Elvis Presley, aka the King of Rock and Roll, needs no introduction. Pioneering and popularising rock and roll music, the ‘Hollywood Heartthrob’ made a career in both music and film during his illustrious career.
But did you know the King was a bit of a petrol head? Aside from his renowned Cadillac collection, Elvis had an extensive range of other automobiles – enough so that a Car Museum was opened in Graceland to house them all!
Now, 40-years on from his untimely death, we decided to take a look at the King’s car collection.
1955 Cadillac Fleetwood 60
One of Elvis’s most popular cars, the iconic ‘Pink Cadillac’ was reported to be the King’s favourite car. Originally, Presley bought a 1954 model but after only 3 months on the road, the car caught on fire and was unfit to drive.
One month later, Elvis decided to buy another Cadillac, only this time, the car was the 1955 Fleetwood series 60 model. Originally purchased in blue, Presley had the car repainted by Jimmy Sanders in what he nicknamed ‘Elvis Pink’.
After short use, he gave the car to his mother, Gladys, who would refer to the pink Cadillac as ‘her car’ despite never actually occupying a driving license.
1975 Ferrari Dino 308 GT 4
As a Hollywood legend, the King was obviously an advocate of luxury Italian motors. Purchased second hand in October of 1976, the Ferrari Dino two-door coupe was one of the last cars the King ever bought.
Possessing a 3.0-litre V8 engine capable of producing 251bhp, the car was the last generation to receive the ‘Dino’ branding, with the ‘76 model re-gaining the iconic prancing pony badging.
Elvis’s Ferrari is currently on display in the Auto Museum at Graceland.
1956 Cadillac Eldorado
Another one of Elvis’s iconic Cadillacs, the 1956 purple Eldorado was one of the King’s most well recognised cars (and for good reason).
As the story goes, Elvis purchased the car in 1956 where it was painted white with a black interior. When he took the car to Jimmy Sanders (the man who customised his pink Cadillac) he squashed a handful of grapes on the fender and stated he wished for the car to be painted that colour.
The car’s interior also saw a variety of customisation. Fitted with white pleated leather and a purple dyed fur floor, the car boasted chic superstar style. A year after, Elvis traded the car in so it must not have rocked his jailhouse.
1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Touring Limousine
In 1963, Elvis bought himself a brand new Rolls-Royce Phantom V which was custom fitted with a variety of gadgets including a telephone, air conditioning and a Blaupunkt Koln radio.
Initially, the car was purchased in Midnight Blue, but after his mother’s chickens pecked at the paintwork, the King had the car resprayed to white.
The car served Elvis for five years in which A-list celebrities such as the Beatles took a ride in the car. After its service, the Rolls-Royce was donated to a charity where it sold for a reported $35,000 (about £27,000).
1973 Stutz Blackhawk
Believe it or not, Presley bought a selection of Blackhawks throughout the 70s and was even said to be the first American to own a Stutz. Elvis actually obtained one of the pre-production prototypes in 1970 but after the car was involved in an accident, he had it put in storage.
Various sources have reported that the King’s favourite Stutz was his 1973 Blackhawk III – a rare car because of its red leather interior and gold-plated trim. In fact, the last known photograph of Elvis was taken whilst he was driving his ‘73 Blackhawk.
1957 BMW 507
One of the more fascinating vehicles owned by the King of Rock, Elvis’s 1957 BMW 507 chassis number 70079 has a long and interesting heritage.
Bought in 1958 by the Hollywood heartthrob during his time as a US soldier, Elvis would drive the car to the US military base in Friedburg, Germany, where he would get mobbed by his female fans along the way. The fans would write messages in red lip stick all over the white paintwork, so Presley decided to get the car re-painted in red – presumably to disguise the love notes.
Elvis eventually traded the car and the 507 faded out of existence… until BMW discovered the car and decided to buy it back. A rusted wreck at the time, the manufacturer decided to renovate the classic BMW, completing the restoration in 2016. BMW 507s now sell for over $1 million, so like the Steve McQueen effect, expected auction selling prices are astronomical.
Elvis’s Other Cars
1970 Mercedes-Benz 600
1971 Detomassa Pantera
1956 Messerschmitt Custom Built
1958 Volkswagen Beatle
1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud