Films: This BMW 507 Has Been Reborn In The Memory Of Elvis Presley

This BMW 507 Has Been Reborn In The Memory Of Elvis Presley

“Around 2006, I drove down to the Half Moon Bay. The car was standing for years in a barn on a pumpkin farm,” begins Klaus Kutscher, vehicle restoration expert at BMW Classic. “It was really rough. A lot of parts were missing…” he says. Even finding a BMW 507 is an achievement, but true ‘barn find’ cars often require a Herculean amount of work to get right. This particular car had a saving grace, however: “We searched the VIN number and realized that the car belonged to Elvis.”

That’s right: when Elvis Presley was based in Germany for the U.S. military, he drove this very car as his daily driver, even buying a second to give to friend Ursula Andress. As you could imagine, Elvis driving around Germany in a white BMW 507—of which there were roughly 250 examples made—wasn’t difficult to spot. “He loved the 507,” Kutscher says.

“The car was normally white, and all his fans made kisses with lipsticks on the car, so he was mad and he painted the car red after that,” with Kutscher confirming the legend. It’s stories like those that helped to keep the restoration moving, even as the true measure of the task began to present itself.

“The dashboard was cut and they had other instruments also in the car. They cut the frame. The car was painted twice, then black, and then after that again in red. Then the car [had] …a big accident.”

Responsible for restoration at BMW Classic, the car presented both an opportunity to preserve history, as well as showcase the talents of his team in front of some serious crowds. After recently making its full public debut during Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as the centerpiece of BMW’s 100-Year anniversary celebrations, the car will undoubtedly be active and present at classic car events for years to come.

“We always want to keep the car in this condition. That means in perfect condition. Now you can see the result looks, for me, beautiful, more than beautiful.”

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17 Comments on "This BMW 507 Has Been Reborn In The Memory Of Elvis Presley"

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Boris Berov
Boris Berov

I admire this guy! Great job!

rob
rob

Here is a 41 minute You Tube video of the restoration.Enjoy.

Robert in LA
Robert in LA

The restoration documentary is really amazing. That they have a hot tank big enough to dip the entire chassis is quite extraordinary. I wonder how many such facilities exist in the world, where an entire chassis can be dipped. I worked in and around restoration shops as a young man, and have taken an interest this work my entire life, and I have never seen anything equivalent here in the US.

Stephan P
Stephan P

The rich history BMW has reminds us why we admire them in spite of atrocities now being made, like the X5 and X6.

Damian Nunimaker
Damian Nunimaker
Talk about a European Corvette. 507 made from 1956-1959. You can see where Zora Duntov and others influence really came with the Corvette. The european mindset that became really golden in the C2 63-68 cars, but then fell victim to GM/Americana ideology in the C3. Dave Hill returned Corvette to that European mindset with the C5 by going to Nurburgring and focusing on chassis and racing. Corvette could have the iconic status of Porsche, had the GM execs not been so narrow minded. This is a beautiful BMW though…for sure. You can sit this with a Cobra, a 427 C2… Read more »
Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
Ahem … methinks you got yer influences mixed up . The C1 began production in 1953 some three years before the 507 ever saw the light of day .. so if anything it was BMW that was influenced by the Corvette .. not the other way around . Also by far the two most Euro influenced Vettes were the C2 and the C6 . The C5 despite all GM’s marketing hype and Ring Bling claims is a pile of fertilizer wallowing in a pig pen when it came to its handling … and was an oversized land yacht to boot… Read more »
Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves

Not a BMW fan, but this has to be one of the most beautiful cars ever made!

And the fact that it belong to the King, only adds up to its mystique…

Thankfully, on this one he didn’t have to go shooting it …

Thanks Petrolicious

Robert in LA
Robert in LA

This is one of your better videos, Petrolicious. All are superior, but this one is special in its understated presentation of the work involved.

There are not that many pumpkin farms with barns in Half Moon Bay, and on week end drives, when I was working at Stanford University in nearby Palo Alto, during the 1980s, I must have passed by all of them. They harbored special things. Artist studios. Ramshackle gardens. Stables, a childrens camp, and yoga retreats. And one of them held this car.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
Sigh .. back in the Day when Half Moon Bay was still an enclave for artists , hippies .. real farmers [ not the ‘ gentleman’ variety and the horsey set ] musicians escaping the rapidly growing insanity of LA and SF .. and yeah .. the odd ball collector / eccentric / iconoclast as well .. before it was overrun by wretched excess gentrification pushing all the creative folks out … sigh … yup … those were the days my friend … and we really did think they’d never end .. little did we know … sniff
Paul Varjak
Paul Varjak

I typically love your videos and think they are probably the most well-done amongst the many on the Internet (production values are off the charts); but on this one, the music drowns out the speaker at the beginning (through the first 2:30 or so) and at the end again. Part of it is his accent; but without the music, he’s easily understandable.

Again, great video, just maybe tone down the music a tad. Thanks.

Paul Varjak
Paul Varjak

To be fair, while I didn’t love the music, it was more about the volume drowning out some of the narration by the driver. That rarely happens on the excellent Petrolicious videos; but on this one, it did affect it a bit.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
Yeah the music sucks [ seriously Petrolicious .. where did you dredge up that lame garbage from ? Yanni’s favorites perhaps ? ] But the problem isn’t with the volume of the music .. the problem is Herr Kutscsher’s voice is somewhat muted in nature .. his pronunciation is a bit lacking and stifled .. his accent just a little too rich [ for voice laid over a bed of music ] .. and I’m guessing he was very improperly miked [ wrong mike choice etc ] as well . Suffice it to say better miking [ and engineering ]… Read more »
Sotirios Bakaimis
Sotirios Bakaimis

although not a BMW fan, this is a really inspired design with…………..italian flair!!!!!!!!!!!

Robert in LA
Robert in LA

There is one on display in the lobby of the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles at the moment. I don’t know if you get to LA much, but it will be there for a while.

Kenneth Geelhaar
Kenneth Geelhaar

I really enjoyed watching this short film. Petrolicious please produce a long documentary about this car and the restoration. This car and its story is too intreging for just a short clip. Car lovers like me yearn for more when the subject is so sweet and desirable.

eightup
eightup

beautiful car nice video just get rid of the background music.

Kelly Briffa
Kelly Briffa
Beautiful automobile. The provenance of the 507 and the journey it has been on is very intriguing to say the least. Being a discarded jewel of ” The King” then to be resurrected as the crown he wore while in the service certainly deserves more than six minutes of film. Great story. Petrolicious has to be one of the best representations of the emotion a car can provoke in a person. Regardless of your station in life you are represented here, if you have the love for the automobile there is something here to inspire you. Tuesday morning 9AM is… Read more »
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