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Thread: The 507, BMW's most beautiful car.

  1. #1

    The 507, BMW's most beautiful car.

    For many of us the echo of the 507 was certainly a part of the appeal of the Z8, so I decided to start this new thread with my own pictures of 507's taken over the last dozen years of Z8'ing.

    There is no better place to start with what I consider the most beautiful of all these beauties, the one that wears the plate MWZ 507H and lives in BMW's own museum in Munich. These shots were taken during the Z8 Club's 10 Anniversary celebrations in Munich in 09.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  2. #2
    As the spiritual predecessor to our cars it seems only right to include a shot of the Z07 with a 507. It's shown here at the inaugural meet of the Z8Club in Munich in June 06 with another of BMW's own 507s, MST 507H which lives in their permanent collection, but also gets out and about a fair bit, as you can see it here on the lawn at BMW's splendid Villa D'Este event in '06 and below that taking part in the Miglia Mille in 07.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  3. #3
    Keeping on the theme of the Z8 Club in Germany and the 507, here are two privately owned 507's that joined us for the very first Club drive in Munich in June of 06. It rained on our parade, but even that couldn't dampen the beauty of the 507's.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  4. #4
    And once again at the Z8 Club's 10 Anniversary celebrations, this time showing BMW Classic's own gorgeous MJD 507H in one of their restoration bays in Munich.
       
    Andrew Macpherson

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  5. #5
    I spotted this Swiss plated 507 weaving it's way through the chaos of Brescia at the start of the Mille Miglia event in 07.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  6. #6
    This lovely pale blue metallic 507 graced the lawn at the Quail the year we had 32 Z8's in attendance back in '08.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  7. #7
    A lovely white 507 from Massachusetts at Laguna Seca during the '08 Historics, as you can see it was taking part in a vintage driving marathon for the two weeks following the car week festivities.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  8. #8
    During the 2013 car week the 507 was one of the honored cars at Pebble, so I was able to shoot a couple of them during Thursday's drive, when the cars came up to Laguna for the Tour D'Elegance.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  9. #9
    These pictures were taken by ZAchterbahn at the Pebble Beach Concours, 2013, and show the 'honored mark' 507's on the lawn. The Petersen Museum's odd looking Lowey 507 and the red one off 1958 BMW 3200 Michelotti Vignale Roadster were both included in the cars they chose, both rather odd cars that can't hold a candle to the original, but I guess they're interesting in their own way.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  10. #10
    Some more images from around the web of the cars at Pebble....
       
    Andrew Macpherson

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  11. #11
    Elvis owned one too, as we all know, here are some pix of him and his favorite BMW.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  12. #12
    Here are some more images of the one off BMW 3200 Michelotti Vignale which was built on a 507 chassis and displayed at the 1959 Turin Motor Show. It is now part of the BMW collection.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  13. #13
    Here's the same BMW Classic 507 photographed in their restoration bay in Munich a few threads back. It's great to see they keep them active, I hope they invite me for a drive one day!
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  14. #14
    Some great archive pix of the 507...
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  15. #15
    A more modern mix of 507 images from around the globe...
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  16. #16
    This little beauty sold through Fantasy Junction in 08 for just $600,000. That was certainly a good investment!
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  17. #17
    Another set of images from around the web...
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  18. #18
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    For the first time, I see a lot of Corvette in the last shot of the black car (some of GMs inspiration?)

  19. #19
    Here's the odd bird of the bunch, Lowey's 507, something that he really shouldn't have done IMHO. That said the Coke bottle and his steam locos are beyond iconic.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  20. #20
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Autopia inspiration? I do love the roundel in the hood! Ingenious. And, 69 corvette headlights!

  21. #21
    in Coral Gables, Florida DirkZ8's Avatar
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    Beautiful. Thanks Andrew. Your enthusiasm is contagious !
    Dirk

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  22. #22
    Thanks Dirk, here's my edit of that link you shared of the guys at Supercars.net. They did a really great job covering the event, it was almost as good as being there myself! :-)
       
    Andrew Macpherson

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  23. #23
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Kevin's Avatar
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    Were all these different colors available on the 507 when it was new, or were they painted these colors when they were restored?
    2003 Z8 Silver/Black AH62031 (Sold)

  24. #24
    Guessing from this post there were as many as 21 colors available for the 507. I can't help feeling that we were cheated, so many of these would look glorious on the Z8.

    http://www.glasurit.com/uk/news/2010...mw-503-and-507
    Andrew Macpherson

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  25. #25
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Guessing from this post there were as many as 21 colors available for the 507. I can't help feeling that we were cheated, so many of these would look glorious on the Z8.

    http://www.glasurit.com/uk/news/2010...mw-503-and-507
    I agree completely. I know some have spoken to the team that developed the Z8 did they ever mention why so few color options were available? Im sure it wasnt a cost cutting measure as the Z8 was built as a no cost project. Its just weird that there are more color options on a 3 Series than on the Z8.
    For instance I think some of the M colors of the time would have looked great on the Z8
    2003 Z8 Silver/Black AH62031 (Sold)

  26. #26
    If anyone knows the answer to that it's Jürgen, maybe he'll chime in, but the only thing I remember hearing was that they wanted to keep it to a few simple classic colors, but I don't remember the reason. Honestly if I could find fault, it would be with the interiors, they were far too limited. I'd have loved to have had a mid-gray like Stirling, and a deep, rich natural leather interior combo on my Z8, or maybe a replica of the grey-red 507 at the start of this thread.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  27. #27
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    I think the answer lies in the numbers

    Total Titaniumsilver 3182
    Total Black 1572
    Total Topazblue 319
    Total red 291
    Total Stratusgray 196
    Total Individual color 143

    The "bread and butter" colors were the choice of the majority of buyers: 4754 out of 5703. The individual program gave some other nice choices outside the two tone but there seems not much interest!
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  28. #28
    The Individual program was not offered to the US customers at that time, so there really was no choice here.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  29. #29
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Did not know that .....would be nice to know how the color preference was in the different countries. From the known 107 dutch Z8 cars the spread is

    73 titanium silver
    18 black
    7 topaz
    7 stratos
    2 red

    That mirrors the worldwide numbers quite closely.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  30. #30
    Also, keep in mind that at least in the U.S. the colors choices are the dealers -- as they are the ones that order the cars -- and not the owners.

    When I ordered my car, the dealer asked for $500 refundable deposit assuming that it would be Silver. When the time to select the color came and I told them I wanted Red/Sport Red, they required a $10,000 non-refundable deposit.
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)2003 (last one?) Z8 - Hellrot / Sport Rot Original Owner - Munich Tourist Delivery-- Others --1988 M6 - 32K mi. - Original Owner1989 DINAN 750iL - 73K mi. - Original Owner1998 M3 - 63K mi. - Original Owner2015 X5 (F15) Diesel - Daily Driver2008 Porsche Turbo Cab - 9K mi. (Mezger motor/6-sp. manual)

  31. #31
    Z8Mania
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    Then every car BMW builds is not to end user spec but to dealer spec........

    I think your dealer wanted that 10k because your color choice is a bold one and would have a smaller pool of likely buyers should you decide to cancel the order.

    My dealer told me I could have any color I wanted if I wanted to order another Z8.

  32. #32
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    your color choice is a bold one and would have a smaller pool of likely buyers should you decide to cancel the order.
    In the most of Europe there are only two occasions which make it possible to cancel an order: you are dead or unemployed.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  33. #33
    Z8Mania
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    Yes but in the US people order cars all the time and then walk out on the dealer. You and I probably agree that such behavior is not "correct", but it happens. In general, if you want to order a less than usual spec on a car, a dealer will seek to protect him/herself. I think that is appropriate.

  34. #34
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    I think it is very appropriate: imo an order is a contract and not a saturday afternoon pleasure :-)
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    Then every car BMW builds is not to end user spec but to dealer spec........
    Unless the owner orders the car -- not sure how many Z8 owners ordered theirs, but most of the original owners I know bought what was on the showroom floor -- the dealer selects the color, right? Also not sure how much input BMW NA has on the colors, but I don't imagine it's much.

    I don't think Red/Sport Red is so bold, it's just that my dealer claimed that they only ordered Silver Z8s.
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)2003 (last one?) Z8 - Hellrot / Sport Rot Original Owner - Munich Tourist Delivery-- Others --1988 M6 - 32K mi. - Original Owner1989 DINAN 750iL - 73K mi. - Original Owner1998 M3 - 63K mi. - Original Owner2015 X5 (F15) Diesel - Daily Driver2008 Porsche Turbo Cab - 9K mi. (Mezger motor/6-sp. manual)

  36. #36
    Z8Mania
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    Most of those cars bought off the showroom floor were ordered to a customer's spec. Some early cars were ordered by dealer principals.

    Since there are many customers who will end up selling a car back to the dealer, the dealers usually try to push you into a specification that will make the car easy for them to sell. And many people who order these cars know they are likely to trade them so they will order the typical colors.

    However, by late 2001 you could have walked right into a dealer and specced your car however you wanted it.

    Most dealers will order cars for their inventory but thats with a car like a 3 series. I have never heard of a Z8 being ordered specifically as dealer inventory.

    So I can understand your dealer trying to push you into a silver car.

    I understand you don't think Red/Red is a bold combination, but I think the dealers would be scared of it so I can understand their behavior. Perhaps "bold" isn't the correct phrase. Its just rare. Rare can be good and rare can be bad. Its bold in the sense that it would stand out from the typical Z8 spec.

    PS- I can look at these pictures all day long!

  37. #37

    I'm a big fan of these guys...

    And if you like getting good mailbox updates they're def worth subscribing to - http://www.sportscardigest.com

    Here are some of their snaps of the 507 from the Monterey weekend too, and of course there's much more to see on their site too.
         
    Andrew Macpherson

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  38. #38
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    Great photos!!
    I was at BMW Museum last year. Saw the 507 with Z8 together. It was what pushed me to finally buy a Z8.
    A 507 would be my dream car . Prices are out of sight. Will start looking in barns!

  39. #39
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Elvis 507

    http://www.bimmertoday.de/2014/07/23...otos-details/#

    via Google translate.....

    You hear it often, but it happens rarely: History comes to life. Standing in front of the BMW 507 of the legendary musician Elvis Presley and sees the ...
    You hear it often, but it happens rarely: History comes to life. Standing in front of the BMW 507 of the legendary musician Elvis Presley and sees the car in its current state, you can breathe the air actually past decades. On this seat sat the King of Rock'n'Roll, from this radio came the music of his time - and on these formerly white fenders were often left with red lipstick love commitment that finally saw forced to repaint with red paint Elvis.

    Understand can be an exciting journey through time from 24 July for 14 days at the BMW Museum Munich - then the vehicle for about two years will disappear in the halls of BMW Group Classic, where it returned restored and as much as possible to its original state should be.

    Elvis Presley-BMW-507-unrestored-BMW-Museum-interior-details-01Das once driven by Elvis Presley specimen has a colorful history, was flown in just 14 days ago to Munich and located for decades in its present state. After the BMW Group had long advocated, the current owner of a loan of the vehicle has now agreed and allows it to be restored by the experts at BMW Classic Division.

    The BMW 507 was shown initially presented at the IAA in 1957 and later used successfully by Hans Stuck at various mountain race. 1958 bought the Management of Elvis Presley serving as a GI in Germany superstar sports car, which was extremely exclusive and correspondingly striking with a print run of only 254 copies worldwide.

    On winding roads of the Elvis-507 found its way to the U.S., where in 1968 after several years of uncertainty reappeared. Now, every effort is made to put the legendary roadster of the music icon again in a presentable condition. From the status quo, interested parties "BMW Elvis' 507: lost & found" can until the 10th of August in the BMW Museum Special take a picture - who can not make it to Munich can of course also click through our picture gallery:
                 
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  40. #40
    in Coral Gables, Florida DirkZ8's Avatar
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    Speed Age - August 1957; Goertz and the 507
           
    Dirk

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  41. #41
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    Nice find Dirk. thanks for posting!
    Thanks,
    Terry
    ALPINA #480/555
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  42. #42
    Fantastic find, thank you for sharing!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  43. #43
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Doug Dolan's Avatar
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    Interesting quote in the article "Production schedules are supposed to assure an ample supply by this summer, and private sources say off the record that distribution plan call for at least 1,000 cars flashing down U.S. highways by the end of the year." Total worldwide production of the 507 was 252...
    Doug Dolan
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  44. #44
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    The US dealer Hoffman estimates a yearly sale of 3000 to 4000 cars when the selling price would be $4500. BMW estimates a few hundred cars for Europe. Altogether 41 cars were sold in the US ( The legendary BMW 507, K Lange)
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Elvis owned one too, as we all know, here are some pix of him and his favorite BMW.
    I found another story in English about Elvis' purported 507 here. Enjoy!




    After four decades of storage, Elvis’s BMW 507 to undergo restoration
    Daniel Strohl Jul 25th, 2014

    Typically, a collector car gets its debut after its restoration, with a fresh polish on its new paint, plenty of shine on its chrome, and its provenance recorded in minute detail. However, the BMW 507 that BMW Classic recently put on display at the BMW Museum in Munich has neither of the former and too many questions about the latter, in part due to its association with Elvis Aaron Presley.

    Built in September 1957 with Rudge wheels, a removable hardtop, a black interior and Feather White paint, the 507 – chassis number 70079 – originally served as a demonstrator car at that year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Following the show, BMW transferred 70079 to its press fleet, then after some time letting auto journalists drive it around, decided to send it racing with Hans Stuck, the famed Silver Arrow racer and Bergmeister, who reportedly won his class with it at a number of hillclimbs: in May 1958 at Rossfield, in July 1958 at Schauinsland, and in August at Ollon Villars in Switzerland. More importantl, Stuck, who at the time served as a sort of celebrity liaison for BMW, was tasked to show the 507 off to dealers and potential high-profile clients like King Baudouin of Belgium and King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.

    Presley, then 23 and already a music and film star, had found himself stationed in Germany while serving in the Army. He already had used a Volkswagen Beetle to get around, but reportedly wanted something faster, something like a Porsche 550 Spyder. His eye, however, turned toward the Goertz-designed, aluminum-bodied 507 roadster that Stuck showed him at the track in Montlhéry.

    Perhaps it was the fact that Porsche couldn’t build a 550 in time enough for Presley. Perhaps he was swayed by the racing history of Stuck’s 507, which BMW had refurbished with a new windshield, new four-speed transmission, and an overhauled 150-hp, 3.2-liter aluminum V-8 after loaning it out to a German film studio for use in Hula-Hopp Conny. Whatever the reason, Presley took possession of the 507 in December 1958, when Miss Hessen, Uschi Siebert, presented him the keys to the car in Frankfurt.

    But here’s where the story gets fuzzy. According to BMW and BMW magazine Bimmer, which dug into the history of the 507 in its June 2009 issue, Presley bought 70079 that day for $3,750 – one heck of a deal, considering that brand-new, the 507 cost more than $7,000. Elvis fans and historians, however, contend that Presley misunderstood the contract – written in German – that he signed with the dealer, Autohaus Wirth in Frankfurt: Instead of agreeing to purchase 70079, he apparently agreed to lease it and return it to BMW, or possibly Glöckler, upon his exit from the Army.

    And then there’s the matter of the repaint. Presley reportedly got fed up with fräulein leaving their names and numbers on the flanks of the BMW in lipstick. Or he liked the shade of red lipstick that somebody left on his car. Some believe that Presley actually owned two 507s while in Germany – a white one and then a red one – but Bimmer and many other sources note that Presley had 70079 repainted in red, a theory supported by the fact that photos of Presley during his service in Germany show him driving a white 507 with U.S. Armed Forces plate A-1499 in 1958, a white 507 with plate G-1620 in 1959, and then a red 507 with plate G-1620 later that year.

    Some Elvis fans also speculate that Presley or BMW had 70079 repainted white, only for it to be again repainted red in later years. All that anybody seems to know is that nobody really knows what happened to the 507 when Presley left the Army and returned to the United States. Bimmer, quoting BMW historian Karlheinz Lange, noted that BMW records show that the company did not take possession of the car after Presley used it in Germany, and that no records or photographs show Presley importing it to the United States and using it here after he returned.

    For decades, many believed that the white BMW 507 that he gifted Ursula Andress after the two finished filming Fun in Acalpulco in 1963 was the 507 he used in Germany, and Barrett-Jackson in 1997 even sold that particular 507 (for $350,000) as having belonged to Elvis, but its chassis number – 70192 – could never be definitively tied to ownership by any celebrity other than Andress (and later, George Barris). That car later sold at an RM auction for $1,072,500.

    Meanwhile, according to Bimmer, 70097 ended up in New York City sometime between 1959 and 1962, when Birmingham, Alabama, radio personality Tommy Charles bought it, having been told that Elvis owned the car. Charles decided to drag race it, swapping out its BMW drivetrain with a supercharged Chevrolet V-8, Borg-Warner four-speed transmission, and Chevrolet rear axle.

    Along with the Alabama plates still with the 507, it also displays a dealer sticker from Foreign Car Center of Birmingham, Alabama, and still harbors a brace of Stewart-Warner gauges in a custom plywood dashboard, along with a custom red interior, all likely from its dragstrip era. Yet it also displays a 1967 windshield sticker from Williams Air Force Base in Mesa, Arizona, likely from the car’s time spent with its next owner, Lloyd Cottle.

    Cottle’s time with the 507 must have been brief; collector Jack Castor bought the 507 from Cottle in 1968 and drove it – by then with an unsupercharged small-block – back to California, where he kept it on the street for another several years before deciding to restore it.

    Castor didn’t get to the restoration right away, however. Instead, he kept 70079 tucked away in a warehouse in Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, while he collected parts for its restoration and documentation on the car’s history. The original engine – number 40094 – appears to be long gone, but Castor has obtained another couple of BMW V-8s over the car’s 40-year hibernation.

    When Bimmer uncovered the 507 in 2009, writer Jackie Jouret called it one of two truly legendary individual BMWs: “If there’s a Holy Grail among BMWs, this is it,” Jouret wrote. Even then, however, Castor and Lange were hesitant to positively identify the 507 as Elvis’s; all the evidence they had pointed to that conclusion, but no documentation definitively paired Elvis Presley and 70079, only Stuck and 70079. BMW itself has not yet responded to requests for clarification.

    Still, that hasn’t stopped BMW Classic from claiming that this 507 belonged to Elvis in its recent announcement that Castor has selected the in-house shop to restore it. How long the restoration will take and to what configuration, BMW Classic has yet to specify. However, 70079 will remain on display at the BMW Museum through August 10. For more information, visit BMW-Welt.com.
     
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  46. #46
    Awesome, thanks for sharing!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  47. #47
    Looking at the interior door panels of the 507 it is interesting to see the two enclosed storage compartments, no doubt the inspiration for those found on the Z8.

  48. #48
    in Coral Gables, Florida DirkZ8's Avatar
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    with a 1942 Douglas DC-3A "Spirit of Benovia" during Vintage Weekend at Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo celebrating vintage airplanes, watercraft and automobiles.
     
    Dirk

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    www.bmwccca.com

  49. #49
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    Beautiful Dirk!!

  50. #50
    What a glorious pair, I never tire of looking at the 507 :-)
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  51. #51
    Thanks to Pandaman for this quick heads up, this lovely 507 sold today at Gooding & Company for 1.65 Million

    PROVENANCE
    Hans Durst, Davos, Switzerland
    Peter Groh, Switzerland (acquired in July 1997)
    Michael Quinn, Montecito, California (acquired circa 1999)
    Current Owner, California (acquired from the above in 2009)

    THIS CAR
    When the Frankfurt Motor Show opened in late 1955, the principal BMW attractions were two new variations on the V-8-powered 502: the 503 and the 507. Though both models were influenced by New York car dealer Max Hoffman and designed by Count Albrecht von Goertz, it was the spectacular 507 that stole the show.
    The new BMW roadster was so pure and perfect from every angle that it immediately took its place among the all-time greatest automotive designs. Possessing sweeping, harmonious lines, a purposeful rendition of the classic kidney grille, unmistakable side vents, and aggressive rear haunches, the 507’s lightweight alloy body appeared to be stretched tightly over the mechanical underpinnings and evoked speed even when standing still. Not only did the 507 look like a true sports car, it also drove like one.

    With a rigid box frame, upgraded suspension, synchromesh gearbox, and large Al-fn drum brakes, the 507 possessed an ideal foundation for BMW’s robust twin-carburetor V-8 engine. Depending on the gear ratio selected, the 507 was capable of 125 mph–135 mph and offered brilliant acceleration, reaching 0 to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds. Though the 507 was not designed with motor sports in mind, its performance was such that several examples were entered in major racing events, including the Mille Miglia and the Tour de France Automobile.

    Production of the 507 commenced in November 1956 and came to a close near the end of 1959 after just 252 examples were built.
    Initially intended to fill a gap between the lower-priced English imports and the phenomenally expensive Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, the 507 commanded a princely $8,988 in the US and 26,500 marks in Germany, making it one of the most expensive – and therefore exclusive – cars of its day. As a result, the elegant BMW attracted celebrities as diverse as Elvis Presley and motor sports hero John Surtees.
    It has often been said that development and production costs of the 507 would have bankrupted the company were it not for the Isetta and a thriving motorcycle division. In fact, the flagship model was never intended as a moneymaker. Instead, it sought to re-establish the outstanding sporting reputation BMW enjoyed in the prewar years with the legendary 328, which continues to this day. The 507 certainly accomplished BMW’s goal and, today, the limited-production V-8 roadster is surely the most desirable postwar model ever built by the Munich-based company.

    This gorgeous white over black leather BMW 507 is a stunning example of the iconic model that has become so sought after by the world’s leading collectors. Chassis 70244, according to BMW records, was completed on November 4, 1959, and by November 13th had been delivered to Glöckler BMW in Frankfurt. While the earliest ownership history of this late-production 507 is unknown, it spent a long period of time as part of the extensive and well-regarded Hans Durst collection in Davos, Switzerland. Durst was known for the fastidious care that his collection received, regardless of expense, and the high quality of the cars that he selected. The BMW was subsequently sold in July 1997 to German collector and racer Peter Groh, who put just 2,000 miles on the car during his short ownership. Michael Quinn of Montecito, California, purchased the car in 1999 and stated that around 2003 he had approximately $50,000 worth of work performed on the car at Winning Makes in Santa Barbara, California.

    Purchased in 2009 by the current owner, a noted West Coast collector with a stable of highly significant cars, the 507 was again sent to Winning Makes for extensive servicing. This work, which is documented by receipts on file, included the rebuild of the brakes, gearbox, cooling system, and shock absorbers, as well as the crack testing and refurbishment of all suspension components. This thorough work is indicative of the care lavished upon this particular collection and should serve as notice to potential buyers as to the level of attention this beautiful 507 has received. While researching the 507 for the current owner, BMW reported that the engine in this car appears to be a later model 160PS unit, potentially from a 3200 that has been stamped with the correct engine number.

    Another addition to this wonderful roadster is a factory hardtop that was sourced by the current owner and accompanies the sale of the car. The hardtop will require fitting due to the hand-built nature of the 507’s coachwork; and although not original to this chassis, it will still be an ideal complement to the fantastic specifications. Additionally, the BMW is equipped with an original sales brochure and copies of the factory BMW service and user’s manuals.

    Beautifully presented, this striking BMW is poised to become a favorite of any collector. A unique combination of style, rarity, and substantive German engineering, the 507 garners the attention it deserves from the world’s most discerning collectors. An example as well appointed as this is sure to please its fortunate next steward, and the presence of this particular 507 at public auction marks an opportunity not to be overlooked.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  52. #52
    I was just sent over this really nice shot of a Series ll 507 from an RM auction catalogue for a sale that happened in 2013. I don't have any other info, so not sure of sale price, but since it's such a great shot I had to share it here anyway.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  53. #53
    Team Z8 Satch's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I just scanned past it or what, but we should note that credit for the discovery of the Elvis Presley car should go to Jackie Jouret of Bimmer Magazine, who is smarter than most of us put together. I am very pleased to be allowed to consider her a friend, because she and Party A are like THAT! In fact, they will be running the Northwest Classic Rally in July in 60084... aka Buffy. (Shoot me now!)

  54. #54
    How did she discover it? Sounds like there's a good story there, and also don't know Jackie, which means she should be employing me and isn't! 😜
    Andrew Macpherson

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  55. #55
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    Jackie Jouret is a fine journalist and a great editor; she may be the smartest person I know. I am sure you have met her at Monterey; she's in one of the pictures of the 507 group at Pebble (I think she was like a docent).

    Tracking down the Elvis car was indeed a coup, which you can probably find somewhere on the Interwebs...

  56. #56
    This is such a great story, and set of images that I thought it good to share here in it's entirety.

    Elvis's 507.

    Munich. The glittering comeback is now following one of the most spectacular classic-car discoveries of recent times. The BMW 507 was driven by US musician Elvis Presley, famous already at that time as the “King of Rock’n’Roll”, while he was doing his military service in Germany. After that it disappeared for nearly 50 years and was believed to have been lost before returning to the limelight. After almost two years of exacting restoration work, BMW Group Classic is presenting the roadster for the first time in a public arena. Restored to its original condition, it will be exhibited on 21 August 2016 at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The BMW 507 with chassis number 70079 will be on view for visitors to the popular classic car show exactly as it was when soldier Elvis Presley took delivery of the car on 20 December 1958: with paintwork finished in Feather White, the 150 hp V8 aluminium engine under the bonnet, centre-lock rims, black-and-white interior and a Becker Mexico radio.

    “The opportunity to bring back the BMW 507 owned by the King of Rock’n’Roll to us here in Munich for purposes of restoration in accordance with the wishes of the previous owner, Jack Castor, was a dream come true for all those involved,” commented Ulrich Knieps, Head of BMW Group Classic. “This was an exceptionally fascinating project. The outcome is not simply a source of great pride to us. Jack would undoubtedly have been delighted by the outcome.” In the summer of 2014, the exhibition of the unrestored discovery at the BMW Museum generated a great deal of excitement among classic car enthusiasts, but it also threw up questions: Was this really once Elvis’ BMW 507? And will it even be possible to transform this roadster back into a jewel of the 1950s?

    From “Return to Sender” into “It’s Now or Never”.

    The condition of the two-seater really was a cause for concern. Although the original body parts and other components were virtually all present and intact, the roadster had lost its engine and gearbox. The rear axle was a “replacement part” of unknown origin, rust was eating away the floor assembly, the seats were worn and there was no instrument panel. However, the fascination of a rare and beguilingly beautiful automobile outweighed all the inadequacies and deficiencies, augmented by the memory of Elvis Presley and his greatest hits. While the roadster came back to Munich under the slogan of “Return to Sender”, the solution was undoubtedly “It’s Now or Never”. A project managed by BMW Group Classic succeeded in restoring the automobile. In-house experts and external specialists joined forces to carry out the work and the result defined new benchmarks for the restoration of a BMW 507.

    Looking back on the process, the story of Elvis’ BMW 507 and its restoration is pure Rock’n’Roll: as captivating as the swinging hips of the “King”, energy sapping, an emotional roller-coaster, and full of surprising twists and turns. This is not simply a tale about the young GI Elvis Presley. It is also about the experienced “hillclimb champion” Hans Stuck, kissable lips daubed on white paint, a retired space engineer and a warehouse for pumpkins, a Chevy engine that was much too big, rubberised coconut mats and door handles printed in a 3D process. And the story already began three years before the “King” started military service with the US Army stationed in Hesse, Southern Germany.

    Myth among rarities: The BMW 507 of the “King”.

    The BMW 507 has always been one of the most exclusive and sought-after rarities in the model history of the brand with just 254 automobiles being produced between 1955 and 1959. Right after its world premiere at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in 1955, the two-seater penned by designer Albrecht Graf Goertz was hailed in the press as the “Dream from the Isar”. Celebrity owners like Alain Delon, Ursula Andress and John Surtees contributed to the image of the roadster as a status symbol. However, no other automobile of this model is shrouded in mythology like the BMW 507 once owned by Elvis Presley. This particular roadster was believed to have been lost for almost five decades. In fact, there was not even certainty about the chassis number of the car driven by the “King”. There were also doubts about whether Elvis Presley had ever transported the car back to the USA after he finished his military service in Germany, and nobody knew anything about the subsequent ownership of the car.

    All these puzzles have now been solved thanks to the experts at the BMW Group Classic Archives and American journalist Jackie Jouret, who works for “Bimmer” magazine in California. In 2006, she was already searching through contemporary reports for Elvis’ BMW 507 and relevant literature going into the history of this model. During the course of her work, she uncovered an essential detail. Various sources highlighted the fact that the BMW 507 delivered to Elvis Presley in Germany was not a brand new automobile but had previously been used by racing driver Hans Stuck. Between May and August 1958, the racing driver known as the “Hillclimb Champion” won a number of hillclimbs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – in a white BMW 507 with chassis number 70079 and registration plate M–JX 800. It is also a known fact verified by photographs that this roadster rolled off the assembly line on 13 September 1957. A few days later, it was exhibited at the Frankfurt International Motor Show and repeatedly used for test drives by the press. As early as October 1957, Hans Stuck presented the car at the London Motor Show and then drove the roadster through Belgium, where he presented it to King Baudouin, before motoring down to the Turin Motor Show. And as if that were not enough, in the summer of 1958, Stuck’s BMW 507 won the automobile beauty competition in Wiesbaden and then played a role in the Bavaria film studio for the feature film “Hula-Hopp Conny” with Cornelia Froboess and Rudolf Vogel.

    This vehicle had been carefully serviced at BMW after every race, the engine had been upgraded and a new gearbox fitted when it ended up with a dealer in Frankfurt in the autumn of 1958. The young US soldier Presley was 23 at the time, and he came along and took it out on a test drive for a spin. The “King” was immediately impressed by it and decided to buy the car. Photos taken at the time show that export licence plates had already been fitted to the BMW 507. Later on it was given a registration from the US military that changed every year. This was part of the reason why subsequent identification of the vehicle proved to be complicated later on. The experts from the BMW Group Classic Archives were only absolutely certain about its provenance when they came across the insurance proposal from December 1958 which contained the chassis number 70079 alongside registration of the keeper of the vehicle as Elvis Aaron Presley.

    Pampered in Germany, radically modified in the USA.

    Elvis Presley used the BMW 507 to drive between his home in Bad Nauheim and the US Army Base in Friedberg. His female fans always kept a close eye on him and he was often mobbed by them. The paintwork of the roadster was frequently daubed with messages of love painted in lipstick. These signs of adoration were by no means unusual for a rock star but they were an embarrassment to Presley as a young US soldier. A new livery in Red for the vehicle solved the problem.

    In March 1960, Elvis Presley ended his military service in Germany. Back on American highways, he must have abandoned sheer driving pleasure in an open-top BMW since a few months later he traded in the red roadster bearing chassis number 70079 with a Chrysler dealer in New York. The dealer in turn sold the car for the ridiculously low price from today’s perspective of 4 500 dollars to radio moderator Tommy Charles. Charles took the automobile to his home town of Birmingham in the state of Alabama where a very successful racing career began, although this move was very questionable when it came to the issue of authenticity. The BMW 507 was fitted with a Chevrolet engine in preparation for action on the race track. This took up so much space that parts of the front frame carrier had to be cut out. The gearbox and the rear axle, and the instruments in the cockpit were replaced. Charles won a race in Daytona Beach/Florida with the radically modified roadster and he lined up on the starting grid in several more competitions before selling the vehicle in the course of 1963.

    Two more changes of ownership followed and the BMW 507 then went to California. Space engineer Jack Castor acquired the car in 1968 and he used it occasionally as a runabout for everyday use before deciding to put the car into storage for a subsequent restoration. Castor was a passionate collector of historic bicycles and over the years he also amassed an impressive collection of classic automobiles in Half Moon Bay to the south of San Francisco. He got involved with several classic car clubs and delved into the history of the vehicles he had acquired.

    The “Holy Grail” in the pumpkin warehouse.

    Castor also put together a comprehensive dossier on his BMW 507. Meanwhile, the engineer had gone into retirement and one day he happened to see the article in “Bimmer” magazine. Castor wrote to the author, told her about the BMW 507 with chassis number 70079 that he owned and invited her over to look at the vehicle. He was aware that he was the owner of the racing car driven by “hillclimb champion” Hans Stuck, but up to then he had only been able to speculate about a potential connection with Elvis. However, Jackie Jouret was absolutely certain about this issue. She accompanied Jack Castor to a warehouse for pumpkins where the red BMW 507 was stored alongside other venerable vehicles. “Jack had tied down its engine bonnet with ropes,” recalled the journalist when she looked back on the moment of discovery. “It took some time until we actually got the engine compartment open and identified the stamped chassis number: 70079, the Holy Grail among BMW numbers.”

    Jack Castor had already collected a large number of parts carefully stowed in boxes for the planned restoration of the roadster to its original condition. What he lacked was an appropriate engine and the necessary time to see the project through. However, things then started to happen. Jackie Jouret set up the contact with BMW Group Classic where new information about the identity of the BMW 507 used by Elvis Presley in Germany was being gathered. This allowed the facts that had been researched in the USA to be confirmed.

    Jack Castor was not interested in making a fast buck out of the unexpected additional fame of his BMW 507. However, the contact with BMW Group Classic was strengthened. After several years and a number of discussions with the experts for restoring classic cars at BMW Group Classic, Klaus Kutscher and Axel Klinger-Köhnlein, an agreement was reached. Alongside the purchase of the vehicle by BMW Group Classic, it also included the authentic restoration of the car along the lines envisaged by Castor.

    By container to the museum – and from there into the workshop.

    The time had come in the spring of 2014. The BMW 507 was shipped to Germany in a container, together with the spare parts collected by Castor. The first stop in Munich was the BMW Museum where the roadster was presented to an admiring audience in the special exhibition “Elvis’ BMW 507 – lost and found”. Work then began on restoration in the workshop of BMW Group Classic.

    As was usual for projects of this nature, phase one was primarily destructive in nature. The vehicle was completely dismantled, a process which in this special case took an entire week, rather than the two days that had been originally planned. Initially, the aluminium body was separated from the floor assembly made of sheet steel. This was the only way of retaining as much of the original material as possible. The paint was then removed from the floor assembly in an acid bath and from the body in an alkaline bath. The engine had already been removed and the remnants of the interior that remained had been set aside.

    A lot of components had to be remanufactured from scratch because the stocks of original parts for the BMW 507 are limited even at BMW Group Classic. Traditional craftsmanship in the style of the 1950s was melded with high-tech production procedures of the modern world. The instrument panel was newly cast on the basis of the original. The leather upholstery was created to precisely match the pattern shown in old photographs and catalogues. When the seats were reconstructed, it proved possible to use the original steel subframe for the seats after all the rust had carefully been removed. A rubberised coconut mat was then drawn over the steel springs. This natural material was already being used in the 1950s for series production of the BMW 507, alongside the overlaid felt and linen layers to make the seats as comfortable as possible. Window winders and door handles were remanufactured in an advanced, modern 3D printing process based on the original dimensions. After producing a digital data set by three-dimensional scan of the original part, a facsimile was generated with the help of additive manufacturing and mirror finished afterwards. By contrast, the rubber seal for the tank cover was reproduced in a conventional manufacturing procedure. Since this component like many others in the BMW 507 had fallen prey to the ravages of time, a small series was produced. This means that roadster users are now able to source this spare part in the parts shop of BMW Group Classic.

    The BMW 507 makes a comeback – it’s just like the car Hans Stuck drove, the one Elvis purchased, and this is the way Jack Castor wanted it.

    The engine for Elvis’ BMW 507 was completely rebuilt from spare parts. The 3.2 litre V8 engine was reconditioned precisely in conformity with the original specifications of the BMW 507, but it was not given an engine number on account of the unavoidable but otherwise unusual use of old and new components. The front frame carrier, which had been cut down at an early stage, also had to be reproduced in its original geometry and integrated in the floor assembly. The wooden nailing strip for fixing the soft top in place was also reproduced using materials and processing methods in keeping with the 1950s.

    Maximum authenticity was also the objective in painting the vehicle. The BMW 507 is now resplendent once again in Feather White. The primer coat, the filler and the top coat were not applied by the methods that are commonplace today. Rather, they were implemented in a procedure that corresponds to the technology in use some 60 years ago. This enabled the excessive colour brilliance to be avoided which is considered desirable nowadays but is inappropriate for classic cars.

    Similar to the reconstruction of the V8 engine and the use of true-to-original parts and production procedures, the selection of paintwork also corresponds precisely to the conditions defined by Jack Castor. Right from the start, he wanted to restore the roadster to the original condition it was supplied in back in 1958. However, his aspiration to be able to see the BMW 507 through the eyes of the “King” remained unfulfilled. Jack Castor passed away at the age of 77 in November 2014. We will therefore remember him at Pebble Beach. The BMW 507 will be presented there for the first time not simply as the automobile of the “King”, but also as the legacy of Jack Castor and a masterpiece of BMW Group Classic.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  57. #57
    These are the pictures from BMW's own archives, the car as it was, then as it was found after its long slumber in California, without the original motor.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  58. #58
    Here it is undergoing restoration, and in BMW's photo studio in Munich.....
       
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  59. #59
    and last, but not least on the lawn at Pebble Beach for its grand unveiling.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  60. #60
    Z8 Madness 2112's Avatar
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    I typically do not like white cars but WOW, just WOW.

    Of course they are all incredible.
    2000 Red over black
    heavily modified for performance. Although, not to the level of GM's car

  61. #61
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    What a spectacular history! I loved all of the pictures of the car and, especially, the restoration and wonder if there are more. As I noted in another thread, mine was #70186 and was exactly the same color scheme as the restored Presley car. I had the opportunity to show it to Albrecht Goertz in 1968 and told him how I planned to change the color scheme. He stopped me in my tracks and said "...the car was designed to have this exact color scheme." I, of course, never changed it and did not restore it. Mine had 21,000 miles on it. In 1967, I tried to buy Tommy Charles' car. I am from Birmingham, Alabama where he was a disk jockey and a friend of Presley's.

  62. #62
    Team Z8 tomfakes's Avatar
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    I personally saw 2 other 507s that week. There was a Series 2 at The Quail, and a Series 1 that was in The Quail catalog, but was actually for sale at the RM/Sotheby's auction with the first Shelby.

    The Series 1 had 2 central tail lights - 1 for reverse, and 1 as a fog light.
     

  63. #63
    Team Z8 zed8's Avatar
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    BMW Festival in Munich


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    Hattat

    AF77768 Topasblau / Schwarz

    PP installed
    Motorsport 20" style 101 wheels
    Eisenmann catback
    Supersprint headers
    CDV removed
    Quaife LSD
    3.64 gearing

  64. #64
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Ufuk, great opportunity to create this great combo with your car!
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  65. #65
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    https://youtu.be/QoZF_I56zws
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  66. #66
    in Coral Gables, Florida DirkZ8's Avatar
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    507 Treffen in Langenlois, Austria, earlier this month, 30 507s, many of them driven hundreds of miles to attend this 46th annual gathering. One couple drove down from Sweden (2,500 kms round trip), car has been in family since new.
       
    Dirk

    Alpina #142
    www.bmwccca.com

  67. #67
    What fantastic pictures, got any more please?
    Andrew Macpherson

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  68. #68
    Team Z8 Satch's Avatar
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    Regarding the color spectrum of Z8s in 2000: I am not completely convinced that even the dealers got a lot of choice. Remember, the allotment was very, very small. Buyers who had signed up and put down deposits well in advance were shocked to find that the dealers added a small surcharge... in some cases doubling the MSRP! (We have the original BOS on Buffy, which was sold in Atlanta, I believe, for around $220,000. The MSRP was $128,000.)

    I do know of at least one dealer who sold his allotment (one car) to himself. That was a silver car. Whether BMW pushed 3/5 of its entire production through the silver paint booth or the dealers were gaga over Titanium, I can't say... but I do know that the people who wanted them had very little choice or bargaining position.

  69. #69

  70. #70
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    Here is another video on the 507.....




  71. #71
    I wish my Z8 sounded as good as that 507! Thanks for providing this video.

    Bill

  72. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by 01BlueZ8 View Post
    Here is another video on the 507. https://youtu.be/Ekmmpb7JjOg
    Yes Thank You Ken for the video! I had no idea that Elvis' 507 was a barn find in 2006 right in our backyard, Half Moon Bay California.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  73. #73
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    I was surprised to learn that too. What a discovery!

  74. #74
    And here is another video of it from Car TV.

    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  75. #75
    Call me a geek, but I just loved that last one, boy do those guys at Classic do a fine job!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

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