The BMW 507 is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sports cars ever made, so it is hard to understand why industrial designers would dare to tamper with it in an attempt to improve its elegant figure. Even more difficult to understand is when the artist in question is not just anyone, but Raymond Loewy, friend and teacher of Albrecht Graf von Goertz, who was the original designer of the BMW 507.
Born in France, Loewy spent most of his professional career in the United States, from the early 1930s to the late 1950s, where he worked for, among others, Studebaker, Datsun, the Pennsylvania Railroad, and even participated in the design of Skylab, the first American space laboratory. He also did graphic design work for Lucky Strike, being responsible for the redesign of the logo and cigarette packs, after promising the company that he would double sales with his redesign. He also collaborated on the design of the BMW 503, so he was familiar with the design style at work at the Bavarian company.
But perhaps this sports coupé design on the basis of the BMW 507 was not one of the most successful of his career. Presented at the 1957 Paris Motor Show, its futuristic concept was built in Sens, southeast of Paris, by Pichon et Parat, a coachbuilder specialising in coachbuilding. After the presentation, and given its limited success, it did not attract the attention of BMW’s management, so there were no plans to put it into production at any point. Loewy brought it back to New York and used it as a private car for several years before donating it to the Museum of Natural History in 1962.