£2.25m Greek royal family BMW 507 joins Bonhams’ Monaco sale

Formerly owned by King Constantine II, one of only 217 Series II examples will feature in prestige event on May 11

A BMW 507 originally owned by Greece’s final monarch King Constantine II has joined the line-up for Bonhams’ Monaco auction on 11 May, with a higher estimate of £2.25 million.

The extremely rare 507 roadster was originally intended for a 5000-unit production run. Thanks to soaring production costs, however, only 252 models were ever built, making every surviving example extremely valuable.

King Constantine II owned this particular car from new, in 1959. The royal went through a tumultuous time in later years, after being deposed by referendum in 1974 and then exiled from Greece until only five years ago.

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His BMW fared little better than the man himself. King Constantine sold his 507 only two years after acquiring it, and over time and new owners it fell into poor condition, before passing to its current owner in 1989.

Although its new owner was also Greek, the car was sent to Munich for a full nut-and-bolt restoration by 507 specialist Brummer, at a cost of 300,000 Deutschmark.

Between leaving the factory and its full restoration, a repaint to silver had been carried out. However, during its major overhaul the BMW was brought back to factory-spec ‘Federweiss’, and also given a new dark blue leather interior and matching soft-top.

Since its full rebuild, which took nearly three years to complete, 50,000km have been put on the car. This regular usage is down in part to regular entry into competition, including four appearances at Italy’s legendary Mille Miglia.

While the car itself had previously fallen into disrepair, some original documentation survived, including the original owner’s manual. King Constantine II acquired a personalised Greek plate for the car in 1959 – ‘36’ – and these original plates are also included in the sale.

Despite the 507’s scarcity, this is the second example to pass through Bonhams’ catalogues in 2018, after John Surtees’ even rarer one-owner hardtop was listed at the auction house’s Goodwood Festival of Speed sale earlier this year.

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