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Ex-John Surtees BMW 507 could make £2.2m

Published 27 March 2018

A 1957 BMW 507 Roadster that used to belong to racing legend John Surtees is going under the hammer. The car, which was owned by the only man to win titles on both two and four wheels, is going under the hammer at Goodwood Festival of Speed on 13 July. Auctioneers Bonhams reckon it could fetch up to £2.2m.

Finished in silver grey, Surtees kept the car until he died in March 2017. He used the grand tourer extensively, often driving over the Brenner and Simplon passes on his way between Italy and England.

Early on in his ownership, he contacted BMW to say it wasn’t as good as the first one he’d tried. Surtees said it ran out of breath going uphill and went downhill far too fast. BMW tweaked his V8 engine, boosting power and torque. Then invited him to carry out brake testing in Birmingham with Dunlop, which then fitted his car with four-wheel disc brakes.

When he signed for Ferrari in late 1962, Surtees arrived at the Maranello factory in the BMW – at which point Enzo Ferrari decided the BMW was unacceptable and declared the driver must have a Ferrari. Surtees said, ‘When I got my first pay cheque, I found ‘The Old Man’ had had the price of a new Ferrari deducted from my fee!’

Surtees BMW 507 (2)

This lot is, then, the John Surtees BMW 507 – a one-owner car offered at the first time at publication auction, direct from the estate of the eight-time world champion.

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