Return to Sender

From the racetrack to the King of Rock’n’Roll, from the most kissed car in Bad Nauheim to a dusty barn find in California, from Germany to the USA and back: this roadster has a remarkable life story. In the BMW Museum we have rolled out the red carpet.

The task

To showcase Elvis Presley’s BMW 507 and its special history in the permanent exhibition.

The idea

We give the roadster a glamorous stage. Inspired by American diners, cinemas and show theatres, neon lighting and furnishings transport the mood. Red is reminiscent of the colour Elvis Presley chose for his vehicle. It forms the perfect background for the restored exhibit, now painted white.

The reality

The lighting installation reinterprets the set design of Elvis’s legendary NBC ’68 Comeback Special. It creates an intimate atmosphere to encounter the “road star”. We translate the red of the red discovered car into a spatial experience. It is the stage and the red carpet. It is speed and sportiness. It is dynamism and eroticism. The lines of light capture stardom and cars, symbolising neon signs, aerodynamic tests and bright headlights.

An interactive jukebox invites visitors to discover stories and documents about the roadster and experience its historical context. Timeline posters retrace the life of the vehicle in five chapters. The graphic design is based on posters from the late 1950s, as is the media design. A showcase with original exhibits presents the elaborate restoration. An interactive highlight is the playback station where visitors can prove their star qualities to the song “Return to Sender”.

  • Clients: BMW Museum
  • Services: Concept, planning, design
  • Area: 85 square metres
  • Photos/ Film: Annika Feuss, Cologne