1957 BMW 507 Roadster Series IISOLD
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Engine Type: 3.2 Litre 8 Cylinder
Engine Number:40095
Color:Black / Red Leather

Reference Number 82877

as of 5/25/2010

Overview
Car 1957 BMW 507 Roadster Series II
VIN 70080 
Mileage 56,515 miles 
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Known History

 

1957 BMW 507 Roadster Series II

s/n 70080, Engine no. 40095

Black with Red Interior

 

Like many great European sports cars of the 1950’s, the 507 owes much of its existence to Max Hoffman, the New York based distributor of a wide range of European sports cars, from Porsche to MG to Mercedes. Mr. Hoffman was the go-to guy for European sports car makers wanting to “strike it big” in America. He understood the American sports car buyer, and for those companies who followed his advice (such as Porsche with their sub $3000 Speedster), success was all but guaranteed.

 

He advised BMW on the 507, which was intended to be a circa $5000 open sports car that was glamorous, technologically sophisticated, and unique. The car succeeded on all those levels except for price. The car was engineered and built to high standards, but when it finally arrived with a price in the region of $10,000, the price was so high that the car simply never sold very well. BMW lost money on each 507, despite the high price tag, and all in all, just 253 were built. But what spectacular cars they were. The styling, by Albrecht Goertz, is dramatic, with stunning proportions resulting from the seemingly endless hood, low and wide stance, and pronounced coke bottle hips. The car’s hand made aluminum bodywork was aggressive, dramatic, and dynamic in a way that Mercedes’ 300SL was not. The powerplant was an unusual arrangement for a European company: a 90 degree V8, which displaced 3.2 liters and had aluminum cylinder heads and numerous other aluminum components. The cars did find a few famous owners including Elvis Presley and John Surtsees. Today, because of their, rarity, styling, and technical properties, 507’s are highly sought after and extremely valuable.

 

This particular car is a Series II car with front disc brakes. It was previously part of the Imperial Palace, where it was represented as one of the two ex-Elvis Presley 507s, though in reality, this is actually one serial number after his red car. The current owner purchased it from Imperial Palace about 15 years ago, and had a comprehensive mechanical freshening performed at a cost of about $20,000. Included in this work was rebuilt rear axle, new clutch and slave cylinder, repainted dashboard, remove and repair instruments as necessary, rebuilt water pump, recored radiator and heater core, new hoses, disassemble distributor and set timing, adjust valves, detail engine and engine compartment, new brake seals, cylinders, rebuild master cylinder and brake booster, fit new shocks, new tires, and fabricate new exhaust system. Most recently, the car was serviced in July of 2009 to include rebuilding the carburetors, new spark plugs, wires, cap, rotor, coil, fuel filter, some suspension bushings, and resealing the rear axle. The car drives and performs marvelously at this time, reflecting the careful mechanical sorting that it has received.

 

Cosmetically, the car is in nice shape, with a well-kept older restoration. The paintwork was executed to high standards and is holding up well, though close inspection reveals a few stress cracks and a few square inches of bubbling on the left rocker behind the door. The fit and gaps are good throughout. The chrome is in nice shape with minimal pitting and a few scratches. The headlamps are excellent Carello items, while the rear lights are a bit faded and cracked.

 

The interior has a nice even patina and is very evocative. The instruments and dashboard are in very good shape. The knobs and switches are original and are in nice shape considering this. The upholstery and carpets are very nice throughout, though the driver’s floor mat has some discoloration. The door panels are also in nice shape, and the car is fitted with safety belts.

 

The trunk and engine compartment are both tidy, and representative of an older restoration. An alternator has been fitted to improve the functionality of the charging system. The car is an absolutely fantastic driving example. The engine makes good power and wonderful noise, the suspension and chassis are coherent and capable, the brakes are outstanding, and the transmission is excellent. The driving position is good, and the car would be supremely enjoyable for long distance touring.

 

This is an exceptionally rare opportunity to acquire a BMW 507. A true legend, the 507 is much rarer than the 300SL (of which over 3000 were built), and is a wonderfully stylish car that epitomizes the idea of “cool”. A desirable Series II car with disc front brakes, this particular car is mechanically outstanding, making it an excellent event car that will be welcome wherever it goes. Cosmetically, it is attractive and makes a strong impression, but it is not perfect, which makes it an ideal car to use and enjoy. It comes with service records for the current ownership period, indicating the extensive mechanical freshening that the car has received.