Elvis’ Lost BMW 507: A Special Exhibition at the BMW Museum

By Christian Stampfer on 25 July 2014
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MUNICH – The King may be dead but the King’s car is back. BMW unveiled the mythical BMW 507 that originally belonged to singer Elvis Presley at a ceremony at the BMW Museum in Munich.

Called “Elvis’ 507: lost & found,” the special exhibit opened on Wednesday. It will be open to the public for two weeks and will feature the King’s original BMW 507 in its unrestored condition.  Following the close of the exhibit, BMW Classic will undertake a complete renovation of the BMW 507.

BMW Classic executives estimated that it will take approximately two years until the 507 will shine again.  Karlheinz Lange, a former BMW chief engineer and well-known BMW 507 expert, said that the roadster was in “the worst condition in which I have ever seen a 507.”

The BMW 507 was used first in 1957 in BMW’s press fleet, and Hans Stuck, a race car driver of the 1950s, drove it at several mountain races, including the ADAC Schauinsland-Rennen, all of which he won.


The BMW 507’s unrestored interior

Before the car was delivered to Elvis Presley, who drove it as a GI while living in Germany, BMW replaced the engine, installing a slightly more sedate V8 engine with 150 horsepower. Elvis may have liked the engine of his BMW 507 but he was not happy about the white color. It is said that female fans left phone numbers and addresses on his car with red lipstick.

The King eventually solved this problem by having the BMW 507 repainted in red. The car was later sold to a buyer in the United States, sold again, and sat in a warehouse for decades.

The BMW 507 was first introduced at the Frankfurt Internationale Automobil Ausstellung (IAA) in 1955 and was in production from 1955 to 1959. Only 254 examples of the roadster were built. A total of 15 507s were exported to the United States.

When introduced, the car sold for 26,500 Deutschmarks, or roughly $450,000 in today’s dollars.  From a financial perspective, the 507 was considered to be a complete disaster for BMW, due to the high cost and low numbers sold.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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