The very rare, Bavarian roadster emerged after 43 years in storage and is bound to fetch a hefty priceby Dim Angelov, on
BMW has been turning out some of the greatest driving machines ever made. The list is long with cars like the BMW M1 E26, BMW M6 E24, BMW M3 E30, and others, which are world renown for their incredible smile per gallon ratio. Sadly, not all great models are successful and the BMW 507, produced between 1956 and 1960, is among them. Very few of them were made, and recently, one came up for sale, after more than 40 years away from the spotlight.
The BMW 507 was originally designed by Count Albrecht von Goertz and was, essentially, the sportier, two-seater counterpart to the 1956-1959 BMW 503 gran-tourer. Among the owners were John Surtees, Albrecht von Goetz himself, King Constantine II, and Elvis Presley who owned an example finished in Feather white and chassis number 70079 (along with a second example). As the car was expensive, only 252 examples were ever made. In 1956, the BMW 507 exceeded $9,000 ($96,715 in 2022 money), which made it more expensive than the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. Ironically,the BMW 507 almost bankrupted BMW, but nowadays, each of the 252 examples can fetch anywhere from $1.8 to $2.2 million. In the case of Elvis Presley’s car, its value is estimated at $9.0 million.
In 2000, the 507 got a spiritual successor – the BMW Z8. The retro-futuristic, 2000s BMW featured a retro design that was heavily inspired by the 507 and the same FR layout. With over 5,700 examples made, the Z8 was significantly more mass-produced than the BMW 507. Under the hood of the classic “Beemer” you will find a 3.2-liter (193.3 cubic-inch), carbureted V-8, which depending on the market, makes between 150 horsepower (112 kilowatts) and 165 horsepower (123 kilowatts) at 5,000 RPM and 173 pound-feet (235 Nm) at 5,000 RPM. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a ZF, four-speed manual. The 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint took 11.0 seconds while the top speed was 135 mph (217 km/h).
|Power||150 - 165 HP @ 5,000 RPM|
|Torque||173 LB-FT @ 5,000 RPM|
|Transmission||ZF, four-speed manual|
|0 to 60 mph||11 seconds|
|Top speed||135 mph|
This particular example, with chassis number 70059, was purchased new in Caracas, Venezuela. The car found itself in Montreal, Canada, and was acquired by the current seller’s father around 1979. The current seller’s father immediately put it in storage, in Philadelphia, where it sat for 43 years. This is one of the Series II models, which came in 1957 and 218 examples of them were made. The Series II cars came with a smaller fuel tank, which opened up more cargo space. Only 34 of the Series I cars were made (1956 model year only).
In the 1970s, the BMW 507’s exterior was repainted in Pontiac Bright Blue Metallic. The interior is all-original and described as “lived-in”. The car comes with Rudge knock-off wheels and an optional hardtop. It is worth noting that the condition of the engine is not specified.
Senior Specialist at Bonhams US Motor Cars, Eric Minoff stated that “This treasure of a garage find, which has been squirreled away for more than 40 years, offers a spectacular opportunity to the serious collector — and it’s offered at no reserve. The new owner has the choice of sympathetically refurbishing or fully restoring this recently discovered gem.” Regardless, the very rare, Bavarian classic is expected to fetch a hefty sum when presented at the Bonhams Audrain Concours auction, in September 2022.