The Lisa Marie, a Convair 880, is named for Presley’s daughter.
The Lisa Marie, a Convair 880, is named for Presley’s daughter.

Elvis Presley’s “Flying Graceland” Is For Sale

Would anyone spend millions of dollars to buy a pair of old jets that aren’t airworthy and probably never will be? They might if the aircraft were the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II, which belonged to Elvis Presley and have been displayed for more than 30 years at his Graceland mansion. 

Graceland’s operators have reportedly notified the jets’ current unnamed owners that they are not renewing a joint-venture agreement and want the airplanes removed by April. So now the jets are being sold as a pair by Julien’s Auctions of Beverly Hills, California, which expects them to go for $10 million to $15 million. Sealed bidding began in January and a winner will likely have been selected by the time you read this.

The smaller of the two aircraft is Hound Dog II, a Lockheed JetStar that held eight to 10 passengers. More significant is the Lisa Marie, a Convair 880 named for Presley’s daughter, which carried 28 passengers and which the singer refurbished to his ­exacting specifications. According to Julien’s Auctions, it features “plush sleeping quarters, a penthouse bedroom with a custom-made queen-size bed, an executive bathroom with gold faucets and gold washbasin, a videotape system linked to four televisions and a stereo system with 50 speakers and a conference room.” The aircraft—which Presley sometimes called his “Flying Graceland”—was one of only 65 Convair 880s built. It last flew in 1977, when it transported the singer’s ex-wife, Priscilla, from California to his funeral in Memphis.

So what might a buyer do with a pair of multimillion-dollar airplanes that can’t fly? One possibility would be to just leave them almost right where they are. The winning bidder will have the option of purchasing several acres adjacent to Graceland that could be used to display the aircraft.

UPDATE: Presley's airplanes, which have been on display at his Graceland home in Memphis since 1984, will not be sold after all. A brief notice posted on the mansion's website on April 26, 2015 announced that "an agreement has been reached" for the aircraft to remain there "permanently."  

Jeff Burger is the editor of BJT