BLOG elvis plane 1Forget the blingy Elvis suit and big quiff – if you really want to go for the full-on King of Rock ‘n’ Roll look, buy one of his private planes…
American saleroom Julien’s Auctions are selling the ‘Lisa Marie’ and ‘Hound Dog II’, the two planes that have been on display at Graceland for the past 30 years.
Elvis bought the Convair 880 Jet from Delta Airlines on April 17, 1975, for the then very substantial amount of $250,000. After refurbishing it, the total exceeded $600,000, and he immediately rechristened it the ‘Lisa Marie’ in honour of his only daughter.
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The redesigned jet became an airworthy mix of modern function and amazing style, being customised to include plush sleeping quarters, a penthouse bedroom with a custom-made queen size bed, an executive bathroom with gold taps and washbasin, a videotape system linked to four televisions and a stereo system with 50 speakers and a conference room. The tail section of the plane featured Presley’s trademark: ‘TCB’, for ‘Taking Care of Business’. The colour scheme was personally chosen by Elvis.
The last flight the plane took was when it transported Priscilla Presley and Elvis’s good friend George Hamilton from California to The King’s funeral after his death in 1977.
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Elvis’s father, Vernon, sold the plane in 1978 and it changed hands twice but was purchased by the present owners who formed a joint venture with Graceland’s owners to return it back home to Graceland in 1984.
The ‘Hound Dog II’ is a Lockheed JetStar. Elvis bought it in 1975 while waiting for ‘Lisa Marie’ to finish her refurbishment for a price of almost $900,000. ‘Hound Dog II’ was bought by OKC Partnership and transported to Graceland in 1984 after the ‘Lisa Marie’ arrived.
However, the current operators of Graceland gave notice that they were not renewing the Joint Venture Agreement and asked the owners to remove the planes from Graceland at the end of April 2015.
They will be offered by Julien’s through a sealed bid auction ending on Monday, February 2. Don’t expect to actually fly in them, though – they are both now for display only.