The BMW 507 has not received the recognition that other cars of its era, perhaps owing to it’s relative rarity when compared to other classic cars of the period. This is mainly to do with the fact that it was in fact a spectacular failure for BMW financially. The 507 was intended to take on its German cousin the Mercedes 300SL for style and substance while undercutting it on price. In the end only 252 cars were produced and BMW made a loss on each one sold. The production only lasted 4 years and by 1959 production was ceased.
The 507’s chassis was a shortened version of the 503 chassis which went before it. Each example was handmade from aluminium as was the case in the 50’s. As such, no two cars are the same. 11 examples were custom built for owners with removable hardtops as opposed to canvas soft tops and each of these hard-tops only fits the car for which it was made. The suspension was double wishbone at the front with a live-axel at the rear. The 507 was powered by BMW’s own 3.0L V8 engine producing approximately 150hp (one could never be sure in those days).
The 507 has had a number of very high-profile buyers including, Bernie Ecclestone, John Surtees, Elvis Presley (who owned 2), and one day…me (I wish). Despite this, it sold less than 10% of the volume that the Mercedes 300 SL did. Examples of 507’s now cost in the region of an eye-watering £1,000,000. Yes, that’s the right amount of zeros... And so, sadly my chances of ever owning one are limited…but a man can dream.
As Elvis would have said, this car really gets you “all shook up” (sorry I couldn’t resist). The shape and simplicity of its design still take your breath away even to this day, and it remains in my opinion, along with the jaguar e-type, one of the most beautiful cars ever built. What do you think?