Why Elvis Presley’s BMW 507 is now white

Menus

Why Elvis ’BMW suddenly looks completely different

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-presley

1 of 18

Most probably associate Elvis Presley with a pink Cadillac. However, when the American was stationed as a GI in Germany at the end of the 1950s, developed he had a preference for the BMW 507 and eventually bought one too.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-become part Group Classic Collection

2 of 18

According to legend, he had the originally white roadster repainted red because his female fans kept leaving messages of love with lipstick on the car.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-white

3 of 18

When the car was discovered in a pumpkin barn near San Francisco in 2014, it was in dire condition: rusty, dusty and with a tattered interior.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-become part Group Classic Collection

4 of 18

Despite its condition, the BMW was a sensation. After the roadster had been shown for a few weeks as part of a special exhibition, it became the experts at BMW Group Classic, which should restore the car to its original condition.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-elvis

5 of 18

During the inventory, however, the roadster was first checked for the originality of the vehicle and the individual parts. The experts quickly came to the conclusion “Edelschrott ”, because much of this car was no longer original. That it was without a doubt Elvis ’BMW could, however, be ensured by means of the chassis number. The vehicle was completely dismantled in order to prepare the individual original vehicle parts professionally and properly.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-become part Group Classic Collection

6 of 18

Interesting things also came to light during the paint inspection: Experts from BASF found not only that the car had been repainted from white to red in Elvis‘ time, but also ...

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-become part Group Classic Collection

7 of 18

… that the paint on the BMW consisted of a total of eight layers. So the roadster was black once in a while.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-’BMW suddenly looks completely different

8 of 18

After the vehicle had been dismantled, the 507 had to be stripped to create a basis for later repainting.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-elvis

9 of 18

The original seats of the BMW 507 were completely worn out and could not be reconditioned. For this reason, the restaurateurs decided to completely remove the seats rebuild; however, they should look as true to the original as possible.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-presley

10 of 18

The original steel frame was used for the base of the seats, but first it had to be derusted and painted. The experts installed on the steel substructureleft the steel springs on and stretched a rubber coconut mat over it.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-barn find neither engine transmission

11 of 18

Because BMW had agreed with the last owner of the car, the American Jack Castor, that the roadster should be returned to its original condition during the restoration, it was clear that it should be painted white again, as it was when it was presented at the IAA in 1957.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-elvis

12 of 18

After analyzing the old “Federweib” paint, the color was remixed. The usual principles were followed for the subsequent application of paint: first a solid primer as Base. Then a filler to even out unevenness, an important prerequisite for the later effect of the paint.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-become part Group Classic Collection

13 of 18

Since the engine was missing from the garage found, the experts had to look for an original 3.2-liter V8 engine for the BMW 507.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-white

14 of 18

The one they eventually found was completely restored and installed. Just like the gearbox.

Source: BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-white

15 of 18

After two intensive years, the BMW 507 is now back in its original condition.

Source: BMW Classic

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-’BMW suddenly looks completely different

16 of 18

On August 21, the Roadster will be presented to the public for the first time at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, along with a few other blue and white gems as part of a “100 YesYour BMW “special show.

Source: BMW Classic

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-presley

17 of 18

Afterwards, the roadster will tour the USA for a while, and finally …

Source: BMW Classic

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-become part Group Classic Collection

18 of 18

… To become part of the BMW Group Classic Collection.

Source: BMW Classic

Two years after its discovery in a dusty warehouse, BMW Classic has completely restored Elvis Presley‘s BMW 507. And changed a very decisive detail in the process.

A.rocked. The 2014 Roadster was shown in the exhibition “BMW 507 – Lost and found”. With tattered seats, peeling red paint and a rust-eaten body. The auto journalist Jackie Jouret had recently tracked down the BMW 507 in a warehouse for pumpkins in Half Moon Bay near San Francisco.

The BMW would have been a rarity even without its history. But with the history, the garage find was a small sensation. Because it belonged to Elvis Presley.

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-elvis

Yeah The King of Rock’n’Roll gets into a BMW 507

Source: BMW

Two years later, the roadster looks exactly like it was delivered to the "King of Rock ‘n’ Roll" on December 20, 1958 by the Frankfurt dealership Wirth. As one of only 251 copies built, which the designer Albrecht Graf Goertz provided with immortal beautiful lines and propelled by a 150 hp BMW 3.2 liter V8 engine in keeping with their standing.

And yet one detail should irritate Elvis fans: the restored car is painted white, more precisely feather white, and not red. The reason: The car should be put back in its original condition and not in the condition as it looked in Elvis‘ time.

During his military service in Germany, the rock star had the car repainted in red. Allegedly because female fans with lipstick repeatedly left hidden love messages on the outer skin of the parked BMW.

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-become part Group Classic Collection

The BMW 507, which once belonged to Elvis Presley, was restored for two years and returned to its original condition

Source: BMW Classic

After his time in the Army ended in March 1960, the rock star took the car home with him, but sold the BMW to a Chrysler dealer in New York that same month. There, radio commentator Tommy Charles bought the model for US $ 4,500 – and equipped it for racing with a fat Chevy V8.

The beginning of some crude renovation work, which 54 years later would bring the BMW restorers a few sleepless hours. In 1968 the 507 then passed to its last owner, Jack Castor. He drove the roadster around Frisco for a while before storing it. In between there must have been eventful years, at times the badly knitted boulder even seems to have served as a hot rod.

The barn find had neither an engine nor a transmission

The inventory by the BMW restorers under the direction of Klaus Kutscher was initially sobering: the barn find had neither an engine nor a gearbox, the rear axle came from a US vehicle of unknown origin, and the dashboard was so alienated that it had to be completely re-cast.

Rust also nested in all the cracks in the substructure and around the body. “We were shocked at the miserable state the 507 was in. Especially when you consider how expensive the 507 used to be and which previous owners the car already had, ”says Kutscher, who bluntly referred to the car as“ precious scrap ”.

After the car with the chassis number 70079 first shone on the BMW IAA stand in 1957, it became the property of the legendary mountain king, Hans Stuck. In 1958 he drove a number of hill climbs with it, including on Rossfeld near Berchtesgaden.

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-white

Since the original dashboard was missing, one was refilled. The interior was made in two-tone leather according to old photos in the original specification

Source: BMW Classic

The 507 won first place in a beauty contest in Wiesbaden. The roadster then went to the Frankfurt dealership Wirth as a used car, as Stuck had meanwhile acquired a second 507; it had the serial number 70192. For a long time this had been considered the actual Elvis car, as such it was even auctioned once at Barrett-Jackson.

But Jackie Jouret soon found out that Stuck senior had competed in races with this model for the entire 1959 season; so it couldn’t be the Elvis model at all. The final certainty was when she visited Castor, when the chassis number stamped in the engine compartment clarified her identity once and for all.

The car was even black once

"The deal with Jack Castor, who has now unfortunately passed away, was that we would only get the car if we were to rebuild it absolutely true to the original," says BMW Group Classic spokesman Benjamin Voss. "Because Castor was also a big fan of Hans Stuck – the Elvis connection played less of a role for him!"

In view of this briefing, there is no need to ask why the restored BMW is no longer painted red. Especially since a color spectrum analysis commissioned from BASF had shown that Elvis ’Roadster had been repainted no less than eight times. In the meantime even once in black, then again in red at the end.

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-’BMW suddenly looks completely different

Since the BMW no longer had an engine, a V8 engine with specifications for the BMW 507 was rebuilt

Source: BMW Classic

The question of the right color was the restorers’ smallest problem. It already started with the front subframe and the transmission tunnel: “The front frame support was partially removed or cut out because of the installation of the Chevy V8,” says Voss. "At the same time, the transmission tunnel was flexed out."

After the carrier and the cardan shaft tunnel had been modified accordingly, the historically correct BMW V8 including the ZF four-speed gearbox flanged to it could be "married" to the body.

These adorable athletes were a curse for BMW

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-elvis

1 of 8

European premiere: the BMW 507, here with a hardtop, at the IAA in 1955. Even earlier than in Germany, the audience at the world premiere in the New York hotel “Waldorf Astoria “take a look at the elegant two-seater. After all, the car should primarily find its buyers in the USA. It had drawn …

Source: sp-x

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-’BMW suddenly looks completely different

2 of 8

… the designer Albrecht Graf Goertz, who gained a formidable reputation with this stroke of genius. The roadster was advertised…

Source: sp-x

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-elvis

3 of 8

… from the manufacturer as a companion for the jet set. That was a problem, because the car drove past the automotive needs of post-war Germany. Together with the 2nd+2-seater 503, the pretty roadster stood for a failed model policy that almost brought the brand to ruin. The 507 also flopped in the USA, the planned core market, even though it had a V8. But the roadster couldn’t do anything against the cheaper competition a la Chevrolet. Incidentally, the 503 came from …

Source: sp-x

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-presley

4 of 8

… also from the pen of Graf Goertz. The vehicle was available as a convertible and a coupe. And it was also very expensive – too expensive to be a commercial successn. That didn’t help either …

Source: sp-x

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-presley

5 of 8

… the celebrities stood on the models. For example, actress Sonja Ziemann (pictured) drove the distinguished 503, but Count Faber-Castell also liked to get in. The 507 bThere were also sonorous names: Alain Delon, Ursula Andress and …

Source: sp-x

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-presley

6 of 8

Elvis Presley, this is a photo from 1958. The King of Rock’n’Roll bought his roadster while he was working as a GI in Hessen. Later he should paint it in redhave ied. Recently it was …

Source: sp-x

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-presley

7 of 8

… BMW tracked down the car in the meanwhile deplorable condition and shipped it to Germany. Unrestored it was on display for a while in the BMW Museum in Munich, thetime it is laboriously repaired. Well-refurbished copies of the 507 can fetch two to three million euros at auctions. Is cheaper …

Source: sp-x

Why Elvis Presley's BMW 507 is now white-white

8 of 8

… its modern successor, the BMW Z8. Used vehicles are currently priced at around 200,000 euros.

Source: sp-x

The engine, which is also installed in a very similar way in the large 502 sedan, shines with renewed and newly sealed cylinder liners, completely overhauled cylinder heads, newly milled valve seats, newly mounted crankshaft drive, optimized oil supply and, to top it off, with ceramic-coated manifolds.

Since authenticity was given top priority at Castor’s request, the ex-Elvis-507 had to be content with drum brakes all round. Modern disc brakes were used later in the 507, but were not yet an issue in 1957, the year the car was born.

The hopelessly worn seats required the highest level of craftsmanship and improvisation. Only the original steel frame could still be used as a basis, but only after thorough derusting and painting.

First appearance at Pebble Beach

The steel springs were then attached to the lower frame and covered with a rubber coconut mat, a material common at the time. After the saddlers had covered the mat with a felt cover and, in the penultimate step, a white linen cloth, the two-tone leather cover followed. The basis for this work were old photos with the original grain.

BMW wants to present the restored Elvis BMW to the public for the first time on August 21 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, together with some other blue and white gems as part of a “100 Years of BMW” special show. After that, the roadster with its eventful history will go on tour in the States for a while before it will then become part of the BMW Group Classic Collection.

Related articles

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment