August 16 marks the 37th anniversary of the all-too-soon demise of “the King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis Presley. Automotively speaking, Elvis is perhaps best known for his affinity for Cadillacs (or his disdain for the De Tomaso Pantera, which ended up on the business end on a few royal bullets), but he also had a soft spot for BMWs. BMW has announced that it will be restoring one of their cars—the extremely rare 1957 BMW 507 roadster—which was once owned (but never shot full of bullet holes) by The King.
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Elvis leased the BMW 507 while in Frankfurt, Germany back in 1958. The model that came into Elvis’ possession had been a part of the BMW media fleet and had already benefitted from a new transmission and windshield and a totally rebuilt engine.
The most quintessentially-Elvis thing about the 507? It was originally white, but Elvis had it painted red in order to deter women from writing their phone numbers and addresses on its sides in lipstick.
Gallery: Elvis’ BMW 507 (Photos: Auto Motor und Sport, BMW)
Elvis’ BMW 507 has a long history: it was left in Germany after Elvis returned from the Army in 1960, but it was shipped back to the States sometime thereafter. In 1962, Tommy Charles bought the 507 at a Chrysler dealership in New York, though the circumstances that brought it there are not entirely known.
The 507 next appeared in Arizona in 1968, where Jack Castor bought it and mothballed it for the better part of 45 years before he opted to send it to BMW headquarters in Munich.
Elvis’ BMW 507 is currently being displayed at the BMW Museum in an exhibit called “Lost & Found.” On August 10, it will begin the process of restoration at the hands of BMW Classic, who will…and please forgive us for this…love it tender.
Ulrich Knieps, Director of BMW Group Classic, said that completing a normal restoration project is achievement in itself, but that the BMW 507 project’s ties to the King make it all the more special.
Source: Translated from Auto Motor und Sport