Music icon Elvis Presley’s private airplane, a 1962 Lockheed 1329 Jetstar, has been abandoned in a New Mexico desert for 35 years. The airplane, one of just three airplanes owned by Elvis, was forgotten by the owner and the general public until Mecum Auctions announced that it will be up for auction soon. Despite being in poor condition, the airplane is expected to garner a lot of attention from bidders who want to recreate it with enough repairs.
Presley bought the Jetstar for $840,000 back in 1976, just a year before his tragic death. The airplane, though damaged, is a rare find and could be restored to its former glory with some love and care.
The auctioneers are excited to sell the aircraft and want it to be restored by the buyer, who could appreciate the piece of music history that it represents.
“Elvis and his effect on the music industry are known the world over, and this opportunity for a new owner to acquire an extravagant piece of his aviation past is a momentous occasion with untold room for flights of rock ‘n’ roll fancy,” the listing reads.
The Jetstar was previously sold in 2017 for $430,000. It is unclear why it’s being sold again so soon, but it’s expected to fetch a considerable sum for the auctioneers. The plane needs a new engine if it is going to be able to fly again. Despite its poor condition, the plane has tons of nostalgic charm, including red velvet seats and a cassette player.
Presley’s Jetstar was one of 204 planes crafted between 1957 and 1978 by a partnership between Lockheed and Jetstar. Presley owned several airplanes, which he used to transport himself, his band, backup groups, Col. Tom Parker, and the ever-present Memphis Mafia to venues, concerts, and appearances all around the country. He even kept several pilots on retainer who were ready to fly him to adoring fans at a moment’s notice.
Elvis had a successful career, starring in over 33 movies and selling over a billion records. He was famous for his talent, deep voice, and self-deprecating humor. He was also married to Priscilla Presley for several years.
However, Presley’s life was in a downward spiral when he purchased the Jetstar. He struggled with addiction and was given prescription medications back in 1972. During the last weeks of his life, he stumbled, slurred, rambled, and struggled to breathe normally.
The auctioning of Presley’s Jetstar presents a unique opportunity for fans to own a piece of music history. The plane, which once belonged to the King of Rock and Roll, is a true collector’s item that can be restored to its former glory.