The last car Elvis Presley bought for his personal use is now on display at a car museum in England, the Examiner learned today. Elvis purchased the 1977 Cadillac-Seville V8 in October 1976 after it was engineered by General Motors and the body custom built by Fisher for Cadillac. He drove this car the day before his death on August 16, 1977.
The car remains in its original condition. It has electronic windows and mirrors with a grey interior and wood grain accents on the dashboard, steering wheel and doors. The Cadillac also has the entertainer’s CB radio still installed. Elvis would sometimes use the CB to communicate with the kitchen staff to order food. He would also contact his security at the guardhouse in front of Graceland, his home in Memphis, Tennessee to open the gates before he arrived from an outing.
The car is the newest exhibit displayed at the famous National Motor Museum at Bealieu, a popular institution in the United Kingdom. It was originally auctioned in Las Vegas in 1994 for a bid price of $104,500 to a private collector. When it became available, Graceland included it in their auction as part of their Elvis Week festivities this year commemorating the 38th anniversary of Presley’s death in August.
The winning bidder was Elvis fan Steve Horn, who bought the car as a present for his wife for $81,250. The Horns are big Elvis fans who hold the ‘Europe’s Tribute to Elvis’, an annual Europe tribute artist contest held in Blackpool, and now, the ‘Texas Elvis Festival,’ beginning in March 2016 near Dallas, Texas.
“We wanted to give all of Elvis’s UK fans an opportunity to see his car and Beaulieu is the perfect location,” Horn said. “We are delighted they could find a space for it.”
“I’ve been wild about cars almost since I can remember,” wrote a 21-year-old Elvis Presley for a fan publication in 1956. “When I was six years old singing songs for folk gatherings in Tupelo, Miss., I recall feeling sad because we had to walk while all those sleek cars passed us on the road.”
“Yes, way back in those rough old days when dad couldn’t spare the cash to buy me a guitar, I used to dream about ridiculous things like Cadillacs an such.”
Elvis went on to purchase hundreds of cars during his lifetime, including over scores of Cadillacs for family, friends, strangers and himself.
Lady Fiona Montagu, wife of the museum’s founder, Lord Montagu, was among the first people to see the car arrive at the site. A life-long fan of Elvis, she posed for a picture alongside the car in her own version of Elvis’ famous Las Vegas white jumpsuit.
“I am a huge fan and had the costume made to wear at an Elvis themed fund raising evening we held in the museum last year in support of our Beaulieu education charity, the Countryside Education Trust,” Lady Montagu commented.