A Legendary Celeb’s Private Plane Was Abandoned In The Desert, What It Looks Like On The Inside Is Totally Amazing…


Musicians and other celebrities all over the world are well known for their tastes in private means of air travel. From Taylor Swift’s Dassault Falcon and Max Verstappen’s Falcon 900 EX to Floyd Mayweather Jr’s Gulfstream IV, buying a plane is often seen as one of the ultimate status symbols.

Meanwhile, the original superstar, the “King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis Presley, had his own 1962 Lockheed JetStar. So what happened to this aircraft, and where is it now?

According to AWM, his private airplane was abandoned in a New Mexico desert for years. The airplane, which was a 1962 Lockheed 1329 Jetstar has been resting in an abandoned “aircraft graveyard” for years and was largely forgotten by the owner and the general public. The plane was left in the New Mexico desert for thirty-five years but will be picked up by one lucky buyer after it goes to the auction block per Mecum Actions.

Purchased in December 1976 — the year before he died on August 16, 1977, at age 42 — for $840,000, it has a red exterior with silver accents. On the inside, the plane seats up to nine on the original red velvet-covered couch and passenger seats that swivel and recline. Wood paneling and trim, including window shades, further date the jet, along with an entertainment center complete with an RCA VCR player and cassette player.

You’ll also find a lavatory with vanity and galley that includes a meal-prep area with a beverage dispenser and Kenmore microwave. However, it’s worth noting — the aircraft will need to be disassembled to be shipped.

Elvis had already acquired a fleet when he purchased the plane, which included a custom Convair 880 that he called the “Lisa Marie” and went by the call sign of Hound Dog 1, and a second JetStar, known by its call sign of Hound Dog 2, per Mecum.

The aircraft can comfortably seat eight passengers and features red velvet interiors with wood paneling and a shag carpet in the main cabin. However, these are all a little worse for wear after many years of sitting idly in the desert. The plane also features a music system onboard (a must for Elvis). While it must certainly once have been very glamorous, the plane’s interior has definitely seen better days.

Presley kept several pilots on retainer and used the planes to cart his TCB band, backup groups, Col. Tom Parker and Memphis Mafia on tour to concerts and appearances across the country.

“With a busy touring schedule, these crafts were needed to transport the singer, his TCB band, backup groups, Col. Tom Parker, and the ever-present Memphis Mafia to venues, concerts, and appearances all around the country,” the listing reads. “Elvis kept several pilots on retainer that was ready to fly him to adoring fans at a moment’s notice.”

After being sold in 1977, the plane had little life after that. The aircraft has spent 35 years in a desert in Roswell, New Mexico. Its engines and flight components have been removed, rendering it no longer airworthy. Notably, the outside has caught layers of rust, hiding its previous life of luxury.

However, despite the apparent shortcomings, there has been a lot of interest in this aircraft over the last few years. As the only Elvis jet available for sale (the other two are on display in Graceland in perpetuity), it has gone up for auction several times. In 2017, it sold for $430,000, lower than its estimated multimillion price but still a respectable amount.

Elvis’ 1962 Lockheed JetStar is currently registered N440RM and remains in private hands and would you know, it is again up for auction! However, at the time of writing, since the bidding for the jet went live (along with a whole range of Elvis memorabilia) in August 2022, there have been zero official bids. Meanwhile, the page of the auction has received close to 6,000 views.

The jet is accompanied by a letter written by Elvis’ wife Priscilla, stating:

“This is a very significant piece of history as it was the only jet Elvis bought with his father. Elvis always wished to support his father’s entrepreneurial endeavors, especially after losing his mother so early. Elvis loved and respected his father very much and this jet is a piece of him and his father’s heart.”

Watch the video below for more details:

Sources: AWM, GWS Auctions