Growing its iconic status in the industry, as a limited car model produced only from 1956 to 1959 with a total of just 252 units manufactured, the BMW 507 is an extremely rare vehicle that car enthusiasts all over the world desire to add to their collections. Making it even more elusive, this particular BMW 507 was previously owned by the late superstar, Elvis Presley, also known as “The King” or “The King of Rock & Rolls”.
Purchased from a used car dealer in December 1958, this BMW 507 has a unique origin story as it accompanied Elvis Presley throughout his military service in the US. The vehicle’s chassis number, 70079, was carefully recorded at the time.
Initially, Elvis Presley found the white color of his car troublesome, as it required frequent cleaning to remove lipstick marks and love messages from his female fans. Due to this inconvenience, he decided to have the BMW 507 repainted in red.
After completing his service in the military in March 1960, Elvis Presley sold his BMW 507 to a Chevrolet dealer. The vehicle, with its chassis number 70079, was sold for a mere $4,500 to Tommy Charles, the owner of a local radio station. Tommy Charles attempted to fit a Chevrolet engine into the BMW 507. Consequently, the framework of the BMW 507 had to be modified and certain interior details, such as the gearbox and rear axle, had to be replaced. Afterward, Tommy Charles won a race in Daytona Beach with this modified BMW 507 and sold it in 1963.
Subsequently, the BMW 507 with the chassis number 70079 passed through two more female owners before being stored in the warehouse of engineer Jack Castor, who had no knowledge of its true history at the time. Around 2011, he discovered that his BMW 507 with the chassis number 70079 was previously owned by Elvis Presley, thanks to an article he read in Bimmer magazine. Soon after, BMW contacted Jack Castor for negotiations to repurchase the car and restore it according to his wishes.
In early 2014, Elvis Presley’s BMW 507 was brought to Germany and presented in a special exhibition called “Elvis’ BMW 507 – Lost and Found” at the BMW Museum. Later, the car was transported to the BMW factory for a complete restoration, including the external paintwork returning to its original white color, interior updates, and the installation of an equivalent original engine under the hood.
The restoration process posed a significant challenge for the BMW engineers, as many original parts were no longer available and had to be repaired or replaced using modern technology. Advanced 3D printing played a key role in restoring lost or damaged details of the vehicle. However, the most difficult task was finding a replacement V8 engine with a 3.2-liter capacity specific to the BMW 507. This proved to be a challenge due to the limited production of just 252 units and the passing of almost 60 years. Consequently, the BMW engineers had to source and assemble separate engine parts to restore the V8 engine to its original specifications.
As a result, the BMW 507, belonging to the legendary Elvis Presley, was successfully restored to its original appearance from 1958. The exterior of the car was repainted in a lustrous white, and all damaged components were repaired or replaced to restore the car’s luxurious and glamorous features. The interior space showcases a sporty yet elegant design, combining bright white elements with chrome details. The BMW engineers fulfilled Jack Castor’s dream by accurately recreating the BMW 507’s initial charm. Unfortunately, Jack Castor did not live to witness the incredible results, as he passed away in November 2014.
The BMW 507, embodying the legacy of Elvis Presley, was recently showcased at Pebble Beach on August 18, 2016, to celebrate the brand’s value, pay homage to the Rock & Roll legend Elvis Presley, and exhibit the priceless heritage of Jack Castor.