The King’s wheels restored

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RESURRECTED ROADSTER: The impressive original condition finish.

A HUGELY impressive restoration work, which took a gruelling two years to complete, has seen BMW Classic bring a 507 roadster that was once the pride and glory of none other than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, Elvis Presley, back to life. 

Though classic restorations are notoriously difficult to properly execute, the historic legacy of this car presented an altogether new challenge, especially as last owner Jack Castor spent his last days on earth working to see the 507 in its original condition i.e. ‘through the eyes of the King.’ 

A 23-year-old soldier based in Germany, Elvis took delivery of the 507 on December 20 1958, with the rare breed debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1955, and the King’s car previously being used by racing driver Hans Stuck. 

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A global star at the time, Presley’s female stars mobbed him as he drove the 507 from his German home to the US Army base in Friedburg, adorning it with love messages scrawled in red lipstick on its feather white paint. 

In 1960 Elvis returned to the States and traded it in at a New York dealership, which in turn sold it to radio DJ and future racer Tommy Charles for just $4,500 (€4,036).    

By 1968 it was in the hands of Jack Castor, a space engineer and classic car collector who dreamt of restoring it, finally uniting with the BMW team who have made his fantasy a reality, following his specific specs to the very letter. 

The 150hp, 3.2 litre V8 engine was restored, the original feather white painted over a classic red using methods available 60 years ago, and no stone left unturned as the expert engineers resurrected one of only 254 of the models ever produced. 

Taking a full week to carefully dismantle, the restored 507 was deliberately built using traditional 1950s influenced craftsmanship, although modern production techniques were used to fine hone window wipers and doors. Even 3D printing was employed to ensure that the dimensions were precise. 

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