A 1957 BMW 507 formerly owned by John Surtees will hit the Goodwood Festival of Speed auction block on July 13, 2018.
Being sold by Bonhams, the car remained in Surtees’ personal possession until his death in March of last year. Estimates for the stunning roadster put the value somewhere between $2.6 and $3.3 million.
Surtees acquired the car when new in 1957, receiving it as a gift from Count Domenico Agusta who was at the time head of MV Agusta factory team, for whom Surtees had just won the 500cc Motorcycle World Championship. The British driver had spotted a 507 being piloted by BMW engineering director Alexander von Falkenhausen.
The 507 proved a bit steep for Count Agusta, so he and Surtees went in on it 50-50, and Surtees helped to do some development work for BMW while sorting out the final specifications of the car. The silver-blue shade was a specific choice, but when Surtees first took delivery of the car it didn’t quite match the sensation he expected, and he actually went back to BMW requesting more power and improved braking. BMW responded by tuning the V8 up for more horsepower and installing disc brakes at all four corners.
The Surtees provenance makes this BMW one-of-a-kind in terms of single ownership history, while the upgrades make it one-of-a-kind from a performance perspective, as well. Add the specifics to the fact that only 252 examples of the 507 ever rolled out of the factory— and of those 252, only 11 came with factory hard tops as this one did, and the expected bids seem to make a little more sense. Along with the car itself, a series of documents including a handwritten letter from the Count and a draft letter by Surtees himself describing his personal history with the car.
When new, the BMW 507’s 3.2-liter V8 produced around 150 horsepower. With the additional improvements on Surtees’ example, power should be modestly enhanced though still far short of even today’s typical daily drivers. Still, it clearly provided great joy to Surtees throughout his life, and considering that this is a man who won championships in both motorcycle and automotive competition racing, it should prove to offer quite a driver’s experience— here’s hoping that whoever forks out the funds to win the auction actually drives the 507, rather than letting it waste away parked in a museum collection.