Getty Priscilla Presley, Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley‘s private jet has finally found a home.
The King of Rock and Roll’s battered 1962 Lockheed 1329 Jetstar, which has been parked in the desert for close to 40 years at the Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico, sold at auction for $260,000 last month — on what would have been The King’s 88th birthday.
Priscilla Presley was present at the Mecum Kissimmee Collector Car auction in Florida Jan. 8 for the event and spoke to the packed crowd, describing Elvis’ love of collecting cars and planes as a hobby she termed “his joy.”
Bidding started at $100,000 and climbed slowly before topping out at its final sale price, placed by an unnamed telephone bidder. Priscilla, who noted at the start, “This is my first auction,” watched the entire proceedings as they unrolled.
According to the auction site, Presley purchased the aircraft on Dec. 22, 1976, for $840,000 and used it — as well as two other jets in his personal fleet — to cart his TCB band, backup groups, Col. Tom Parker and Memphis Mafia on tour to concerts and appearances across the country.
The exterior of the plane shows considerable wear; however, the interior is a retro glimpse of luxury private air travel in the midcentury era.
The plane seats up to nine on the original red velvet-covered couch and passenger seats that swivel and recline. Wood paneling and gold-finish hardware, including window shades, round out the ’60s vibe of the jet, along with an entertainment center complete with RCA VCR player and cassette player.
A lavatory with vanity, plus a galley that includes a meal-prep area with a beverage dispenser and Kenmore microwave, complete the interior’s highlights.
According to the Robb Report, the last owner of the aircraft was Californian businessman Jim Gagliardi, who bought the jet at a 2017 auction for $430,000.
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He said he’d planned to use it as a customer-drawing curiosity for a dealership he owns, but never got around to relocating the jet from New Mexico — in fact, according to the publication, he had never even once visited in person it since its purchase.