What was the first car Elvis Presley ever bought?
All About the Elvis Presley Pink Cadillac
collection back when a cool car was the biggest status symbol a person could have. The Elvis Presley pink Cadillac soon became a famous legacy.
Elvis, like so many men of his generation, dreamed of buying a Cadillac. Before he became one of the greatest rock musicians in history, Elvis worked at the Crown Electric Company in Memphis,
, and whiled away the hours daydreaming about owning a sleek, stylish Cadillac of his own.
This daydream quickly became a reality, and Elvis eventually owned more Cadillacs than any one person could ever hope to use—over 200, according to some estimates. Now, many of these classic vehicles are on display at
Elvis always believed in himself, and had a feeling that his dreams would come true. He’s been quoted as saying, “When I was driving a truck, every time a big shiny car would drive by, it would start me sort of daydreaming. I always felt that someday, somehow, something would happen to change everything for me and I’d daydream what I would be.”
What you need to know about the Elvis Presley pink Cadillac Fleetwood
, Elvis realized his dream of buying a Cadillac in March of 1955. His first Cadillac was a pink 1954 model—though this one wasn’t his famous pink Cadillac.
Unfortunately, the car had a faulty brake lining and in June 1955, Elvis got into a
, spelling out the end of his first Cadillac. He only owned the beloved car for three months before he had to part with it.
In an interview, Elvis lamented the end of his first pink Cadillac. “I parked it outside my hotel the day I got it and stayed up all night just looking at it,” said Elvis. “The next day, it caught fire and burned up on the road.” While this statement is a bit of an exaggeration, it illuminates the extent of his heartbreak.
It should be no surprise that one month later, on July 5, 1955, Elvis bought another car of the same color and make: a pink Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60. In fact, this car, which would become Elvis’ iconic pink Cadillac, was not originally pink, but blue.
Elvis solicited help from a neighbor, who painted the car a shade of pink that would come to be known as “Elvis Rose.” Elvis went on to give the car to his mother, Gladys, despite her not having a driver’s license.
This second pink Cadillac also was involved in a serious accident, though this time, it wasn’t destroyed. Instead, it got an updated look, with a white roof replacing its older black roof.
Where is the Elvis Presley pink Cadillac now?
Tom Hanks Is Auctioning off His Collection of Vehicles, Including His Movie Trailer
Elvis fans can take a road trip to visit the King of Rock and Roll’s iconic pink Cadillac at the Graceland Museum, located in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 2006, Bonnie and Stewart Krentzman built a replica of the classic car, and the identical model went on to participate in various fundraisers and events for breast cancer awareness and research.
A third pink Cadillac, a 1957 DeVille, took up residence at Graceland’s Presley Motors Automobile. This car remained in pristine condition until it was auctioned off in 2019.
The other cars in Elvis’ collection
While the Elvis Presley pink Cadillac was the most famous item in his car collection, he had a wide assortment of classic cars.
documents some of the most notable in his collection.
The first car Elvis ever bought for himself was a 1941 Lincoln, purchased before his career took off. Before the Lincoln, Elvis drove a 1952 Lincoln Zephyr, a gift from his father. Of course, soon enough Elvis would have the cash to buy as many
as he wanted.
Some of the other classic cars in Elvis’ collection included the 1956 Cadillac Eldorado, a victory purchase from right after his single “Heartbreak Hotel” reached number one on the Billboard charts. He had it painted a vibrant shade of purple.
Elvis also bought a 1956 Messerschmitt KR200, a car designed after the German company Messerschmitt was banned from producing aircraft vehicles post-WW2. The airplane manufacturer began producing cars instead, and Elvis ended up being the owner of one of these strangely successful makes.
Another classic car in Elvis’ collection is the 1957 BMW 507—now a valuable cult classic, with only 254 ever produced. He rode his BMW 507 during his stint in the military but loved it so much he brought it home with him.
Over the years, Elvis owned many other classic cars, including a 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark 5, a 1962 Ford Thunderbird, a 1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom 5, a 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600, and many more.
Celebrity Car Collectors – Elvis’ Favorite Cars
Welcome to this week’s edition of Celebrity Car Collectors. In recent posts we features such celebrity collectors like Shaquille O’Neal, Wyclef Jean and our most recent look at “What’s in Jay Leno’s Garage”. Today we look back at the a celebrity famous for purchasing luxury vehicles. And he own quite a few of them.
Elvis Presley was famous for his Cadillacs and this Stutz Blackhawks. Here are 3 of Elvis’ favorite cars from his collection.
Elvis’ Stutz Blackhawks
Elvis managed to purchase the first one of these vehicles ever sold in the United States. He actually bought one of the first production models. This was the car that Elvis actually drove. In fact the last two pictures of Elvis show him driving his 1973 black Stutz Blackhawk through the gates of Graceland. This car was built on with Pontiac Grand Prix hardware and used a V-8, 7.5-liter engine that generated about 425 hp and a GM TH400 automatic transmission. The car reached 60 mph in 8.3 seconds. This coupe came with twin bucket seats and an interior made out of polished English burl wood. The seats were red leather and the carpet was made out of lamb wool. All moldings and bezels in the car were finished in 24-karat gold.
Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado
Elvis often bought Cadillacs throughout his life. One of his favorite models in the 70s was the Eldorado. If you visit the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nev., you can see the Cadillac he gifted to his karate professor. This model has a collector’s hood ornament and full leather interior. His band also traveled in these cars. The Eldorado featured a V-8 with a three-speed automatic transmission boasting a top speed of 118 mph. The car reached 60 mph in 10.3 seconds with its 235-hp engine.
Elvis’ Pink Cadillac
Elvis bought this car for his mother and it is still at the Presley estate in Memphis. This car was a gray 1955 Fleetwood Series 60 that he bought to replace the original pink Cad that had burned earlier that year. The car was painted in Elvis rose, a color designed for Elvis by a neighbor. The band toured in this car in 1955 and 56 and then the car was given to Elvis’ mother. She never drove, but Elvis and others would take her out in her car. Once black, the roof was painted white to complement the pink color of the car. Elvis kept this car after his mother died, and the car is often pulled out of storage and parked in front of Graceland during VIP and promotional visits and photo sessions. This model debuted a rear trunk release. The automatic came with a V-8, 6.0-liter engine that produced about 250 hp.
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These are the cars that Elvis Presley adored
The king of rock and roll was one of the best-selling and most influential artists of the 20th century. In a way, Elvis is an icon that never dies and whose influence is felt by many generations.
Even these “newer” generations, younger than me, who are buried in games and cell phones all day, know who Elvis was and what he did for music as we know it today.
He was an experienced musician, actor, showman and became the idol of millions of people around the world.
Icon of music and style
Foto: Motor Junkie
In addition to music, for which most of the population knows him, Elvis also had his special status because of his passion for collecting cars. A good part of the cars bought was never even driven.
He gave some of them away to colleagues and family, and some he had only because… Well… Just for the sake of it.
I guess because he liked them.
In the sea of cars, his favorite brand was Cadillac. So during his life he owned more than a hundred copies and models of this manufacturer. But with the exception of the Cadillac, there were quite a few of not-Cadillacs, so let’s list a few cars from Elvis’ fleet.
In the early fifties, Elvis bought his first car. And it was a Lincoln. At the time, Elvis was a truck driver with no idea of a career in show business, so a used Lincoln was all he could afford. The car was not reliable at all, and reportedly Elvis later told the media that he pushed the car more than he drove it.
Who wouldn’t notice a color like this?
In early 1955, Elvis and his band bought a 1954 Cadillac Sedan, which was very noticeable because of the pink color. The luck was short-lived as the car caught fire shortly after purchase and burned to the ground.
Elvis and his girlfriend at the time managed to escape the situation unharmed, but the Cadillac disappeared forever.
Unique and unrepeatable
Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60
After the aforementioned fire, Elvis returned to the Cadillac dealership and bought another one. This time it was a larger Fleetwood model that could accommodate and transport all the band members and their equipment. He later gave it to his mother.
One of the rare photos as proof of this impulsive purchase
What was going on in the impulsive head of Elvis when he bought this two-seater? Nobody knows.
It is completely unclear where that car is now. We don´t know how long Elvis drove it, and if he even drove it. But there is a photo that is proof of purchase.
This car most likely entered Elvis’ collection impulsively and for no particular reason. That is, like a woman who impulsively buys shoes because – well, I was in the neighborhood and they were my number… Then she looks at them in the closet after they are packed or forgets that they exist.
Basically, that was apparently the case with this funny car.
Whatever car he drove, he found a way to fit his style
Foto: Motor Junkie
Continental Mark II
The introduction of the Continental brand and their ultra-luxurious Mark II in 1956 inspired Elvis to buy one for himself.
Along with several Cadillacs and a Lincoln Premiere sedan, this Mark II was his favorite. He specially ordered the car in white, and used it for several years.
Elvis with his Eldorado
Despite buying luxurious and (often) pink limousines, Elvis also found room in his stable for a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado.
Although he had the one from the previous year (1956.), as soon as the new one became available he bought that model as well. Because… Why not!?
BMW 507 goes well with the uniform
The car that I personally remember most as Elvis’ is the BMW 507. At the end of the fifties, Elvis was in the army and sent to Germany. Since he was already a world-famous star in that period, his treatment was still a little different (not to say better) compared to other soldiers.
He first drove a VW Beetle, and then rented a white BMW 507 Roadster.
Apparently, he was not very comfortable with the manual transmission, so he returned that white 507 and bought himself a red one with an automatic transmission.
That car was found by BMW just a few years ago. And soon after that it was restored to its original glory.
Lincoln Continental Mark V
Another in a series of Lincolns was ordered in 1960. while Elvis was in the army. The car itself had a few custom features on it that Elvis had specially ordered, but it was more or less a formal limo.
This Lincoln was equipped with everything and anything – from privacy glass, to television receivers, and two separate air conditioning units.
This car was exclusively driven by Elvis during most of his time in Germany, so he needed something that looked suitable for such a purpose. Because… Image?
Rolls Royce Phantom V
Right after his discharge from the army, Elvis signed a new contract and treated himself to a new car. It was the most expensive limousine that money could buy in 1960.
The Phantom was delivered straight to Graceland and despite it not being the only Rolls-Royce he owned, it was the first.
Soon after that he also bought a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.
Cadillac Fleetwood series 75
As another of the cars purchased in 1960, the Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 arrived in Elvis’ garage.
It was meant to be a limousine for “tourist purposes” (whatever that actually means).
The car was immediately sent for customization, and over time it got some gold details, a fur interior, an opera window on the back of the car and a sound system with a TV.
Elvis and his crew used this limo for several years.
1962. Ford Thunderbird
Elvis Presley was an impulsive buyer – especially when it comes to cars. So it’s no wonder he bought a Thunderbird Roadster as soon as he saw it around Memphis.
At the time, this was one of the most interesting American luxury car models, and Elvis cemented that status just a little bit more with his Thunderbird purchase.
Red Ford Mustang
Although the Mustang only flew under the radar of Elvis’ expensive taste, he owned it briefly. The red coupé was owned by Elvis before he gave it to his brother-in-law.
Lincoln Executive limo
In the late 1960s, one of the most exclusive sedans you could buy was the Lincoln model built by the Lehman and Peterson.
They based these cars on the regular Continental model series, but modified them according to the wishes of the customers.
Of course Elvis had to have one too, and he used it a lot when he was in the Los Angeles area in the late 1960s.
Lincoln Mark III
Lincoln Mark III
The period when it looked like Elvis was starting to prefer Lincolns over Cadillacs was in the late 1960s.
At the end of 1969, he became the owner of a Lincoln Mark III, which was among the best personal and very luxurious cars of that period.
It was located in a mansion in Beverly Hills, where Elvis stayed when he was in California.
Foto: Motor Junkie
Mercedes 600 “Pullman”
One of the rarest European luxury sedans was the legendary Mercedes 600. At the time it was a popular choice for dictators, world stars and the most famous stars of the music scene. Therefore, it is not surprising that Elvis also bought it.
He was often seen in a Mercedes during his time in Las Vegas.
In the early seventies, one of the most famous American brands, Stutz, was reborn.
They shut down the company in the 30s, but it was revived by Jules Meyers, an investment banker.
Stutz models from the 70s were based on Pontiac’s Grand Prix model. And obviously hit with an ugly stick much too often.
The design of the Blackhawk made it “special”. The bodywork was reminiscent of some retro cars. Elvis owned four examples during his lifetime, although some sources say he had five Stutz Blackhawks to his name.
An unusual and specific model in the collection
De Tomaso Pantera
Elvis preferred luxury coupes and sedans, but he also owned several sports cars. And one of those was the yellow De Tomaso Pantera that arrived in Elvis’ garage in the early seventies.
The car became famous (or better yet infamous) because Elvis shot it with a shotgun several times when it refused to obey and did not start.
Today, the yellow Pantera is a part of yet another private collection. And they left the bullet holes untouched as evidence of Elvis’ sometimes unusual and strange behavior.
Special and last
Cadillac Miller-Meteor Traditional Hearse
The last Cadillac that Elvis bought and drove was a 1977. Miller-Meteor Hearse. And it was used in his funeral procession.
The white hearse was in front of a long line of white Cadillacs, police bikes and other vehicles. It was a fitting way to say goodbye to the King of Rock and Roll, as well as one of the biggest car enthusiasts in popular culture.
If you ever get a chance to visit Graceland, you can check out some of the cars on this list.
And if Graceland is not on the list of places you want to visit in your lifetime, watch the movie about Elvis, in which a part of the iconic cars with which he wrote a part of the history of the last century are shown. Cars are also included.