In 1958, a US soldier stationed in Germany decided to buy himself a white BMW 507, one of only 254 ever made by the manufacturer. No ordinary soldier could have afforded this rare beauty, so who was this guy? None other than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, Elvis Presley.
Bought second-hand by Presley, this BMW 507 was an ex-demo that had been raced by Hans Stuck before it was sold to the American in December 1958. Over the course of the car’s life, it underwent various modifications, some more questionable than others.
When in Elvis’ possession, the car was resprayed bright red. Rumour has it he had it resprayed after getting fed up with adoring fans leaving notes on his car in red lipstick.
After Presley sold the car to a Chrysler dealership in New York, it passed into the hands of Tommy Charles. Charles decided to race the car and had a lot of success doing so. All wasn’t well, though, as he removed the 3.2-litre V8 engine and replaced it with a Chevrolet unit. This meant he had to make alterations to the gearbox, rear axle and the front frame. It was all just one big stupid idea, really.
A few owners later, the 507 ended up in the hands of Jack Castor, a space engineer from Alabama. Castor was completely intent on restoring the car but never got round to doing it. Instead, it just sat in a warehouse picking up dust. That was until 2014 when a journalist discovered that he had the car and put him in touch with BMW’s classic department. He invited them to come and look at the car and the rest is history. They bought it off him immediately and got straight to work.
BMW Group Classic got going by completely stripping the car and starting from scratch. They used a mixture of new and old techniques to rebuild the car. Parts like the door handles and window winders were 3D printed. On the other hand, the car was resprayed back to its original ‘Feather White’ using period methods to give it a classic look.
It was only right for the BMW 507 to be refitted with a 3.2-litre V8 engine like it was always supposed to have. They rebuilt it using spare parts. Even their own stock of 507 parts was limited so certain instruments and upholstery had to be specially crafted. The end result is as close to the original as they could possibly have got and it is absolutely astonishing.
This very special BMW 507 will be on display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 18 but unfortunately, the car is not for sale. Sad times. Well, sad for the people that could afford to spend upwards of $2.5 million on buying it. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below…