Elvis’ BMW 507 lives on: Comeback during a Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach.

Posted on 05. Aug, 2016 by in BMW Canada

Munich. The festive quip is now following one
of a many fantastic classic-car discoveries of new times. The
BMW 507 was driven by US musician Elvis Presley, famous already at
that time as a “King of Rock’n’Roll”, while he was doing his
troops use in Germany. After that it left for scarcely 50
years and was believed to have been mislaid before returning to the
limelight. After roughly dual years of harsh replacement work, BMW
Group Classic is presenting a roadster for a initial time in a
open arena. Restored to a strange condition, it will be exhibited
on 21 Aug 2016 during a Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach,
California. The BMW 507 with framework array 70079 will be on viewpoint for
visitors to a renouned classical vehicle uncover accurately as it was when
infantryman Elvis Presley took smoothness of a vehicle on 20 Dec 1958:
with paintwork finished in Feather White, a 150 hp V8 aluminium
engine underneath a bonnet, centre-lock rims, black-and-white interior
and a Becker Mexico radio.

“The event to pierce behind a BMW 507 owned by a King of
Rock’n’Roll to us here in Munich for functions of replacement in
suitability with a wishes of a prior owner, Jack Castor, was a
dream come loyal for all those involved,” commented Ulrich Knieps, Head
of BMW Group Classic. “This was an unusually fascinating project.
The outcome is not simply a source of good honour to us. Jack would
positively have been gay by a outcome.” In a summer of
2014, a muster of a unrestored find during a BMW Museum
generated a good understanding of fad among classical vehicle enthusiasts,
though it also threw adult questions: Was this unequivocally once Elvis’ BMW 507?
And will it even be probable to renovate this roadster behind into a
valuables of a 1950s?

From “Return to Sender” into “It’s Now or Never”.

The condition of a two-seater unequivocally was a means for concern.
Although a strange physique tools and other components were virtually
all benefaction and intact, a roadster had mislaid a engine and gearbox.
The behind spindle was a “replacement part” of different origin, decay was
eating divided a building assembly, a seats were ragged and there was no
instrument panel. However, a mindfulness of a singular and beguilingly
pleasing vehicle outweighed all a inadequacies and deficiencies,
protracted by a memory of Elvis Presley and his biggest hits. While
a roadster came behind to Munich underneath a aphorism of “Return to
Sender”, a resolution was positively “It’s Now or Never”. A project
managed by BMW Group Classic succeeded in restoring a automobile.
In-house experts and outmost specialists assimilated army to lift out
a work and a outcome tangible new benchmarks for a replacement of
a BMW 507.

Looking behind on a process, a story of Elvis’ BMW 507 and its
replacement is pristine Rock’n’Roll: as enthralling as a overhanging hips
of a “King”, appetite sapping, an romantic roller-coaster, and full
of startling twists and turns. This is not simply a story about the
immature GI Elvis Presley. It is also about a gifted “hillclimb
champion” Hans Stuck, kissable lips daubed on white paint, a retired
space operative and a room for pumpkins, a Chevy engine that was
many too big, rubberised coconut mats and doorway handles printed in a 3D
process. And a story already began 3 years before a “King”
started troops use with a US Army stationed in Hesse, Southern Germany.

Myth among rarities: The BMW 507 of a “King”.

The BMW 507 has always been one of a many disdainful and
sought-after rarities in a indication story of a code with usually 254
automobiles being constructed between 1955 and 1959. Right after its
universe premiere during a Frankfurt International Motor Show in 1955, the
two-seater penned by operative Albrecht Graf Goertz was hailed in the
press as a “Dream from a Isar”. Celebrity owners like Alain Delon,
Ursula Andress and John Surtees contributed to a picture of the
roadster as a standing symbol. However, no other vehicle of this
indication is hidden in mythology like a BMW 507 once owned by Elvis
Presley. This sole roadster was believed to have been mislaid for
roughly 5 decades. In fact, there was not even certainty about the
framework array of a vehicle driven by a “King”. There were also doubts
about either Elvis Presley had ever ecstatic a vehicle behind to the
USA after he finished his troops use in Germany, and nobody knew
anything about a successive tenure of a car.

All these puzzles have now been solved interjection to a experts during the
BMW Group Classic Archives and American publisher Jackie Jouret, who
works for “Bimmer” repository in California. In 2006, she was already
poison by contemporary reports for Elvis’ BMW 507 and relevant
novel going into a story of this model. During a march of
her work, she unclosed an essential detail. Various sources
highlighted a fact that a BMW 507 delivered to Elvis Presley in
Germany was not a code new vehicle though had formerly been used by
racing motorist Hans Stuck. Between May and Aug 1958, a racing
motorist famous as a “Hillclimb Champion” won a array of hillclimbs in
Germany, Austria and Switzerland – in a white BMW 507 with chassis
array 70079 and registration image M–JX 800. It is also a famous fact
accurate by photographs that this roadster rolled off a assembly
line on 13 Sep 1957. A few days later, it was exhibited during the
Frankfurt International Motor Show and regularly used for exam drives
by a press. As early as Oct 1957, Hans Stuck presented a car
during a London Motor Show and thereafter gathering a roadster by Belgium,
where he presented it to King Baudouin, before motoring down to the
Turin Motor Show. And as if that were not enough, in a summer of
1958, Stuck’s BMW 507 won a vehicle beauty foe in
Wiesbaden and thereafter played a purpose in a Bavaria film studio for the
underline film “Hula-Hopp Conny” with Cornelia Froboess and Rudolf Vogel.

This vehicle had been delicately serviced during BMW after each race, the
engine had been upgraded and a new gearbox propitious when it finished up
with a play in Frankfurt in a autumn of 1958. The immature US soldier
Presley was 23 during a time, and he came along and took it out on a
exam expostulate for a spin. The “King” was immediately tender by it and
motionless to buy a car. Photos taken during a time uncover that export
looseness plates had already been propitious to a BMW 507. Later on it was
given a registration from a US troops that altered each year.
This was partial of a reason since successive marker of the
vehicle valid to be difficult after on. The experts from a BMW
Group Classic Archives were usually positively certain about its
provenance when they came opposite a word offer from December
1958 that contained a framework array 70079 alongside registration
of a screw of a vehicle as Elvis Aaron Presley.

Pampered in Germany, radically mutated in a USA.

Elvis Presley used a BMW 507 to expostulate between his home in Bad
Nauheim and a US Army Base in Friedberg. His womanlike fans always kept
a tighten eye on him and he was mostly mobbed by them. The paintwork of
a roadster was frequently daubed with messages of adore embellished in
lipstick. These signs of devotion were by no means surprising for a rock
star though they were an annoyance to Presley as a immature US soldier.
A new clothing in Red for a vehicle solved a problem.

In Mar 1960, Elvis Presley finished his troops use in Germany.
Back on American highways, he contingency have deserted perfect driving
pleasure in an open-top BMW given a few months after he traded in the
red roadster temperament framework array 70079 with a Chrysler play in
New York. The play in spin sole a vehicle for a ridiculously low
cost from today’s viewpoint of 4 500 dollars to radio moderator
Tommy Charles. Charles took a vehicle to his home city of
Birmingham in a state of Alabama where a really successful racing
career began, nonetheless this pierce was really controversial when it came to
a emanate of authenticity. The BMW 507 was propitious with a Chevrolet
engine in credentials for movement on a competition track. This took adult so
many space that tools of a front support conduit had to be cut out.
The gearbox and a behind axle, and a instruments in a cockpit were
replaced. Charles won a competition in Daytona Beach/Florida with the
radically mutated roadster and he lined adult on a starting grid in
several some-more competitions before offered a vehicle in a march of 1963.

Two some-more changes of tenure followed and a BMW 507 thereafter went to
California. Space operative Jack Castor acquired a vehicle in 1968 and he
used it spasmodic as a runabout for bland use before determining to
put a vehicle into storage for a successive restoration. Castor was a
ardent gourmet of ancestral bicycles and over a years he also
amassed an considerable collection of classical automobiles in Half Moon
Bay to a south of San Francisco. He got concerned with several
classical vehicle clubs and delved into a story of a vehicles he had acquired.

The “Holy Grail” in a pumpkin warehouse.

Castor also put together a extensive dossier on his BMW 507.
Meanwhile, a operative had left into retirement and one day he
happened to see a essay in “Bimmer” magazine. Castor wrote to the
author, told her about a BMW 507 with framework array 70079 that he
owned and invited her over to demeanour during a vehicle. He was wakeful that
he was a owners of a racing vehicle driven by “hillclimb champion” Hans
Stuck, though adult to thereafter he had usually been means to assume about a
intensity tie with Elvis. However, Jackie Jouret was absolutely
certain about this issue. She accompanied Jack Castor to a warehouse
for pumpkins where a red BMW 507 was stored alongside other
princely vehicles. “Jack had tied down a engine carp with ropes,”
private a publisher when she looked behind on a impulse of
discovery. “It took some time until we indeed got a engine
cell open and identified a hammered framework number: 70079, the
Holy Grail among BMW numbers.”

Jack Castor had already collected a vast array of tools carefully
stowed in boxes for a designed replacement of a roadster to its
strange condition. What he lacked was an suitable engine and the
required time to see a plan through. However, things then
started to happen. Jackie Jouret set adult a hit with BMW Group
Classic where new information about a temperament of a BMW 507 used
by Elvis Presley in Germany was being gathered. This authorised a facts
that had been researched in a USA to be confirmed.

Jack Castor was not meddlesome in creation a quick sire out of the
astonishing additional celebrity of his BMW 507. However, a hit with
BMW Group Classic was strengthened. After several years and a number
of discussions with a experts for restoring classical cars during BMW
Group Classic, Klaus Kutscher and Axel Klinger-Köhnlein, an agreement
was reached. Alongside a squeeze of a vehicle by BMW Group
Classic, it also enclosed a authentic replacement of a vehicle along
a lines envisaged by Castor.

By enclosure to a museum – and from there into a workshop.

The time had come in a open of 2014. The BMW 507 was shipped to
Germany in a container, together with a gangling tools collected by
Castor. The initial stop in Munich was a BMW Museum where a roadster
was presented to an admiring public in a special exhibition
“Elvis’ BMW 507 – mislaid and found”. Work thereafter began on replacement in
a seminar of BMW Group Classic.

As was common for projects of this nature, proviso one was primarily
mortal in nature. The vehicle was totally dismantled, a
routine that in this special box took an whole week, rather than
a dual days that had been creatively planned. Initially, the
aluminium physique was distant from a building public done of sheet
steel. This was a usually approach of maintaining as many of a original
element as possible. The paint was thereafter private from a floor
public in an poison bath and from a physique in an alkaline bath. The
engine had already been private and a ruins of a interior that
remained had been set aside.

A lot of components had to be remanufactured from blemish since the
bonds of strange tools for a BMW 507 are singular even during BMW Group
Classic. Traditional craftsmanship in a character of a 1950s was
melded with high-tech prolongation procedures of a complicated world. The
instrument row was newly expel on a basement of a original. The
leather upholstery was combined to precisely compare a settlement shown in
aged photographs and catalogues. When a seats were reconstructed, it
valid probable to use a strange steel subframe for a seats after
all a decay had delicately been removed. A rubberised coconut pad was
thereafter drawn over a steel springs. This healthy element was already
being used in a 1950s for array prolongation of a BMW 507,
alongside a overlaid felt and linen layers to make a seats as
gentle as possible. Window winders and doorway handles were
remanufactured in an advanced, complicated 3D copy routine formed on the
strange dimensions. After producing a digital information set by
three-dimensional indicate of a strange part, a mock-up was generated
with a assistance of addition prolongation and counterpart finished
afterwards. By contrast, a rubber sign for a tank cover was
reproduced in a required prolongation procedure. Since this
member like many others in a BMW 507 had depressed chase to the
ravages of time, a tiny array was produced. This means that roadster
users are now means to source this gangling partial in a tools emporium of BMW
Group Classic.

The BMW 507 creates a quip – it’s usually like a vehicle Hans
Stuck drove, a one Elvis purchased, and this is a approach Jack
Castor wanted it.

The engine for Elvis’ BMW 507 was totally rebuilt from spare
parts. The 3.2 litre V8 engine was reconditioned precisely in
consent with a strange specifications of a BMW 507, though it was
not given an engine array on comment of a destined though otherwise
surprising use of aged and new components. The front support carrier, which
had been cut down during an early stage, also had to be reproduced in its
strange geometry and integrated in a building assembly. The wooden
nailing frame for regulating a soothing tip in place was also reproduced
regulating materials and estimate methods in gripping with a 1950s.

Maximum flawlessness was also a design in portrayal a vehicle.
The BMW 507 is now glowing once again in Feather White. The primer
coat, a filler and a tip cloak were not practical by a methods that
are hackneyed today. Rather, they were implemented in a procedure
that corresponds to a record in use some 60 years ago. This
enabled a extreme colour luminosity to be avoided that is
deliberate fascinating today though is inapt for classical cars.

Similar to a reformation of a V8 engine and a use of
true-to-original tools and prolongation procedures, a preference of
paintwork also corresponds precisely to a conditions tangible by Jack
Castor. Right from a start, he wanted to revive a roadster to the
strange condition it was granted in behind in 1958. However, his
end to be means to see a BMW 507 by a eyes of the
“King” remained unfulfilled. Jack Castor upheld divided during a age of 77
in Nov 2014. We will therefore remember him during Pebble Beach. The
BMW 507 will be presented there for a initial time not simply as the
vehicle of a “King”, though also as a bequest of Jack Castor and a
masterpiece of BMW Group Classic.

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