Elvis' Languishing Jet Finds a Buyer

It sold for $260K last month
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2018 7:21 AM CDT
Updated Feb 15, 2023 1:30 AM CST
Elvis' Battered Jet Hits Auction Block Again
It could use some work.   (Iron Planet)
UPDATE Feb 15, 2023 1:30 AM CST

After 40 years parked in the desert, Elvis Presley's plane has found a buyer. People on Monday reported the "battered" 1962 Lockheed Jetstar sold to an unnamed telephone bidder for $260,000 at a Jan. 8 auction. That's quite the discount off the King's purchase price of $840,000 in 1976, reports Fox News. The plane had last been bought in 2017 by Jim Gagliardi, who reportedly planned to use it as a way to draw gawkers to his California earth-moving equipment dealership, reports the Robb Report. But he neither moved the plane from its spot at the Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico nor visited it even once during his years of ownership.

Jun 22, 2018 7:21 AM CDT

For somewhere in the ballpark of six figures, you can fly like the King. Or pretend to. One of Elvis Presley's private planes, presumably used to jet the late heartthrob to shows across the country, is up for bid in an online auction until July 27, with a likely sale price in the six figures. But you'll likely need more cash if you actually want to get the plane in the air. As CNN reports, "there's no engine, the cockpit's a mess and the velvet seats have lost their plush." The Telegraph describes it as a "heap of rusty metal" in a "decrepit state." It's no wonder: The current owner purchased the plane for $430,000 at an auction only last year, but it had previously sat unused for 35 years on a runway in Roswell, NM.

There it remains, looking no better and still without an engine and some cockpit components. The 1962 Lockheed Jetstar has a few things going for it, though. It comes with documents certifying Elvis' onetime ownership and "an immaculate safety manual," per the Telegraph. There's also the potential to turn a profit, as the auction house that sold the plane in 2017 predicted it could be worth millions when restored. Adding to the allure is the fact that the plane is the only one owned by Elvis that is not housed at his Graceland estate. According to Barrons, Elvis' other two planes, the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II, sold jointly for $15 million in 2015, and Graceland subsequently announced a "permanent" agreement to keep the jets in Memphis. (More Elvis Presley stories.)

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