A BMW 507 that was owned from new by the late World Champion driver and rider John Surtees will be offered at auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard sale in the summer, what is shaping up to be a record-breaking auction for Bonhams.
£2.2M could buy you John Surtees' gorgeous BMW 507 at #FOS
The V8 roadster, with a presale guide price of £2-2.2 million, was a present to John from MV Agusta after he clinched his first 500cc World Motorcycle Championship in 1956. John had seen a 507 in Germany and fallen for its elegant lines. But because the car was so expensive – more than £3,000 – the newly crowned 500cc champion and MV Agusta went halves on buying it. John kept the car right up to his death in 2017.
The champion’s choice BMW joins the famous Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato ‘2VEV’ – the most valuable British car ever to be offered at a European auction – and the ex-Dick Shuttleworth Alfa Romeo Tipo B Monoposto at Goodwood on 13 July, delivering a feast of collector-car riches for the Festival of Speed this year.
All three auction stars were revealed together today (March 17th) at a special FOS sale preview at Bonhams 76th Members’ Meeting sale. The cars will remain on display in the Bonhams pavilion all weekend.
John Surtees loved BMWs and his 507 in particular, especially after it had been fitted with disc brakes all round, making it what’s thought to be the only 507 thus modified. But his enthusiasm for the aluminium-bodied, Albrecht von Goertz-designed sportscar wasn’t shared by everyone. John’s next team manager Enzo Ferrari, with whom he won the Formula 1 World Championship in 1964, did not approve.
In an 80th birthday interview with Goodwood Road & Racing in 2014, John told us: “The road car with the most memories for me is the 507. I used to drive it backwards and forwards to Italy. But then when I joined Ferrari, Mr Ferrari said he didn’t like me driving a German car so I had to have Ferraris.”
The story is that after declaring that John could not possibly drive a German car, Il Commendatore arranged for him to take delivery of a new Ferrari. John thought it a very generous gift – until he saw that the cost of the car had been deducted from his first pay packet.
The ex-John Surtees BMW 507, offered for the first time at public auction, will join the Aston Martin 2VEV and the Alfa Romeo Tipo B Monoposto at Bonhams sale at the Festival of Speed on July 13th.
Plenty of time to save up then!
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