While “The King Of Rock And Roll” was renowned for a certain type of lifestyle, what were some of the most famous Elvis Presley cars found in his garage?
When World War II was finally declared to be over, the world rejoiced. Thanks to rapid economic growth and a booming birth rate, life was regarded as pretty good. A new generation was coming of age, and American pop culture in particular helped to ensure that everything that came out of the fifties was big.
As such, many still regard the fifties as the golden age of the United States. From the hair to the clothes to the cars, almost everything born in this era is now regarded as iconic. However, the artists, actors and musicians of this time also played a prominent role in defining the decade, such as a particularly well known hip-swivelling Mississippi heartthrob, who was exceptionally fond of collecting automobiles.
The Legendary Elvis Presley Cars
Although the icon almost needs no introduction, Elvis Presley was one of the most influential musical artists to come out of the fifties. Regarded as “The King Of Rock And Roll”, his legacy includes a focus on his energised interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across colour lines during a transformative era in race relations in the United States.
However, many fans are unaware of Mr Presley’s lifelong love affair with all things cars. Aside from his renowned Cadillac collection, Elvis had an extensive range of other automobiles – so much so that a car museum was opened at his previous home in Graceland as a means to house them all. While highlights of this impressive collection include his famous Pink Cadillac, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a Stutz Blackhawk, a 1975 Dino Ferrari, a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, and the red MG from “Blue Hawaii”, what are some of the most recognisable Elvis Presley cars all these years later?
1955 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60 – In March of 1955, Elvis purchased his very first, a used 1954 model, in pink and white. But soon after the purchase, the car caught fire and burned to the ground. The King then promptly replaced it with another larger Fleetwood sedan that came in blue. This one was even more quickly repainted pink, this one also featured a special custom shade created by his neighbor called “Elvis Rose.” The pink Cadillacs are now commonly regarded as the most famous Elvis Presley cars.
1973 Stutz Blackhawk III – As the last car he ever drove through the gates of the Graceland mansion before his untimely death at just 42, the Blackhawk is arguably one of the most favoured Elvis cars for good reason. With a 7.5-litre V8 engine that generated 425 horsepower, a red leather interior, and an 18-karat gold trim package, this model was quite literally fit for a king. Fans and the estate both recognise the cultural significance of this vehicle, and many measures have been taken to preserve it accordingly.
1971 De Tomaso Pantera – Although it was old school American muscle disguised in Italian clothes, Elvis Presley’s Pantera was a world class mid-engine sports car. Somehow, the car had managed to combine luxurious Italian styling with an American grunt thanks to a Ford Cleveland 351 V8 engine. Elvis picked up this 1971 model in 1974 for his girlfriend at the time, actress Linda Thompson, who later went on to marry Olympian Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner. Elvis also famously took to the car with a firearm after a temperamental outburst.
1960 Rolls Royce Phantom V – At the time, Rolls Royce vehicles were the most expensive and opulent luxury limousine that money could buy. The 1950 Phantom V that Elvis purchased after he was discharged from the United States army and signing a new music production contract would be the only Rolls Royce he would ever own, with the top of the line Phantom V intended only for their best customers such as celebrities and heads of state, with no more than 500 units made from 1959 to 1968.
1957 BMW 507 – One of the lesser known Elvis cars is the 507 that The King purchased in the late fifties. Bought in 1958 during his time as a soldier in the United States army, Elvis would regularly drive the car to the American military base in Friedburg, Germany. It was there that he would frequently be mobbed by his female fans, who would write messages in red lipstick all over the white paintwork. As a result, Presley opted to get the car re-painted in red as a means to presumably to disguise the less than subtle love notes.
Although Elvis owned over two hundred different vehicles during his lifetime, the above makes and models are commonly regarded as some of the most iconic of his collection. Each model has the potential to command hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction in the event that the current owners wanted to sell, but we’re under the impression that these prized possessions are almost priceless.
Getting Your Hands On A Classic Car
Meeting a fellow vintage auto enthusiast can feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, but rest assured that Wayne’s Garage understands the thrill more than most. Having spent forty years collecting anything and everything from matchbox cars to hub caps, he’s successfully followed his passion to source, collect and stock beautiful and low mileage classic automobiles from around the world. With extensive experience in the automotive industry, it was only a matter of time before Wayne expanded on his love of vintage, iconic vehicles to share his knowledge and passion with the public.
Although his passion is for automobiles built before 1978, with a particular love for Buicks, Cadillacs, Lincolns, Oldsmobiles and even Fords, Wayne is just as passionate about the stories of the owners. Just like the cars, he has found that his fellow classic car enthusiasts all have wildly different attractions and logic behind their passion or hobby, and this often translates into how the car is presented. If it’s even remotely different, rare or just plain unusual, Wayne will overcome the relevant logistical and geographical challenges of bringing the cars to his showroom in Australia.
Wayne’s Garage is a showroom conveniently located at Seventeen Mile Rocks, that specialises in the restoration and sales of vintage automobiles. In fact, he’s got a medley of fully restored models in stock right now, which can be viewed online via Wayne’s Collection. If you’re on the hunt for Brisbane classic cars – quite simply, Wayne is your man. If you would like to arrange a viewing or inspect any other of our classic vehicles, please get in touch with us today.