We can't help falling in love with Elvis' newly restored BMW 507

The experts at BMW’s Classic center have fully restored a 1957 507 roadster, one of the most desirable and iconic vintage Bimmers. The example brought back to life by the Munich-based company is even more special because it was once owned by none other than Elvis Presley.

Elvis was the 507’s second owner when he purchased it from a used car lot in Frankfurt in 1958. He was a soldier stationed in Germany at the time, and he used the roadster to commute from his house to the United States Army Base in Friedberg. While the car was initially white, Elvis had it repainted in red because he got tired of fans using lipstick to leave him messages on the hood, the doors, and the trunk lid.

Elvis put the 507 on a boat to the United States at the end of his military service in 1960, but he traded it in to a Chrysler dealership in New York a few months after. It was sold for the measly sum of $4,500 to Tommy Charles, a well-known racer who lived in Birmingham, Alabama. Charles replaced the original engine with a Chevrolet-sourced V8, a conversion that required cutting out part of the front sub-frame to clear the oil pan, and tore up tracks across the southern United States with it until 1963.

The 507 changed hands several more times during the years that followed until it wound up in the collection of Jack Castor, an engineer and vintage car enthusiast based in California, in 1968. He briefly used it to run errands, but ultimately stashed the roadster in a pumpkin warehouse with plans to one day restore it. He knew his car had won hill climb races in Germany and Austria early on in its life, though he had no idea that it was once owned by the King of Rock n’ Roll.

A few years ago, Castor read an article in Bimmer magazine that highlighted the history of Elvis’ 507 roadster, which enthusiasts had been trying to track down for about five decades. Suspecting he owned the car, he contacted the author who verified the chassis number (70079, for history buffs) and put the retired engineer in contact with BMW’s Classic center. The Munich-based company bought the car and shipped it back to Germany for a full restoration.

Bringing the 507 back to its former glory was easier said than done. BMW explains that the aluminum body was painstakingly separated from the steel chassis in order to retain as much of the original metal as possible. Moreover, 507 parts are hard to come by because only 254 examples were built so the missing instrument panel had to be newly cast, the worn leather upholstery was reproduced based on period documents, and the window cranks were 3D-printed and mirror-matched.

Mechanics built a 3.2-liter V8 engine from scratch using new and spare parts, and remanufactured the missing front sub-frame. Finally, the 507 was given a fresh coat of Feather White, its original color. All told, the restoration process took two years. It was largely carried out in-house by BMW’s Classic center, but the company enlisted the help of external specialists when needed.

Read more: BMW’s Pure Metal Silver M5 is bound to become a classic

The 507 will be shipped back to the United States and displayed at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that will take place next week outside of Monterey, California. And if Elvis faked his death as conspiracy-theorists believe, the King may be strolling the green.

Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Smart Home

Is old-school Airstream finally embracing smart home technology?

Airstream's vintage-looking trailers have a huge audience but its 2019 Classic camping trailers are getting a modern upgrade with the addition of app-controlled smart home technology to bring modern convenience online.
Cars

Did that car just wink at you? Daimler previews car-to-pedestrian signals

Eager to show off progress with autonomous cars and perhaps do some consumer softening as well, Daimler and Bosch previewed car-to-pedestrian communications. A sensor-loaded Mercedes S appears to wink to acknowledge a pedestrian's presence.
Cars

Uber is about to restart self-driving car tests but on a reduced scale

Uber is reported to be on the verge of restarting its autonomous-car test program. The company halted it in March 2018 following a fatal accident involving one of its vehicles, but its cars could be back on the road within weeks.
Cars

Bosch is developing a Rosetta Stone for autonomous and connected cars

Bosch and start-up Veniam want to create a common language that autonomous and connected cars can use. The two firms have developed a connectivity unit that transcends the national boundaries of technology.
Cars

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.
Cars

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Cars

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.