Albrecht Graf von Goertz (1914 - 2006)

Designer of the BMW 507

In 1953, Goertz befriended Max Hoffman, BMW's US importer. Goertz learned through Hoffman that BMW was planning a new sports car. He got into the mix and won the bid to design the car, the spectacular BMW 507. While at BMW, Goertz also designed the 503.

Albrecht Graf von Goertz was born on January 12, 1914, the second son to an aristocratic family in Germany. Albrecht and his two siblings grew up on their parents' estate near Brunkensen (Lower Saxony), about 40 kilometers south of Hanover. At the age of five he discovered a passion for cars that would last all his life. Goertz began designing cars from his youth he still had some of these early sketches. After attending school, the young Count started an apprenticeship with the Deutsche Bank in Hamburg in 1933. Within one year, he switched jobs and went to the London-based private bank Helbert Wagg &Co. In 1935, Goertz applied to the American embassy at Grosvenor Square for an entry visa to the USA. In the autumn of 1936, he left Europe for New York City.

A distant relative in New York helped him when he first arrived, but soon the young Count relocated to Los Angeles. To earn a living, Goertz worked at a car wash, in a factory for aircraft engines, and at a flight service. The car aficionado watched with great interest the emerging Hot Rod era and grasped the opportunity in 1938. Goertz rented a garage and showroom located on Rodeo Drive and began to modify Ford Model A and B models.

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