original post, so this is going to be a double thrill for me.

From the picture of the two seats, it sure seams that Revell took additional care to detail the Cabrio seats as they would be much more visible then those in the coupe. At least that's how I see it from the picture you posted.

Nice job on building both engines. Revell did an excellent job of molding them. The only issue I see is the duel air cleaners which are low restriction ones in real life, and the kit ones seem to be almost fully enclosed. I'm assuming that the unit directly below the oil pan is the mechanical oil pump. With the bottom of the engine completely exposed to anything on the road or gets kicked up by the front tires from the road, I can certainly envision replacements happening quite often.

Have you decided on a exterior and interior colors as yet?

Joel
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Sunday, August 09, 2020 - 12:46 PM UTC
Thanks for checking in Joel, some interesting points there. The detail on the seats for both kits is almost identical, it is the plastic itself that is different but only on the white sprues. The black and chrome are the same on both kits. Just a different raw material possibly.
The part hanging under the rear of the engine block is actually the starter motor, and the instructions aren't very clear as to where it should be located. I've had another look and found where it should be and will relocate it, as I had the same concerns as you!


Quoted Text

Have you decided on a exterior and interior colors as yet?
Joel



I'm going with the cars in the initial post. Both have been well covered on the web and plenty of reference images.
The Surtees Coupe has a wild red/silver interior that should be a lot of fun!


The Von Goertz Coupe is a more traditional and subdued Pale Grey interior which will look great against the red body colour.


Cheers, D
RussellE
#306
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Posted: Sunday, August 09, 2020 - 01:05 PM UTC
Wow!

What a beautiful automobile... so far removed from the white goods on wheels that car makers produce today...

Watching with interest D
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Sunday, August 09, 2020 - 04:12 PM UTC
Hi D,

I sure hope the hoods are removable! those engines will look great when you're done with them! On to the seats, have you ever tried adding fabric/thin leather to the interior? I've seen pictures of that but haven't tried it myself -

Looking forward to seeing your progress - although - what a headache to keep track of separate but identical parts!!

Cheers
Nick
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Sunday, August 09, 2020 - 05:06 PM UTC
Nick, thanks for stopping by mate, always a pleasure to have you overseeing my shenanigans here!


Quoted Text

I sure hope the hoods are removable! those engines will look great when you're done with them!


Indeed they are!



Quoted Text

On to the seats, have you ever tried adding fabric/thin leather to the interior? I've seen pictures of that but haven't tried it myself


I've never tried it myself, but I have seen guys getting photos of faded leather or fabric from the interwebs, printing on thin paper and laminating them onto seats.


Quoted Text

Looking forward to seeing your progress - although - what a headache to keep track of separate but identical parts!


I have a cunning plan! Coupe to the left of me, Cabrio to the right, white stuck in the middle of view!


Cheers, D
Hwa-Rang
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Posted: Sunday, August 09, 2020 - 10:52 PM UTC
Beautiful cars. Coupe and cabriolet, just make it a double delight.


Quoted Text

I have a cunning plan! Coupe to the left of me, Cabrio to the right, white stuck in the middle of view!



Cunning indeed...unless you forget which goes where
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Posted: Sunday, August 09, 2020 - 11:21 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Cunning indeed...unless you forget which goes where



Quite possible. In fact highly likely!

Cheers, D
Dixon66
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Posted: Monday, August 10, 2020 - 12:28 AM UTC

Quoted Text

to keep track of separate but identical parts!



Quoted Text

I have a cunning plan! Coupe to the left of me, Cabrio to the right, white stuck in the middle of view!

Cheers, D



Wow, someone should turn that into a song. LOL

Looking good so far. Looking forward to seeing more.
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 03:24 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I have a cunning plan! Coupe to the left of me, Cabrio to the right, white stuck in the middle of view!

Wow, someone should turn that into a song. LOL

Looking good so far. Looking forward to seeing more.



I'm glad somebody spotted that one! Thanks for checking in David, good to have you on board!

A couple of hours tonight where I jumped forward to steps 35 and 36, starting to get the main body parts prepped for primer. First up is attaching the lower nose and cleaning up the sprue attachment points and a bit of flash (this is the Coupe body).




It lined up and fitted together with no problems. Just a fine join to fill and sand over prior to primer.

Next up is attaching the inner frame to the underside of the bonnet, hood, noisy end lid, whatever you want to call it!


Once the Coupe was sorted, the Cabrio joined in.





Inching closer to getting some painting done.

Cheers, D

Hwa-Rang
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 06:04 PM UTC
Nice work D.

The inner frame, for the hood, being a separate part, is a nice touch, from Revell.
RussellE
#306
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 09:35 PM UTC
interesting that inner frame design by BMW
Cosimodo
#335
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 10:02 PM UTC
These BMWs are looking great. As Jesper said, some nice touches from Revell in there, especially the detail on the engines. Glad to see you heading straight to the end of the instructions for some colour!

cheers
Michael
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 10:28 PM UTC
Thanks guys, I'm glad you are enjoying the build log! This interaction really is one of my favourite parts of the hobby, especially now with other social interactions so restricted.

I'm thinking that BMW made the bonnet nice and light with a single skin and separate supporting frame underneath.


Cheers, D
AussieReg
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AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 12:57 AM UTC
And so the Revell car kit fun begins!

Getting the bodies prepared for paint, I thought that I would have a look at how the Coupe hard top is installed. According to my research "The body was almost entirely hand-formed of aluminium, and no two models were exactly the same. 11 cars were sold with an optional hand-fabricated removable hardtop. Because of the car-to-car differences, each hardtop fits only the car for which it was made." (Wiki). Looking at the reference images, the gap between the hard top and body is clearly visible, probably in fact the rubber seal is visble.


So, my original plan was to install the chrome windscreen frame and just leave the hard top sitting loosely on top to be removable for display.



Well, the best laid plans and all that . .

Step 1 - carefully remove a thin strip of chrome plating and cement windscreen frame in place - accomplished!

Step 2 - loosely fit hard top to test if fit is adequate to achieve plan - NOT @#$%*&% LIKELY


Step 3 - pour a nice big glass of Shiraz and contemplate - accomplished!

Step 4 - new plan, carefully remove another thin strip of chrome plating and cement hard top in place - accomplished!



Step 5 - repeat Step 3 - accomplished!

Step 6 - Cement side window frames in place and leave overnight to set up properly (tomorrow work on getting the final section in place) - accomplished!



Step 7 - repeat Steps 3 and 5 - accomplished!

Step 8 - off to AutoModeler to report on evenings shenanigans - accomplished!

Cheers, D
Joel_W
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 01:04 AM UTC
D,
Impressive work on getting the hardtop to basically fit like it did in the real world. A plastic rubber gasket and you're home free.

Joel
Hwa-Rang
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Posted: Sunday, August 16, 2020 - 05:50 PM UTC
Excellent work D.

Step 3, 5 and 7 have been noted in my little book of tricks
RussellE
#306
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Posted: Sunday, August 16, 2020 - 09:04 PM UTC
That's some nice shenanigans, D!
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Thursday, August 20, 2020 - 10:45 PM UTC
Some more body work accomplished. I managed to get the bottom edge of the Coupe hard top to line up and cement in place, but it's not an easy task or a neat fit, so I lightly filled and reinforced the join on the top and underside with my black sprue-goo. I lightly applied some more TET to this to smooth it over and get it to wick into the contour of the join, to try to replicate the 1:1 look. Once it's cured I will give it a fine sand then primer and see how it looks.



I also spent a few minutes cleaning up the joins on the nose assemblies.



Next report should see both bodies in primer. Grey for the Cabrio and Black for the Coupe.

Cheers, D