Modern Technology + Restoration        

Restoring a Missing Piece on a ’59 BMW

January 20, 2014

While New Product Development (NPD) is our specialty, we recently leveraged our capabilities and connections to reproduce a design that is over 50 years old.  When our neighbor (a prominent local real estate investor) approached us to help with restoration work on a historic car in his collection, we were happy to oblige. Beyond Design has also collaborated with this client on neighborhood enhancement projects in Ravenswood for the city of Chicago.

This 1959 BMW 507 has undergone a meticulous restoration, but one small yet prominent component was missing – the ashtray.  After acquiring a matching “loaner” ashtray from another car of the same year and model, we recreated the assembly in CAD for reproduction purposes.  


We went through a few in-house fit-test models on our 3D printer before releasing the CAD for the final model, which was machined and polished aluminum with a metallic painted base to match the car.


Our model shop did such a good job polishing the aluminum that we didn’t think chrome plating was necessary.  The reproduction part had a higher level of surface quality than the original.  Our team enjoys all types of design challenges, and in this case it involved examining a 54-year-old piece of craftsmanship and using modern technology to recreate it.


Up Down