BMW uses 21st-cen­tury tech to cre­ate new parts for a piece of his­tory

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

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.


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