This article has been in the news a few places in the last couple of days. It is about my all time favorite car and a musician who is fairly swell in his own rite. Elvis Presley, the ring of Rock and Roll once owned this beautiful BMW 507 Roadster, it is about to be restored by the BMW factory in Germany, I re posted the article here for your reading and viewing pleasure
BMW Classic, the automaker’s official restoration arm, is bringing the King’s 507 roadster back to showroom quality. The red roadster, one of just 254 built between 1955 and 1959, was actually Presley’s second 507, or by some accounts, the same car painted red after adoring women wrote their names and numbers all over the original white body in lipstick.
In either case, Presley was stationed in Germany in the late 1950s as a private in the U.S. Army, but aside from operating a tank and standing guard (where he was again mobbed by hundreds of German fans), the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was no ordinary GI. In between his many overseas girlfriends and ability to skirt Army rules as a celebrity, Presley bought one of the most expensive cars at that time (about $450,000 in today’s dollars). He spotted the 507 in a local dealer after the Porsche 550 Spyder, the other great sports car in which heartthrob actor James Dean famously died, wasn’t available.
For a $3,750 lease — for a used model raced by Hans Stuck — Elvis cruised around Germany in one of the most beautiful and rarest BMWs ever made until his Army tour was up in 1960. From there, the story gets murkier. The 507 was shipped to the U.S., except its original 150-horsepower V8 engine was swapped for a small-block Chevy somewhere in Alabama and was drag-raced. Later in 1968, an engineer named Jack Castor bought the car in Arizona and then let it sit in a warehouse for decades. Only recently has Castor shipped the car to BMW to let the experts restore Presley’s car.
Currently, the car is on display in its original condition at the factory BMW Museum through Aug. 10. Presley also bought a BMW Isetta — the funny microcar that had its single door up front — even before leaving for Germany. Discounting every other car Elvis bought in his lifetime, it was sure good to be the King with keys to a 507.
[Source: Road & Track via BMW Classic; Photos by BMW, Elvis Australia]