Besides the great music, Elvis Presley was known for a life of luxury and exuberance. This fact is certainly driven home by Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Besides the extravagant mansion, Presley owned expensive cars. His three pink Cadillacs eventually became famous thanks to his version of the song “Baby, Let’s Play House,” in which the singer had replaced the line “you may get religion” with “you may have a Pink Cadillac.”
There have been more stories as well, both genuine and exaggerated, that detail Presley’s appetite for abounding nutrition. He enjoyed the Southern cooking to which he was accustomed since childhood, such as chicken-fried steak, biscuits, and gravy. Then there is the Fool’s Gold Load, or the peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich, now known as the “Elvis Sandwich.”
Elvis’ mansion, his food cravings, even the color of his three Cadillacs, it might sound like a bit much. But then there’s his 1962 Lockheed Jetstar private jet. After 30 years on a runaway, the luxury asset that once belonged to the King of Rock & Roll is due to be sold via an auction to the highest bidder on Saturday, May 27th.
As part of an A-List celebrity memorabilia auction, the jet being sold is one of three planes belonging to the singer that are still privately owned. The other two belong to the Graceland estate.
The 1962 Lockheed Jetstar jet has been privately owned for more than 35 years, and as the auction’s bidding website Liveaucteeners shares, it has been a tourist attraction parked on a runaway in Roswell, New Mexico.
Elvis Presley owned the jet along with his father, Vernon. It was dear to the singer and has been preserved, with original interiors of red velvet seats and red shag carpet. The beautiful woodwork adds to the cozy ambiance inside, suggesting a retro splendor. The entire inside of the jet was custom designed to Elvis’ specification.
The Lockheed Jetstar has also been featured on television, thanks to the National Geographic channel. As the Liveauctioneers website notes, the jet could be fully restored and placed on display. The new owner could potentially earn millions if the jet becomes a paying attraction.
Moreover, the Lockheed Jetstar is one of only 204 aircraft produced between 1957 and 1978 in a collaboration between Jetstar and Lockheed, a former aerospace company that later became Lockheed Martin. Currently, Lockheed Martin is one of the world’s largest aerospace, defense, security, and technology companies, after reportedly merging with the manufacturer Martin Marietta in 1995.
With an original cockpit and no engines, the luxury jet is estimated to be worth between $2 million and $3.5 million, according to GWS Auctions, the company that organized the auction. The starting bid was set to $10,000. However, the highest bid for the jet as of May 23rd was $151; the auction page was showing a total of 13 bids so far.
Elvis’s jet is one of 315 memorabilia being auctioned. Items in a second lot include an original negative photo of the singer and a printing plate for personalized stationery.
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The estimated worth of those assets is between $7,500 and $10,000. A third lot, a collection of stories about Presley’s death, are estimated to be worth up to $1,500. Aretha Franklin, Madonna, and the Beach Boys are some of the other celebrities whose belongings can be purchased at this auction.