Rock'n'Roll to the bone: witness the restoration of Elvis' favourite BMW vehicle!
BMW Group Classic proudly presents the completely restored and refreshed roadster of the King of Rock'n'Roll, Elvis!
As any vehicle enthusiast would tell you, this is one of the most spectacular classic-car discoveries of recent years. The BMW 507, personally driven by Elvis Presley has somehow vanished for almost 50 years and until recently it was believed that it was lost forever. Luckily, the automobile was discovered and BMW Group Classic team decided to have a look here and there. And the result? Well, everyone can have a look at the unique car on 21 August this year at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. And trust us, there is much to be seen!
Turning a myth into reality
At the time of discovery, the 507 suffered from severe wounds. And although all original body parts and components were present and untouched, the roadster had lost its power unit and transmission system. Being far from elegant and shiny, the forgotten vehicle was first seen with rust-eaten floor assembly, worn and broken seats, some strange "replacement parts" of unknown origin and missing instrument panel. But the oldie-goldie was dealing with BMW engineers and they did not disappoint. The roadster was delivered back to Munich under the slogan of "Return to Sender". Along with the BMW team, some more in-house experts and external specialists joined forces to carry out the long-forgotten mythical beauty of the BMW 507.
The history of Elvis and 507
Elvis Presley had mainly used the BMW 507 to drive between his home in Bad Nauheim and the US Army Base in Friedberg. Of course, there were numerous female fans that had the unique chance to take a ride with the King and as we would expect from a rock star, the paintjob was frequently daubed with messages of love. Cool.
In March 1960, Elvis ended his military service in Germany and as it seems, he must have had enough of driving open-top cars. He traded the red roadster with a Chrysler vehicle. The new owner sold the car for incredibly low price to a radio moderator named Tommy Charles. So, Mr. Charles changed the power unit with a Chevy one in order to participate in the local street races. The problem was that the new power unit was too big for vehicle's capacities and Tommy was forced to remove or change some of the original components with modified ones. Eventually, he had had some wins and fails and in later years was forced to sell the roadster in 1963.
There were two more ownership changes and at the end the vehicle was owned by Jack Castor, a space engineer. What he did is to undergo a careful restoration and even contacted some other engineers and vehicle enthusiasts. And guess what? Things started to happen! Eventually BMW Group Classic contacted Castor and told him the link between the vehicle and Elvis. And some time later BMW team succeeded in persuading Jack Castor to sell the vehicle for more improvements and restoration.
And we already know the rest: in 2014 the BMW 507 was shipped to Germany along with numerous parts, collected by Castor, where it undergo some incredible restoration process. Of course, the engineering team managed to gear the 507 with original parts and they even kept large number of original components.
So, take a close look at the beauty and remember a single thing: this machine was restored in a way that would amaze even the King of Rock'n'Roll!