Jet Owned by Elvis Auctioned After Sitting 35 Years - NBC New York

Jet Owned by Elvis Auctioned After Sitting 35 Years

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    A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 35 years.

    The plane sold for $430,000 on Saturday at a California event featuring celebrity memorabilia, GWS Auctions Inc. said.

    The buyer was not disclosed in the sold note posted on the firm's website, and auctioneer Brigitte Kruse said she could not immediately release information about the buyer or the buyer's plans for the plane.

    The 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.

    This undated photo provided by GWS Auctions, Inc. shows the interior of a private jet once owned by Elvis Presley on a runway in New Mexico. GWS Auctions Inc. out of California is holding an auction for the plane on May 27, 2017 at an event featuring A-list celebrity memorabilia. The interior was designed by Elvis Presley, with gold-tone, woodwork, inlay and red velvet seats and red shag carpet. However, the plane has no engine and the cockpit has not been restored. (GWS Auctions, Inc. via AP)
    Photo credit: AP

    The jet was owned by Elvis and his father, Vernon Presley, Liveauctioneers.com says.

    It has been privately owned for 35 years and sitting on a tarmac in Roswell, New Mexico. 

    Photos of the plane show the exterior in need of restoration and seats of the cockpit torn.

    A previous owner disputed the 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 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.

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    Federal Aviation Administration records show no interior changes were ever made to the jet, Carter said. 

    Presley was born in Tupelo on Jan. 8, 1935, and moved to Memphis 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.