Presley’s old jet sells at auction
Plane owned by king of rock ’n’ roll makes $430,000
A private jet once owned by the late US rock star Elvis Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 35 years. The plane sold for US$430,000 during the weekend at a California event featuring celebrity memorabilia, GWS Auctions said.
The buyer was not disclosed in the sold note posted on the company’s website and the auctioneer, Brigitte Kruse, said she could not immediately release information about the buyer or the buyer’s plans for the plane.
The auction house said Presley designed the interior that has gold-tone woodwork, red velvet seats and red shag carpet. But the red, 1962 Lockheed Jetstar has no engine and needs a restoration of its cockpit.
The jet was owned by Elvis and his father, Vernon Presley, Liveauctioneers.com said.
It has been privately owned for 35 years and sitting on a tarmac runway in Roswell, New Mexico.
Photos of the plane show the exterior in need of restoration and seats of the cockpit torn.
A previous owner disputed the auction house’s claim the king of rock ’n’ roll designed its red velvet interior. Roy McKay told KOB-TV in Albuquerque he designed the interior himself. Mr McKay said that when he purchased the jet, it had a two-toned grey interior and “kind of looked like a casket”. But the GWS spokesman Carl Carter said the auction house is confident Elvis designed the interior.
Federal aviation administration records show no interior changes were ever made to the jet, Mr Carter said.
JetStar was a business jet produced from the early 1960s to the 1970s, and the first dedicated business jet to enter service. It was also one of the largest aircraft in the class for many years, seating 10 plus two crew. It is distinguishable from other small jets by its four engines, mounted on the rear of the fuselage, and the “slipper”-style fuel tanks fixed to the wings.
The JetStar originated as a private project within Lockheed, with an eye to winning a USAF requirement that was later dropped due to budget cuts. Lockheed decided to continue the project on its own for the business market.