USAToday is reporting that Elvis Presley’s luxury planes, the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II, are up for sale in a sealed bid auction at Julien’s Auctions. Now that Elvis Presley’s jets are for sale, my big question is: Will they leave Graceland? I hope not, since that was the highlight of my 2013 visit.
Visitors to Graceland can climb aboard and tour Elvis’ main jet, which was a 1958 Convair 880 named Lisa Marie. It features a living room, conference room, sitting room, and private bedroom, as well as gold-plated seat belts, suede chairs (no, they’re not blue), leather covered tables, 24-karat gold-flecked sinks and more.
The tail has ‘TCB’ and a lightning rod painted on it, which stands for Taking Care of Business in a Flash.
Next to it is Elvis’ smaller Lockheed Jet Star, which was primarily used for taking Elvis’ manager and his staff from city to city on his concert tours.
It appears that the plane’s owner, K.G. Coker, who bought them a year after Elvis’ death in 1978, is having negotiation problems with Elvis Presley Enterprises, which owns Graceland. The two planes have been part of Graceland’s exhibit ever since it was opened up to the public. Coker was getting a cut on every ticket sale but it looks like his contract won’t be renewed.
It’s not clear if he’s playing hardball with Graceland owners, which Priscilla Presley has a minority stake in, since they won’t renew his contract. If he does sell, hopefully the new owner can work out a deal to keep them at Graceland.
According to CNN: “Elvis bought the “Lisa Marie” from Delta Airlines for $250,000 in April 1975, and he spent another $350,000 upgrading it. The “Lisa Marie’s” last flight for Elvis was when it carried Priscilla Presley and actor George Hamilton from California to Memphis for Presley’s funeral in August 1977.”
Have you toured Graceland and the Lisa Marie? Would you visit Graceland in the future if you couldn’t tour the plane?
Below are my photos from when I toured it.