Imagine the King of Rock n' Roll driving a car and you'll likely picture a pink Cadillac or a yellow De Tomaso shot full of holes. But Elvis also owned a 1957 BMW 507 roadster, and now that roadster is returning home to BMW headquarters.
Today BMW is a top player in the luxury vehicle market, but it wasn't always so. With origins as an airplane engine builder early in the 20th Century, it broke into the automotive industry when it bought Automobilwerk Eisenach in 1928. That German manufacturer was licensed to build the Austin Seven under the name Dixi DA-1, which could be had in a roadster body style. In 1929, BMW dropped the Dixi name, and by 1936, it was building a car it designed in-house, the 326 sedan. That was followed by
Classical Drive reported last week on the passing of Albrecht Graf von Goertz earlier in the month. He was the designer behind the singularly beautiful BMW 507. Goertz emigrated to the United States in 1936, and in 1938 opened a shop in California where he specialized in modifying Model A and B Fords. It was in that shop that Goertz created his "Paragon" coupe, a custom car that would be the catalyst for what can only be described as a remarkable career.