Elvis Presley’s BMW 507
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is just two weeks away and this year there will be plenty of BMWs at the high profile car show. The luxury car maker will be the featured marquee celebrating its 100th anniversary.
What is likely to be the most popular vehicle is the BMW 507 that was driven by Elvis Presley. “The King” drove the sports car while stationed in German during his military service.
When Elvis took delivery the engine was a 150 horsepower V8. After Mr. Presley returned to the United States he traded in the BMW to a Chrysler dealership. It was sold for the, what now seems dirt cheap, price of just $4,500. Radio moderator Tommy Charles purchased the car and changed out the engine for a Chevy V8. He heavily modified the 507 for racing and competed in a number of events and even won at Daytona Beach, Florida.
The sports car changed hands a few more times and in 1968 ended up being owned by space engineer, Jack Castor. Jack would take the car for the occasional joy ride and it was part of his impressive collection located in Half Moon Bay.
“The opportunity to bring back the BMW 507 owned by the King of Rock’n’Roll to us here in Munich for purposes of restoration in accordance with the wishes of the previous owner, Jack Castor, was a dream come true for all those involved,” commented Ulrich Knieps, Head of BMW Group Classic. “This was an exceptionally fascinating project. The outcome is not simply a source of great pride to us. Jack would undoubtedly have been delighted by the outcome.”
For about 50 years the location of the BMW was unknown and it was believed it was lost. BMW 507 values are already over $1 million (with concours quality machines being worth over $2 million) and when this 507 surfaced it already could have fetched a fairly high price before restoration. Once it was verified that this was the BMW used by Elvis, it became worth even more cash.
A two year extensive restoration was done by BMW Group Classic getting the roadster back to what it would have been like when Mr. Presley was at the wheel. This included getting the engine back to the original BMW V8.
The vehicle has an incredible history and will be on display to the public at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 21st. We will be covering the event and will be sure to get plenty of photos and video of the Elvis BMW 507.