This is the front end bodywork from a BMW 507, widely considered to be one of the most beautiful BMWs of all time. Elvis Presley was a fan, he bought himself a 507 and used it as his daily driver during his time stationed in Germany while serving in the US Army.
Though it’s undeniably beautiful, the BMW 507 very nearly caused the bankruptcy of BMW. The original plan had been to sell thousands of them a year to the Americans but by the end of production just 252 had been made.
The idea behind the 507 was solid, it had been conceived by influential New York automobile importer Max Hoffman who wanted a car that was priced halfway between the expensive Mercedes-Benz 300SL and the smaller, cheaper sports cars from Triumph and MG.
Hoffman insisted that BMW hired the designer Albrecht von Goertz for the job and he excelled himself, creating a design that incorporated all the best elements of the Jet Age and none of its excesses.
The alloy body was fitted to a shortened BMW 503 sedan chassis and it was powered by the 3,168cc BMW M507/1 V8 engine producing 150 bhp at 5,000 rpm.
Hoffman had specified that the car should be sold at $5,000 USD ($53,000 in 2022 dollars) however cost overruns on production drove the price up to $9,000 USD ($95,300 in 2022 dollars), then finally to $10,500 USD ($111,200 in 2022 dollars).
Though the public loved the car the price was untenable for all but the wealthiest of buyers, one of whom was Elvis Presley who bought a white BMW 507 when in Germany serving in the US Army.
As the story goes, the local German girls quickly realized it was Elvis’ car and every time he left it parked anywhere he would return to find it covered in phone numbers and love notes all written in red lipstick.
Every time he drove onto the base he would be teased about the lipstick messages all over his car so he solved it, quite cleverly, by painting the whole car in the same shade of red as the lipstick.
The BMW 507 front end you see here is said to be from an original car that was damaged at some point in the past, the aluminum front bodywork was removed and placed on this stand as a display piece.
It’s now due to be auctioned by Artcurial on the 20th of March with a price guide of $19,800 – $27,500 USD. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Images courtesy of Artcurial
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.