But situated in a former shopping mall on Elvis Presley Boulevard, directly opposite the imposing facade of the Graceland mansion, awaits The Elvis Presley Car Museum. And as it turns out, Elvis was a bit of a car nut, with the museum playing home to several dozen of the cars he once owned.
1962 Lincoln ContinentalOne of several Lincolns owned by The King (which includes a 1960 Lincoln Limo and a Lincoln Mk IV), this 1962 Lincoln Continental was bought in Las Vegas. It was then painted white and blinged up with a gold alligator roof according to Elvis's specification. Measuring in at 17.75 feet long, the third-generation Lincoln Continental was nearly 2 feet shorter than its predecessor, but it did retain its trademark suicide doors. Penned by Elwood Engel, the Lincoln Continental is seen by many as one of the finest large American cars ever manufactured.
1960 MGA RoadsterOriginally playing a supporting role in the 1961 movie "Blue Hawaii" (starring Elvis and Angela Lansbury), The King was so taken with the red British roadster after driving it for the film that he decided to buy it. It changed hands a couple of times after that but eventually found its way back to Graceland. The MGA was officially launched in 1955 and represented a fresh direction for MG after its T series, with a curvaceous streamlined body and a cracking new 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (this was later increased to 1.6-liter). MG only produced this model for seven short years before replacing it with the MGB.
1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SLBought in December of 1970, this white Mercedes-Benz 280SL was a present for Priscilla. It is said to have been one of her most treasured keepsakes, and she had the car sent directly from her home in California to Graceland where it now forms part of the permanent display. The second-generation SL, also known as the "Pagoda" model because of the shape of its hardtop and officially known as the W113, was originally introduced with a 2.3-liter engine. This was later increased to a 2.5-liter and eventually to the 2.8-liter inline six-cylinder engine which beat under the hood of Priscilla's Pagoda.
1975 Dino 308 GT4Bought in October 1976, less than a year before Elvis's death, this '75 Dino had a payment plan of just one instalment: $20,583. The Dino was produced between 1968 and 1976 and was originally conceived as a range of entry-level models separate from Ferrari and powered by V6 engines (instead of Ferrari's huge V12s). The Dino was the first mid-engine sport car produced by the company and was an instant hit, gunning squarely at the success of Porsche's 911. In 1973 Ferrari increased the V6 to a 2,927cc V8 and bumped its power up to 202 horsepower. In 1976 the Dino was finally rebadged as a thoroughbred Ferrari.
1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud IIILaunched in 1963 and powered by a mighty 6.2-liter V8, the third edition of the Silver Cloud was treated to double headlights, a lower hood line and a marginal increase in power. For 11 years the Silver Cloud formed the core of Rolls-Royce models before being succeeded by the Silver Shadow. The interior of Elvis's white 1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III is decked out in blue leather with walnut paneling along the dashboard. It was owned by TV star Michael Landon and country musician Charlie Rich before it rolled through Graceland's imposing gates for the first time.
1956 Cadillac Eldorado ConvertibleOriginally white with a black interior, Elvis allegedly squashed a handful of grapes on the wheel arch of his '56 Caddie and told customizer Jimmy Sanders of Memphis, "This is the color I want". To complete the transformation the upholstery was changed to white roll and pleated leather and the floor covered in purple mouton fur. Elvis also had the floor mats adorned with his personal insignia — his "EP" initials, entwined with a guitar and two music notes. The car was sold only one year later and after a couple of different owners was eventually abandoned in an open field before being bought on auction and restored to its former (pimped-up) purple glory.
1962 Ford ThunderbirdDespite being an undisputed Cadillac man (owning several dozen models during his life), in 1961 Elvis broke from his pattern and purchased a Ford T-Bird for $6,284 from a local dealer. Created to steal sales from Chevrolet's Corvette, Ford only made 200 of Elvis's particular model and treated them to fancy wire wheels.
The relationship with the T-Bird didn't last very long though. Just a few days after buying the car, while in Hollywood shooting a movie, some of the wheels' wires came undone while Elvis's employees were driving the car. Ford couldn't provide replacement wheels and so the car was swiftly returned for a full refund.