ELVIS’ CAR RESTORED USING 3D PRINTING
BMW uses 21st-century tech to create new parts for a piece of history
B MW has turned to new technology in order to restore one its most famous cars. The 507 owned by music icon Elvis Presley has been rebuilt by the company with the help of 3D printing after rescuing it from a pumpkin warehouse.
The Munich based car manufacturer used 3D printers to create new window wipers and door handles after failing to find replacements. After producing a digital scan of the original part, a facsimile was generated, and the parts were printed.
By contrast, the rubber seal for the tank cover was reproduced by traditional manufacturing procedures. This rubber seal proved so rare that BMW decided to produce a small series of these, which are now available to buy through BMW Group Classic.
Restoration of the BMW took around two years. During that time, engineers gave the vehicle a brand new engine and a handful of original parts.
The 1957 BMW 507 will hit the show circuit starting with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, California, USA, on 21 August. After that, it is set to star at BMW’s museum in Munich.
‘The opportunity to bring back the car owned by the King of Rock’n’Roll to us here in Munich was a dream come true,’ comments Ulrich Knieps, Head of BMW Group Classic.
The car was first used in 1957 as a display piece at the Frankfurt Motor Show, costing 26,500 German marks (roughly £270,000 in today’s money).
Elvis first saw the BMW at the Montlhéry track near Paris in 1958, and leased the car in Germany while stationed there in the US Army.
He even had to spray the car from white to red, so that women would stop writing their phone numbers in lipstick on the side of it. After completing his overseas service in 1960, the car was shipped back to America, where a Chrysler dealer, Tommy Charles, purchased it in 1962. It was then bought by a California-based car collector who had it until 2014.
Now back to its original white paint, Elvis had to spray it red to stop women writing their phone numbers on it.