Fit for the King

 Elvis Presley’s BMW heading to Pebble Beach

If you’re a classic car fan and you’re heading to Monterey this August for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, prepare to get all shook up.

Elvis Presley’s 1957 BMW 507 Series I Roadster is heading to this year’s event as part of BMW’s Centennial Display.

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The King’s love affair with cars is almost as well documented as his life in music. And while he’s most famous for an obsession with Cadillac and for shooting his De Tomaso Pantera — such was his frustration at the car’s complete lack of reliability — his first automotive crush was on the Albert Graf Goertz-designed 3.3-liter V8-powered roadster.

The story goes that while completing his national service in Germany, Presley traveled to France where he saw the 507 race at the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry. It was love at first sight and in December 1958 he leased the actual car.

Unfortunately the car was finished in feather white, meaning that every time he parked it, its color made it easy for fans to cover it in phone numbers, pledges of devotion and lipstick kisses.

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To counter this issue and to hide the marks, Elvis had the car repainted a bright red. Elvis sold the car in the early 1960s, but not before he’d been photographed in it many times — the car even appeared with him on film — raising the 205 km/h (127mph) sportscar’s profile significantly in the US.

Two years ago it came into BMW Group Classic’s possession and it has now undergone a complete ground-up restoration including returning it to its original white exterior finish.

And on August 21 at Pebble Beach the finished car will be revealed to the public for the very first time alongside a host of other BMW classics including two of its Art Cars (standard BMWs painted by famous artists Alexander Calder and Jeff Koons).

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