About a year ago, my colleague David Tracy discovered that a 1962 Lockheed Jetstar once owned by Elvis Presley, the Elvis, was for sale and “as swanky as you think it is.” Well, it might be swanky in design, but months of sitting derelict have not been kind to this jalopass aircraft. Will you give it a good home?
In operable condition, the Jetstar is a sexy little sky slicer. The smooth, simple lines give it a classy look and its small dual-side engine nacelles add some weird futurism that’s still distinctive 50 years after the things were new.
In their heyday, Jetstars were hauling VIPs all over the world at 500 mph. Elvis actually owned two, the other is permanently parked at Graceland. Frank Sinatra apparently had one too. President Lyndon Johnson rode in one. NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the governments of several other countries operated these planes as well. Some were even used in military capacities while the U.S. was embattled in Vietnam.
Anyway, they’re cool looking aircraft. But after spending an eternity rotting on a Roswell, New Mexico runway, Elvis’ looks more like a Star Wars prop than the glamours sky chariot of a 1950s sex symbol.
Still, if you’re intrigued, you have until July 27 to bid on it. Per auction outfit IronPlanet’s listing:
“Custom private jet personally owned by Elvis Presley, the late American singer, complete with red velvet seats, gold plated accents, and red plush carpet. Elvis’s Jet has been privately owned for more than 35 years.”
Indeed. Ran when landed, right?
I can’t tell what the reserve is, but it looks like IronPlanet is just fielding offers. Apparently a really nice Jetstar can be had for less than $1 million. This one has famous guy pedigree, but it’s also a disgusting derelict. I can’t even imagine the amount of money it would take to get this thing flying again, but I think it’s safe to say the aircraft will be kept intact (if it’s kept at all) for historical museum purposes only and never soar again.
Could be fun to have on the back 40 if you’re a big Elvis fan, I guess. Are there many of those left? No offense, olds.
You can see about 80 more pictures of this old bird at IronPlanet’s listing. But be careful, because there is all kinds of excellent old equipment on that website.