A BMW 507 front end mounted on a display base
This is the front body of a BMW 507, widely regarded as 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 while in Germany while serving in the US military.
Although undeniably beautiful, the BMW 507 almost bankrupted BMW. The original plan was to sell thousands a year to Americans, but by the end of production only 252 had been made.
The idea behind the 507 was sound, it was conceived by influential New York car importer Max Hoffman who wanted a car priced halfway between the expensive Mercedes-Benz 300SL and smaller sports cars. and cheaper ones from Triumph and MG.
Hoffman insisted that BMW hired designer Albrecht von Goertz for the job and he outdid himself, creating a design that incorporated all the best elements of the jet age and none of its excesses.
The alloy body was mounted on a shortened BMW 503 saloon chassis and was powered by the 3168cc BMW M507/1 V8 engine producing 150 bhp at 5000 rpm.
Hoffman had specified that the car was to be sold for US$5,000 ($53,000 in 2022 dollars) but production cost overruns drove the price up to US$9,000 ($95,300 in 2022 dollars), then finally to US$10,500 ($111,200 in 2022 dollars).
Although the public loved the car, the price was untenable for all but the wealthiest buyers, including Elvis Presley who bought a white BMW 507 while serving in the US Army in Germany.
As the story goes, the local German girls quickly realized it was Elvis’ car and every time he left it parked anywhere he came back to find it covered in phone numbers and notes of love all written in lipstick.
Every time he drove on the base he was teased by the lipstick messages all over his car so he solved it, smartly enough, by painting the whole car the same shade of red as the lipstick lips.
The front of the BMW 507 you see here is believed to be from an original car that was damaged at some point in the past, the aluminum front body was removed and placed on this rack as a show piece.
It is now due to be auctioned by Artcurial on March 20 with an indicative price of $19,800 to $27,500 USD. If you want to know more about it or register to bid, you can click here to visit the listing.
Images reproduced with the kind permission of Artcurial
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