BMW Restoring Classic 507 Convertible Owned by Elvis
Elvis Presley was a man known for his taste in American cars, including pink Cadillacs, as well as foreign luxury rides like Rolls Royce and Mercedes-Benz. Lesser known was his ownership of a 1957 BMW 507 convertible, now in the midst of being restored by the German automaker. The legendary crooner leased the car when stationed in Germany after being drafted, according to RanWhenParked.net – and was probably the only GI able to afford the model, which in 2014 figures would cost $457,000. The site says, "Elvis first saw the 507 at the Montlhéry track located south of Paris, France, in 1958 and leased the car in Frankfurt for $3,750 in December of that year."
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In another demonstration that Presley was no ordinary soldier, he had the white car painted Porsche red. He was tired of his female fans leaving their phone numbers in lipstick on the car.
When Elvis shipped out of the Army in 1960, he didn't take the BMW with him (probably because it came off-lease). A New Yorker bought it in 1962 and then the car was sold again in 1968 in Arizona. It then basically sat in a California warehouse for the next 46 years until it was shipped to Germany for restoration.
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According to Hagerty, insurer of classic cars, only 252 were built from 1956 to 1960. It was inspired by American car importer Max Hoffman and designed by Albrecht Goertz, who also created the BMW 503. He later worked at Porsche where he had a hand in designing the 911; Toyota where he helped design the iconic 2000GT; and, just for good measure, Nissan, where he played a role in the Datsun 240Z.
Power for the 507 came from a 3.2-liter, aluminum alloy V8, according to Hagerty. The overhead valve, pushrod unit breathed through a pair of Solex carbs, produced 155 horsepower, and was mated to a ZF four-speed manual transmission. Top speed was rated at just over 120 mph. The 507 tipped the scales at 2,900 pounds, so its svelte looks belied its heft.
All photos via Auto Motor und Sport.