507restomod

If someone told me that the 507 was made for a Bond film, I’d believe them. Its unofficial successor, the S62-powered Z8, which BMW created to pay homage to the 507, was in fact piloted by Pierce Brosnan’s 007 in The World Is Not Enough, so it makes sense that the Z8’s predecessor has that same action movie charm. The sleek, classic lines of the 507 are also reminiscent of the vintage luxury that Jaguar and Aston Martin models of the time delivered, which comes as no surprise, seeing how both of those brands were also used in the James Bond franchise.

But just like Bond at the poker table, BMW put all in and went for broke on this one. The multi-million-dollar, all-aluminum collector’s coupe that we know of today was too revolutionary back in 1956 when it was first introduced. Blinded by the success of Mercedes’ 300 SL Gullwing stateside at the time, Munich brass decided to upsell the european sports car at $9,000, $3,000 more than the $5,000 asking price that US automobile importer Max Hoffman had originally posed.

High production costs faced by the german automaker eventually forced that $9,000 price tag to skyrocket to nearly $10,500, or roughly $100,000 today after adjusting for inflation. This meant that the originally proposed run of 5,000 examples never saw a production number higher than 252 or so models—a low production number that is actually increasing the value of the 507 now, nearly seven decades later. Ironic, isn’t it?

But what if the 507 was made for the 21st century? We have seen a lot of restomod renderings lately, like the 02 Reminiscence Concept and Kobayashi’s i2002, but Abimelec Design’s photorealistic renderings of this modern-day 507 are sure to make you wish you had a few million in the bank.

Though the artist decided to improve the stance of the 507 with a slight widening of the rear wheel arches, a lowered profile, and a raked windshield, the roadster as a whole remains as it did in the late 1950s. Abimelec Design also opted to swap out the bimmer trunk trim for a cleaner light and license plate holder off of a ‘65 Shelby Cobra, equipping the finished render with custom-designed steelie style wheels with Shelby knockoff center caps—but those minute changes are not the key player here.

No, the real head turner here is that glorious engine bay. Originally driven by a 150-horsepower, 3.2 liter overhead-valve M507/1 V8, the 507 came equipped with the first official eight-cylinder engine ever made by BMW for a road car. In this re-imagined 507, however, that’s not the case.

Bringing the roaster up to today’s performance expectations, the render depicts an S62 V8 straight out of an E39 M5—or perhaps a Z8—sitting pretty under the hood, which happens to fit perfectly within the confines of the classic engine bay. Now with VANOS and a couple liters worth of more displacement, the 394-horsepower racecar/former money pit has officially been welcomed to the 21st century in style.

While the finished product looks almost tangible, the current seven-figure going-rate for 507s makes it highly unlikely that we will ever see a real-life example with similar modifications. Although, if you are a die-hard BMW enthusiast with a few million dollars laying around, there are worse ways to restored a classic.—Malia Murphy

[Photos courtesy Abimelec Design.]

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