Last month, on what would have been Elvis Presley’s 88th birthday, the King of Rock and Roll’s 1962 Lockheed 1329 Jetstar sold at auction for $260,000. The private jet had been parked in the desert at the Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico for nearly 40 years, showing considerable wear on the exterior. However, the interior of the aircraft offers a retro glimpse of luxury private air travel from the midcentury era. The original red velvet-covered couch, passenger seats that swivel and recline, wood paneling, and gold-finish hardware contribute to the ’60s vibe of the jet. The interior is also equipped with an entertainment center that includes an RCA VCR player and cassette player, a lavatory with a vanity, and a galley with a meal-prep area, beverage dispenser, and Kenmore microwave.
Presley bought the aircraft in 1976 for $840,000 and used it, along with two other jets in his personal fleet, to tour with his TCB band, backup groups, Col. Tom Parker, and Memphis Mafia to concerts and appearances across the country. Priscilla Presley, who was present at the Mecum Kissimmee Collector Car auction in Florida on Jan. 8, spoke to the packed crowd and described Elvis’ love of collecting cars and planes as a hobby she termed “his joy.” Bidding for the jet started at $100,000 and topped out at its final sale price, placed by an unnamed telephone bidder.
According to the Robb Report, the last owner of the aircraft was Jim Gagliardi, a Californian businessman who bought the jet at a 2017 auction for $430,000. Although he planned to use it as a customer-drawing curiosity for a dealership he owns, he never got around to relocating the jet from New Mexico, and he had never even visited it in person since his purchase.