Cars from the 50s: The Sublime 1958 BMW 507

As with many BMW 507s, this one has a very interesting history. It rolled off the production line on July 4, 1958, and was delivered to the famous French dealer Imperial Garage just over a month later.

In April 1960 the car was made available,for a very short period, to the Greek ambassador Leonidas Papagos. He was the son of Alexandros Papagos, Prime Minister of Greece from 1952 to 1955. A month later the BMW was returned to Imperial Garage, where a well known and wealthy Lebanese couple fell in love with the car. They bought it for their son, as a gift to mark the imminent end of his studies at the London School of Economics. The 507 was sent to London and kept in the garage of their family home.

That summer the young owner drove his BMW from London to Munich, where the manufacturer carried out some tests and minor repairs. He continued on to Austria, Switzerland, Italy and finally Genoa, where the car embarked for Lebanon. He recalls that throughout his journey he was stopped countless times by people asking what the car was.

The 507 was then held in Beirut, where it was regularly driven and even served as his wedding car in April 1969. When the Civil War started in 1975, the family became worried that something might happen to their son’s precious car and companion of many adventures. They asked their friend Munir Abu-Haidar, president of Trans-Mediterranean Airways, for help. He took charge of the problem, and sent the BMW on a London-bound company plane on June 6, 1975. He continued to use it during his stays in England.

In the spring of 2014, an Italian auto collector spotted the 507 in a Kensington side street. Fascinated by the state of conservation of the car, which clearly showed its age but also that it was much loved, he left a note under the windscreen asking if he could buy the BMW as a gift to his wife.
Having not received any calls for several months, he lost all hope – until one day in July, while holidaying in Corfu, he received the long-awaited communication. Finally, after two years of discussions, he was finally able to purchase the 507.

A ground-up restoration subsequently took place to return the car to its original splendour, and a BMW Classic certificate of originality was issued in 2017.


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