It was Now or Never for Elvis’s BMW 507

Since it was discovered in a dusty San Francisco garage two years ago, the decrepit BMW 507 Roadster that was once so famously owned by Elvis Presley has undergone a scrupulous restoration at BMW’s Classic division in Munich. But should it have been left as it was found?

Journalist Jackie Jouret tracked down the car after noticing a discrepancy with the serial number of the other BMW 507 that was previously believed to have been owned by ‘The King’. She realised that chassis 70079, which was soon discovered to be nestled away in Jack Castor’s barn, was indeed the real Elvis 507.

Wooden Heart

Over the years, the thought-lost car had fallen into a state of disrepair, and who better to undertake the restoration of such a significant 507 than BMW’s Classic division? Over a two-year period, it embarked on a meticulous ground-up restoration, which involved returning the red roadster to ‘Featherwhite’, as it was originally delivered, and building an entirely new engine to replace the Chevrolet V8 that had been subsequently fitted. The whole process has been documented on BMW Classic’s website, and the finished car is set to make its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance alongside a number of other BMWs, to celebrate the marque’s centenary. Looking at the beguiling originality of the car in the ‘before’ pictures, we wonder if a more sympathetic restoration would have been more appropriate? We certainly would have kept it in red – Elvis had sprayed it that colour allegedly to hide the lipstick-drawn notes he’d receive every time he left it somewhere. Some might say he had a Wooden Heart? 

Photos: BMW Classic

You can find a selection of BMW 507s listed for sale in the Classic Driver Market.