Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:
BMW restores the 507 driven by Hans Stuck and Elvis, will present it at Pebble Beach
Nissan resurrects the BladeGlider concept with a new variant, may kinda think about building it
BMW will bring 150 “30 Jahre” M3s to the US
I make fun of click-bait titles and you’ll never guess how much power the new Camaro ZL1 will have
Pricing info is finalized for the Tacoma TRD Pro, QX30, and G80
What’s your automotive news?
BMW restores the most famous 507 of them all
The King of Rock’n’Roll had a wonderful taste in cars as much as he did for music. While Elvis Presley was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army he chose the BMW 507 roadster to storm autobahns with. When he shipped back home, the car followed him home but he didn’t keep it for long. It was thought to be lost forever as it changed hands in the states, but it was found and acquired by BMW Group Classic a few years ago. Two years after an exacting restoration was kicked off, it’ll be shown in the public arena for the first time at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Elvis took delivery of his BMW 507, chassis number 70079, on December 20th, 1958 and has been restored to the exact condition as it was on that day. It was presented to the already famous soldier with Feather White paint, black and white interior, center-locking wheels, a 150 horsepower V8, and a Becker Mexico radio and that’s exactly how it’ll appear in Pebble Beach. Of course, it wasn’t nearly as complete when they got a hold of it. BMW says the condition of the roadster “really was a cause for concern” because it had lost its engine and gearbox, had some mysterious “replacement” axle, rust was eating away at the floorboards, the seats were in bad shape, and the instrument panel was gone. The body was all intact though and the rest was good enough to be saved. BMW had it shipped back to Munich where it was shown in its unrestored state in their museum. Even with a majority of its internals missing and it being red, it attracted a lot of attention.
That gave BMW enough time to get the history straight on this thing. His 507 was shrouded in mythology more so than any of the other 254 models produced between 1955 to 1959 because, among other reasons, nobody knew what happened to it. It was hard to track for a few reasons, but American journalist Jackie Jouret uncovered a few key details that turned her and BMW Group Classic in the right direction.
Story time! Elvis didn’t actually buy it new; it was a used car previously used by Hans Stuck at various motor shows and motorsport events. When it ended up on a dealer lot in Frankfurt, a 23-year-old Elvis bought it and used it on his commute to and from the base. His fans caught on to his new ride and would leave messages for him written in lipstick. The guys at the base must’ve loved that. To avoid embarrassment, Elvis had it painted red.
When Elvis got back to the states, he traded it in at a Chrysler dealer in New York who sold it for practically nothing to an Alabama man who decided a Chevrolet engine was a better idea. Stuffing that massive engine in there meant cutting up some of the original suspension and the original instrument cluster was lost in the process, but it did see victory at some point. It was then bought by Jack Castor of California who got it to runabout on the weekends before storing it for an intended restoration. When Jackie’s article about the #70079 507 was published in Bimmer magazine, Castor contacted the author and invited her to come out and verify his car’s identity. Working with BMW Group Classic, they confirmed its identity and both parties reached an agreement to have it shipped back for restoration in spring of 2014. Castor insisted it was restored to its original condition and BMW Group Classic couldn’t disagree.
Both in-house experts and outside resources were brought in to get the holy grail of 507s back to its original condition. Some 507 parts were hard to come by even for BMW Group Classic, so many had to be built from scratch. The 3.2-liter V8 was made entirely from spare parts, some of which were acquired by Castor. 50’s materials and manufacturing processes were used as often as possible to keep it authentic. Despite the challenges, the two year restoration was completed and it looks stellar. It looks exactly as it did in 1958 and it’s exactly how Castor wanted it. Sadly, Jack Castor passed away at the age of 77 in November 2014.
BMW will present the beautifully restored 507 that was Castor’s as much as it was Presley’s and Stuck’s while also honoring him and his grand vision for the car. If you’re rich enough to attend the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach, your chance to see it is on August 21st.
Nissan BladeGlider Concept (part II)
A few years ago, Nissan and DeltaWing Technologies partnered up to bring a crazy DeltaWing racecar to life. The car was plagued with bad luck but Nissan continued with a few more iterations and street car concepts that ultimately got them in legal trouble with Don Panoz who heads DeltaWing. Clearly their lawsuits were settled (you can read more about it from Stef Schrader on jellopicnic) because Nissan has revealed a new version of their BladeGlider concept, a zero-emissions, ideally road-legal DeltaWing for the street.
The first BladeGlider concept was revealed in 2013 at the Tokyo Auto Show and part 2, if you will, is being shown in Rio ahead of the Olympics… for better or worse. Like the first concept, this one represents a futuristic vision of sustainable mobility with a fun side to it. Not that many people have gotten the chance to drive a DeltaWing-styled car to confirm, but Nissan is claiming a unique driving experience that isn’t at all hampered by the odd setup or its focus on sustainability. As they say, it’s the EV for car lovers.
The interior has a similar 3-seat setup where the driver sits farther forward than the two passengers who egress through rear-hinged dihedral doors. The driver is presented with a neat glass instrument panel which includes images from the rear-view camears mounted just behind the front wheels. Sunburn can be enjoyed through a full panoramic roof.
Two 130kW electric motors, one for each rear wheel, produce enough power and torque to propel this thing to a theoretical sub-five-second 0-62 mph time and a top speed of about 120 mph. Nissan promises the staggered track-width promotes aerodynamic efficiency and doesn’t negatively impact stability. That crafty engineering works for the race car, so it could work for a street car too.
Will Nissan ever build this? I’d be kind of surprised if they did. The only concepts of theirs that ever get produced anymore are the ones that generate the least amount of buzz around the interwebs.
BMW announced that the 30th anniversary celebrations of the M3 are coming stateside. 150 examples of the 2017 BMW “30 Jahre [year]” Limited Edition M3 will be available to US customers this month. This 30 Jahre special was announced a few months ago and it’s essentially special paint and badging on top of a loaded Competition Package M3. 500 units are being built worldwide and 150 of those are in US spec for the low price of $83,250. That money gets you a manual-equipped M3 (the seven-speed DCT is a $2,900 option) with nearly every option thrown at it. The Competition Package adds those awesome wheels, 444 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque, Adaptive M Suspension, a retuned suspension which many claim to be far superior over that of the standard car, and some other special touches. The main new addition to this special model is the return of a legendary paint color that was originally applied to the Sport Evo E30 M3, Macao Blue Metallic. The gorgeous paint is matched with a full leather interior featuring a bi-color black and blue design with color-matching seams. It’s a fairly tame special edition even by BMW standards, but somehow it just feels right.
YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE HOW MUCH HORSEPOWER THE NEW 2017 CAMARO ZL1 WILL HAVE. HEY GUYS, HERE’S NOW MUCH HORSEPOWER THE 2017 #CAMERO #ZL1 WILL HAVE. GUYS. GAIZ. CLICK ON THIS CLICK-BAIT TITLE TO SEE HOW MUCH POWER THE CAMARO ZL1 WILL HAVE. YOU READY? I DON’T THINK YOU’RE READY. CLICK PAST THE JUMP IF YOU CAN HANDLE THE MURICA. HERE’S HOW MUCH IT’LL HAVE:
[Source: Camaro6 via Autoweek]
Three big new cars just got their pricing info confirmed by their respective manufacturers. Rather than go into each one in boring detail (but mostly because I’m lazy), here’s a quick run down.
- The 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, and off-road enthusiast special with loads of TRD off-road hardware, will start at $40,760 when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed auto is a $2,000 option. It reaches dealerships later this month.
- Infiniti’s 2017 QX30, an all-new premium active crossover for the people who don’t need a land yacht to haul their things, will start at $29,950 when equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo four with front-wheel drive. Various premium trim levels add a couple thousand along the way and all-wheel drive commands an $1,800 premium over comparable FWD models. It goes on sale soon but buyers that want to be first in line can register at InfinitiUSA.com to receive a gift for placing a deposit. Gifts range from a GoPro Hero4 Silver to Bose headphones and a night at a premium hotel to a “curated culinary experience”.
- Genesis, Hyundai’s new spin off luxury brand, announced pricing on their first new car. The Genesis G80 will start at $41,400 and will feature plenty of standard and optional equipment to go head-to-head with the finest cars in the mix-luxury sedan market. I spent a little time in some well-equipped models at the Chicago Auto Show and it all felt very nice for a car that starts in the low 40s. It’ll hit US dealers this month. On a similar note, the other Genesis – Hyundai Genesis Coupe – is being “killed off” at the end of this year. Chances are very good that it’ll be reborn as a future Genesis model.
[Sources: Toyota, Infiniti, Genesis]
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.
[Image © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]