The BMW 507 Elvis Presley has been restored, and this is its turbulent history

Elvis Presley was already the king of rock and roll in the late 50’s, but could not be rid of the military service, like so many other young americans. Elvis could not avoid to be destined for West Germany to his military service, but his fame and good economic resources made their experience somewhat more bearable. Among other privileges, he took the excellent decision of to acquire a BMW 507 as a car journal. The history of this myth of the car is long and turbulent, and has only recently been recovered and restored.

Only 254 units of the BMW 507 were built. Today is one of the classic most valuable German brand.

it All began in December of 1958. A BMW dealership in Frankfurt, he presented to Elvis Presley a BMW 507 white, with chassis number 70079 and enrollment M–JX 800. The car had been manufactured in September of 1957, and exhibited at the Frankfurt show that year. After a few days under the spotlights, became a car of the press of the brand, tested and documented by several journalists. Hans Stuck took the car tourné for Europe, and between 1957 and 1958 he was the star of multiple car shows.

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Even came to win a beauty prize car in Wiesbaden, and appeared in a German movie called “Hula-Hopp Conny” as extra than four wheels. Stuck was known for his impressive skills behind the wheel, especially in competitions for promotion, in which he was a specialist. In 1958, she competed with the BMW 507 in a number of promotions in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. The car was meticulously maintained by BMW, and after each run it was revised and developed to ensure their proper functioning.

Legions of fans left messages – written in lipstick – on his body white.

had Even received a new gearbox, installed from the same dealer that it was purchased, after his journey in the competition. Two months later, a so-Elvis Presley dropped by the concession. They say that he was so impressed after test driving that bought it on the spot. Elvis used the car to drive from your house in Bad Neuheim to the military base of Freidberg. Fans of the singer used to leave messages of love written with lipstick on the body of the car, as well as brands of lipsticks.

bmw-507-elvis-presley-26Elvis was ashamed of such messages, so that he ordered to paint the car red. In march 1960, Presley left Germany, and exported the car to the united States. Soon lost interest in his BMW, and sold it to a dealer for Chrysler in New York, who in turn sold it to the radio announcer, Tommy Charles for $ 4,500 of the time. Charles was passionate about the competition, and for this reason, decided to radically alter the mechanics and interior of the BMW, unfortunately for the purists and historians of BMW.

Jack Beaver wanted to restore the BMW 507, but had no time, and it was very difficult to get your engine.

Sold the engine and gearbox, replacing the refined 3.2 V8 German by a rough block Chevrolet of eight cylinders. He also changed the instrumentation or the seats. For three years, used to compete all over the united States, defeating some races in Daytona. In 1963 he sold, and after changing hands two more times, ended up in the possession of the engineer space Jack Beaver. This avid collector purchased the car without engine and gearbox, but I knew that one, wrinkled and abused 507 had a lot of history.

bmw-507-elvis-presley-3Soon became a collection of documents and discovered that they had been used by Hans Stuck. It was not until I read an article of the journalist Jackie Jouret when tied up loose ends, finding out the full story of the former BMW 507 so special. However, the car spent decades stored in a barn, sharing the space with other classics and pumpkins from the farm to the engineer. It was in 2014 when BMW got the 507, recomprándolo to Jack Beaver for a price possibly negligible, but unknown, by the way.

The restoration

Several parts had to be printed in 3D before the impossibility of being produced again.

The car travelled to Germany by the container, and after his arrival he was subjected to a thorough restoration, during no less than two years. The installation of the V8 source Chevrolet had been the transformation more painful, forcing Tommy Charles to cut off part of his chassis. He split his aluminum body of its steel chassis, removed the red paint all your panels, and the remains of his cabin were restored, removing the oxide form practically artisanal. Thousands of man-hours were invested.

bmw-507-elvis-presley-1however, many of the parts had to be manufactured again, since not even BMW Group Classic had spares of all the parts required. For their production used molds original, they worked with their original providers, and even resorted to 3D printing – especially on items such as handles and drawer pulls, details of the interior. The engine was rebuilt at base of spare parts, without its serial number drilled in the block, respecting the – slight – possibility of recovering the original block.

The car was repainted in color Feather White, following painting processes respectful of the art of the years 50 of the past century. Was the desire of Jack Beaver to see the car as it was delivered to the king of rock and roll in 1958, but unfortunately, the engineer in space died in 1958. Without him, BMW would never have discovered the whereabouts of this beautiful 507. The car has been one of the stars of Pebble Beach this year – the contest of elegance in the automotive industries most famous on the planet.

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Source: BMW