After years of sitting in a barn waiting for the last few strands of life to fade, Elvis Presley’s 1957 BMW 507 Roadster came back two years ago to the hands of its creator. And now, BMW Classic Group has finally finished its restoration thanks to BMW. The project took quite some time to finish due to the extent of work that had to be done on this precious memorabilia but finally, we will get a glimpse of it on the 21st of August at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Just in time for the German automaker’s centennial celebration, Elvis Presley’s 1957 BMW 507 Roadster will return alongside other vintage BMWs.
The said car is a limited edition model and is one of the 254 units that were produced by BMW in 1956. Most of these cars were sold to royalties and celebrities, one of them the King of Rock n’ Roll. Elvis Presley bought the car when he was serving the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany. He first saw it rolling in the race track, driven by Hans Stuck. The same model was also displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show and was used as a press car. Elvis bought the second-hand car for $3,750 in December of 1958, already fitted with a new engine. The car was originally white in color but because female fans kept writing their phone numbers on its body using red lipstick, Elvis decided to repaint it in a Porsche Red color.
How Elvis’ 507 Roadster ended up abandoned in an old barn is a mystery yet to be solved. Some believe that the car was shipped by the army to the United States when Elvis completed his service. After that it had been passed on from one owner to another until it was found spending the rest of its life in a warehouse in California until it was found by Jackie Jouret of Bimmer magazine in 1968. The car was then displayed at the BMW Museum in Munich in 2014 and was then subjected to restoration.
The car was clearly not at its best when BMW took it under its wings. Its original BMW V8 engine had been replaced by a Chevrolet V8, its right transmission was missing and its interior was a mess. Luckily, BMW found an original 3.2-liter V8 that fit perfectly on the Elvis Presley 507 roadster but it had to build a brand new right transmission in the process. It was also given a brand new dashboard, restored seats and to keep everything authentic, they found its right differential and installed it with a suitable rear axle. Moreover, the car was given original drum brakes instead of the disc ones. Finally, the car was stripped off of its eight paint jobs and was restored back to its white paint.
We can say now that the car has been restored to its former glory. Although it may not look like the same 507 that Elvis Presley used to drive around town, it is a refreshing sight to see for a memorabilia to be brought back to life for future generations to marvel upon.