To honor its 100th anniversary, BMW is celebrating in a big way at this year’s Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Pebble Beach Concours. Along with trailering seven vintage race cars to California for the Motorsports Reunion, BMW is honored at the big-wig concours with two judging classes, and a special display devoted entirely to the German automaker. To prepare one of the showpiece cars on the green, BMW’s in-house restoration arm rejuvenated Elvis Presley’s gorgeous 1958 BMW 507.
This was Presley’s stylish and exotic runabout while he was stationed in Germany during his military enlistment. But before a world-wide superstar slid behind the wheel, it was initially a competitive hillclimb car used by racing legend Hans Stuck, packing an upgraded engine and transmission. The 507 made its way to a Frankfurt dealer, where Presley purchased the roadster after a test drive.
Thanks to Presley’s world-wide celebrity status, his white drop-top was often subject to messages written in lipstick from adoring female fans, prompting Presley to repaint the car red. When his deployment came to an end, he promptly traded the car in at a New York Chrysler dealership, who went on to sell the car for a miserly $4,500.
The new buyer campaigned the car in the south, taking an impressive first place finish in Daytona, Florida. While racing, the owner fitted the 507 with a Chevy V-8 engine, removing the 3.2-liter V-8 engine.
After changing hands a few more times, BMW purchased the car in a sorry state of disrepair. Because the 507 was such a limited and rare model, a large number of replacement parts were created from scratch. The engine was sourced from spare parts, and machined to the factory specifications from when the 507 was brand new.
Now, Elvis Presley’s BMW 507 is factory fresh once again, and will make its official debut at this month’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.