My Car Quest

December 10, 2019

Two Classic Convertibles At Auction – Why The Big Price Difference?

by Mike –

A 1958 BMW 507 Series II Roadster and a 1970 Maserati Ghibli Spyder are both to be auctioned by RM in Amelia Island in March 2014. I can’t help but wonder why there is about a five-times difference in their values?

Some of the difference may be due to the conditions of these two examples but there is more to it than that. There is a huge value difference between these two models and the reasons are not obvious.

The Hagerty Price Guide supports a large value difference between these two models as well.

1958 BMW 507 Series II Roadster

Estimate: $1,400,000 – $1,800,000

BMW 507

RM says,

145 bhp, 3,168 cc all-alloy overhead-valve V-8 engine with dual carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with dual A-arms and torsion bars, live rear axle with torsion bars, and hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 97.6 in.

Offered from the Pray Collection
Two owners from new; single ownership since 1972
Offered with original engine, number 40167, verified by BMW Classic
Factory Rudge wheels, a Becker Mexico radio, and a factory hardtop
Impeccable purity and provenance
Number made: 251

1970 Maserati Ghibli Spyder

Estimate: $250,000 – $350,000

Maserati Ghibli Spyder

RM says,

330 bhp, 4.7-liter double overhead-camshaft V-8 engine, five-speed manual transmission, independent coil-spring front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 100.4 in.

Offered from the Pray Collection
One of only 125 Ghibli Spyders built
Extensive service and restoration records
An iconic automobile

Look at the numbers below – the Maserati has the BMW beat in nearly every category. The Maserati would beat the BMW in a drag race and it should beat it in a road race too.

BMW and Maserati comparison

Clearly there is a difference in the styling reflecting the design preferences between 1958 and 1970. The Maserati is much more rare with about half the number made as the BMW.

So what is it? Why is the BMW worth five-times more than the Maserati?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Sure they are both convertibles but IMO these cars are not in the same class. The BMW 507 has always been an Iconic symbol of the Bavarian manufacturer, it comes from a different era, more similar to a Mercedes 300 SL roadster or a Maserati 3500 spyder.

    The Maserati Ghibli is in the same class as say a Ferrari Daytona or Iso Grifo Targa and in this case when compared to it rivals it lacks a modern suspension having a solid rear end.

  2. Just one reason – the 507 is an extremely erotic car.
    From a design perspective it is worlds apart from the Ghibli.
    My father owned a series I 507 but unfortunately sold it before the prices skyrocketed.

  3. Mike Miles says

    At age 58, I too find the 507 more iconic and a stronger connection to halcyon days (movie: Midnight in Paris). Maybe that’s why I play with Morgans.

    I’ve always lusted after Ghibli coupes (the Spider doesn’t evoke quite the same feelings) but there is something deeper in the beguiling curves of the 507. Not lust as much, more passion.

    I finally saw one up close a couple of years ago and was astounded at how large a car it really is. The proportions are just so well done.

  4. It’s such a beautiful iconic timeless classic car, BMW at its best. Inspired by Max Hoffman, the Austrian-born European car importer into the US in the 50s, who also ordered from European factories other such beauties as the Mercedes-Benz 300SL, the Giulietta Spider, even the Porsche 356 “Speedster”. But really, the waistline of the BMW 507 is mind boggling. That car is beautiful from any angle. The balance as Mike says, the eroticism (that a word?) as Derk points out, is just breathtaking. I mean no disrespect to the Ghibli Spyder which, as Mike says is from a later era. Finally host Mike (what is it with Mikes and classic cars?), thanks for pointing this out because methinks indeed that the relative value there is quite potent. That Ghibli Spyder is still affordable (so to speak) and a stunning beauty in its own right, not to mention as you say, rare, and won’t probably hang around those price levels for very long.

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