For over 50 years automobile collectors have been hunting for the mysterious BMW 507 that was owned by Elvis Presley during his military service in Germany between 1958 and 1960. He bought the car off the showroom floor shortly after arriving in Europe, and he used it on an almost daily basis for the duration of his two years of service.
The white 507 was repainted red after just a few months due to lovesick local girls and their proclivity for writing love notes to Elvis on the paint using their lipstick. No young man wants to drive onto a military base in a car covered in lipstick hearts, kisses, and messages of undying love – so the new red paint was a matter of some urgency for the young solider.
The hunt for Elvis’ BMW was complicated for two primary reasons: no one was sure of the chassis number and the BMW 507 is one of the rarest models the company has ever made – just 252 units were made in total. It wasn’t until American journalist Jackie Jouret of Bimmer Magazine uncovered evidence that Elvis’ car had previously been used by racing driver Hans “Hillclimb Champion” Stuck who had won a slew of hillclimbs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland driving a white BMW 507 with chassis number 70079.
As it happens, Elvis had loved his 507 so much he had it shipped back to the USA upon completion of his military service – although he quickly found it unsuitable for American roads and sold it on. Over the course of its life in the USA it need up in the hands of a racing driver who fitted an American V8, then it made its way into the collection of Jack Castor – who had planned to restore it but never found the time. After Jack contacted Jackie with his car’s chassis number she set to work – first verifying the number before contacting the experts at BMW Group Classic.
Jack agreed to sell his historic 507 directly to BMW Group Classic on the proviso that they carry out the most original restoration possible for the car, and retain the Hans Stuck heritage as well as the Elvis legacy. The team at BMW Group Classic set to work – and brought in outside contractors to assist where needed.
A suitable BMW 507 V8 engine and transmission were sourced, and many other parts had to be fabricated by hand. As much of the original car as possible was kept and restored – and the completed car is now back to its original arctic white, with the exact same burbling BMW V8 rumble it had when The King drove it to work – covered in red lipstick love letters.
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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.