Champion on two and four wheels has acquired a new, loved and kept all his life.
In 1956, John Surtees won the first of seven World Champion titles in motorcycling. When next year, Count Agusta asked if he could buy him a gift to reward him for that title, Big John remembered the car that thrilled him. On the race at Hockenheim, he noticed the beautiful new BMW 507, which belonged to Alex von Falkenhausen, the legendary constructor and director of the Munich brand development. After having tried it, he even more thrilled with the car.
The Count was not thrilled with the price, but he agreed with the star of his team and gave him half the amount needed. Surtees also agreed to do some development work for BMW and thus secured its half. In the following years, he often traveled to the race with it, crossing the Alpine ridge. In the factory, the engine was rebuilt and added power, and in agreement with Dunlop, the car also got a brake disc on all wheels.
When he switched to the world of the car race and signed for Ferrari, Enzo ordered him to drive his car (and later he paid the price off his paycheck), but Surtees kept BMW and continued to use it occasionally. Of course, Elvis had 507 during the army service in Germany, but the loyalty and decades-long emphasis of love for this car certainly put Surtees’s copy in the first place of the most important and most desirable individual chassis of this model.
In fact, there is hardly any more significant and charismatic example of a BMW road car during the ninety years of production of vehicles on four (in the Isette case, sometimes three) wheels. And now, just one year after Surtees’s death, it was offered for sale. The auction will be held on Friday, July 13th, as part of the Bonhams auction at Goodwood.
The estimated value is about two and a half million euros, which is even very favorable for this vehicle – although it is a bit surprising that the deal with the parent factory has not been reached far from the auction scene and that the car did not finish at the factory museum. It is difficult to estimate who will compete, but it is assumed that some of the leading oldtimer museums could be a buyer.