Despite receiving critical acclaim at the 1955 Frankfurt Auto Show, the BMW 507 faced a disappointing reception during its New York debut two months earlier. BMW deviated significantly from Hoffman’s intended $5,000 price point, setting the initial US selling price at $9,000—more than double the cost of a Ford Thunderbird or Chevrolet Corvette.
In the UK, the price of a single 507 could fetch two Jaguar XK150s, and even Mercedes-Benz’s 300 SL Coupé was more affordable. Despite the steep price, Mercedes-Benz was concerned enough about the 507’s impact to introduce a direct competitor in the form of the 300 SL Roadster.
Actual production of the 507 did not commence until 1956, with the first series being built until June 1957 when the design underwent detailed revisions. Most improvements focused on the interior, featuring a deeper dashboard, increased fore-and-aft seat adjustment, and the addition of a rear parcel shelf.
However, these enhancements came at a cost, further distancing the 507 from the average consumer. For those with an unyielding commitment to style regardless of the price, the BMW roadster became a symbol of prestige. Notable owners included pop icon Elvis Presley, motorcycling World Champion John Surtees, and film stars Alain Delon, David Carradine, and Ursula Andress, among others.
Despite its exclusive clientele, the limited demand couldn’t sustain the 507 in production. The model ceased production in December 1959, with only 253 units sold.