Elvis first car in Germany was an old Volkswagen which he eventually gave to his German karate instructor, Jurgen Seydel. On December 21 1958, Elvis leased a BMW 507 from BMW Glöckler. The car was a ‘used’ one and Elvis knew this, formerly driven by racing ace Hans Stuck. Elvis was assured by Mr Glöckler that ‘the car was very well run in by Mr Stuck’. Stuck had raced the car in several sports car events, but the engine was modified for Elvis to use on a daily basis. (So the car was quite special).
The price seemed very reasonable – the equivalent of $3,750 USD, instead of $7,160 for a brand new one. Not understanding the contract written in German Elvis thought he was buying the car. But no, he later learned it was only on lease and had to be returned when he left Germany. So BMW used the promotional value of Elvis driving their car, while Elvis had to pay for it.
Elvis had originally wanted a Porsche Spider, probably due to his being a James Dean fan and this is what Dean had (And died in). However this was impossible to get immediately so Elvis took an interest in the BMW 507. Probably the reason he opted for the ‘used’ car was it’s immediate availability. Elvis was handed the keys to the car on December 21, 1958 in a ‘ceremony’ in the presence of Uschi Siebert, a former Miss Hessen and then a well known TV personality. A dozen photographers and journalists documented the scene. When he actually took possession of the car is unclear but it would have been in the days following after a service and registration change. The number plate on the car that was Elvis’ was A-1499 (‘1958 US Forces In Germany’). The car was plated ‘F-04071’ before Elvis took delivery. In August 1959 Elvis swapped the white sportscar at BMW Glöckler for a red 507 which he drove until October 1959.
Only 253 examples of the BMW 507 were ever made, and Elvis Presley owned two of them. The first, a white ’58 roadster, he famously gifted to his Fun in Acalpulco co-star Ursula Andress; the other, a ’58, has been in storage for over 40 years. Now, BMW Classic has obtained Elvis’s “lost” sports car and will give it a full restoration.