ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley that has sat on a runway in New Mexico for nearly four decades is back on the auction block. The online auction site IronPlanet announced this week that the plane with red velvet seats had returned the market after its current owner bought it last year for $430,000.
A previous auction house says Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone woodwork, red velvet seats and red shag carpet. But the red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar has no engine and needs a restoration of its cockpit. The plane was owned by Elvis and his father, Vernon Presley. It has been privately owned for 36 years and sitting on a tarmac in Roswell, New Mexico. Lindsay Goldstein, a spokeswoman for IronPlanet, said the jet is still grounded in Roswell and the current owner “has not made any changes to this piece of history.”
Photos of the plane also show the exterior in need of restoration and seats of the cockpit torn.
A previous owner disputed an auction house’s claim the king of rock ‘n’ roll designed its red velvet interior.
Roy McKay told KOB-TV in Albuquerque he designed the interior himself. McKay said that when he purchased the jet, it had a two-toned gray interior and “kind of looked like a casket.”
But then-GWS Auctions Inc. spokesman Carl Carter told The Associated Press the auction house is confident Elvis designed the interior, which photos show has red velvet seats and red shag carpet. IronPlanet also is confident Elvis designed its red velvet interior, Goldstein said. Federal Aviation Administration records show no interior changes were ever made to the jet, Carter said.
IronPlanet is accepting online bids for the plane until July 27.
Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on Jan. 8, 1935, and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his parents at age 13. He became a leading figure in the fledgling rockabilly scene by covering songs originally performed by African-American artists like Big Mama Thornton (“Hound Dog”) and Arthur Crudup (“That’s All Right”). His provocative dancing and hit records turned him into one of the 20th century’s most recognizable icons. Historians say his music also helped usher in the fall of racial segregation. Elvis was 42 when he died on Aug. 16, 1977, in Memphis.