BMW 507 - Best classic sports cars
Elvis Presley bought two BMW 507s, but it was so pricey that too few others bought just one...
The stunning BMW 507 is such a thing of beauty, it's hard to believe it wasn’t a commercial success. Unfortunately though, such was the cost of its development in the early 1950s, that it was vastly expensive and nearly bankrupted BMW. Ultimately, only around 250 were built, making them extremely rare and collectible today.
The idea was a good one, dreamed up by BMW’s US importer who wanted a $5,000 rival to the fit between the Mercedes 300SL and cheaper British sports cars like the TR3. Sadly, by the time BMW had finished over-engineering the 507, it had to be sold at $10,000 and the company made a huge loss.
The story makes the BMW 507 all the more fascinating today, especially when you learn that all 250-odd cars were built with hand-formed aluminium bodies meaning no two are quite identical. The specification is appealing to, as the car came with an alloy 3.2-litre V8 with 150bhp and a four-speed close ratio gearbox. That was enough for a 122mph maximum speed and a 0-60mph time of around the 11-second mark – pretty impressive in the BMW 507’s heyday.
In spite of its high price, the BMW 507 did find some notable owners, including Elvis Presley who is said to have bought two. At least a couple of cars were modified with American V8 engines too, although massively escalating values on the collector market in recent years has meant they’ve been restored to original spec.
Best classic sports cars
- 1IntroductionWhich is the best classic sports car? Models from AC, Jaguar, Ferrari, Lotus, MG, Porsche and more all make compelling cases
- 2Jaguar E-TypeEnzo Ferrari called the Jaguar E-Type the most beautiful car ever when new. Half a century hasn't jaded the looks!
- 3MGBOnce Great Britain's most ubiquitous sports car, today the MGB is a popular and affordable classic
- 4Ferrari 250 GTIf you don't go weak at the knees in the presence of a Ferrari 250 GT, we suggest seeking medical help
- 5AC CobraCarroll Shelby's iconic Cobra is the legendary snake that has inspired a legion of fakes...
- 6Porsche 911Early Porsche 911 tick lots of classic car boxes. They're rare, desirable, and still highly relevant today
- 7Ferrari Daytona174mph and stunning front-engined design are all part of what makes the Ferrari Daytona rock
- 8BMW 507 - currently readingElvis Presley bought two BMW 507s, but it was so pricey that too few others bought just one...
- 9Lotus SevenSuper light, super agile and super cool - if you don't need practicality from your classic, try this early Lotus
- 10Austin-Healey 3000The hairy-chested 'Big Healey' 3000 is as desirable now, as it was back in the 1950s and '60s
- 11Sunbeam AlpineNot quite a Ford Thunderbird in miniature, but the Sunbeam Alpine spawned a genuine muscle car