***Buyers should note this car is in Sweden, although the seller will help with transport/logistics where possible***
• Bought new by Elvis Presley himself
• Only known car ever registered in his name
• Outstanding, documented history
• Excellent ‘survivor’ condition
It’s nice when a car has a bit of history, something that you can lose yourself to as you consume every bit of information available. Cars from Cadillac certainly fall into this category. They were an American benchmark for quality, for luxury, and for sheer finesse. They weren’t fast, they didn’t really know what to do when confronted with a corner, and they were not in any way, shape or form, frugal.
But still they were successful, because in ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s America, sensible qualities like MPG didn’t matter. What did matter was presence and equipment, and cars like this 1974 (1975 model year) Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham had those things in spades.
It is, with its 500 cubic inch V8, a monster. A formidable machine from what many would consider to be the final glory days of Cadillac. But, while it is a spectacular car, that’s not why you’re going to bid on it. No, you’re going to bid on it because this particular Cadillac was bought new by a hip-swingin’, guitar playin’, song singin’ star by the name of Elvis Presley. Yes indeed, this car that was fit for a king was indeed bought by… The King.
With documentation to prove, this Caddy was bought by Elvis himself September 26th, 1974 from Madison Cadillac Inc, via salesperson. A. E. Hooker. With optional extras of five Vogue tires [sic], a ‘full cap’, bonnet mounted ‘Goddess’, and even a sun roof, it came in at $12,512. Bargain. Elvis would go on to use is for a short while, before gifting the car to his doctor in 1976.
Dr G. Nichopoulos used the car until 1985 when it was bought by the current vendor. However, this is the current vendor’s second time with the car, as he sold it to a Franz Heel in 1990, and has recently bought the car back.
The important stuff is here, like a copy of the original order form (signed by Elvis) and delivery sheet. From these, the car’s provenance couldn’t be more concrete. The car is there, the name is there and address is there (Elvis Presley Blvd). To give an idea of how special this is, the current owner informs us that of all the cars in the Elvis museum, none have such supporting paperwork!
Frustratingly, Heel lost a great deal of what he had relating to the car’s life post-Elvis. But we’re assured this was just run of the mill maintenance documentation and the like. Nothing pertaining to the King. If you want that, you’ll be pleased to know the car comes with all manner of photographs of it both with Graceland in the background, his road manager and friend, Joe Esposito, and Elvis’s best friend, George Klein (last photo in the gallery).
Furthermore, there are pictures of the car on display at various venues around the world. These all come with the car, as does a fitting ‘Graceland’ backdrop should you wish to display it in such a way and finally, a 14k gold key for the car, framed, is included. Magnificent stuff, frankly.
Everything is there, and everything is as plush as it was when Elvis jumped behind the wheel in 1974. The interior does show its age though. This is a car that survived the test of time, it has not been restored at any point. As such, some areas are in need of attention. The steering wheel is cracked and split, for example. The vinyl in some areas is split or has been pulled away (the current owner suspects that while on display, opportunist ‘fans’ may have liberated some bits). But it’s all there.
The dash is in good order, the gauges and display bright and clear. The original radio is still fitted, the knobs and buttons are all present and correct. It’s an incredibly well equipped car. It has factory air, electric seats, cruise control, electric windows and even rear foot rests.
The seats, trimmed in an outlandish and very period velour, are all in good condition. Testament to how well Cadillac made interiors. The carpets, while faded in places, are in presentable order too. It’s all there, it’s just a little worn from age. We would encourage you to pore over the pictures and look in detail, and we would be keen to advise you view this car - if you plan to drive it - as something of a project.
This is a big car. Huge, in fact. So there is a lot to drink in, and for the most part, that drink tastes good. The car is, again, all original. The panel gaps are true and there is no excessive damage and by the looks of things, nothing in the way of rust.
There are a few love taps here and there, but nothing that has broken the paint. One wreath is missing from a C pillar-mounted Cadillac emblem, but that seems to be it. The stainless steel hubcaps are all present, the chrome looks to be in great order and the ‘Goddess’ that Elvis specified on the order form is still front and centre.
Is it perfect? No, it’s an old car. But you’re not buying this because of what it is, you’re buying this because of where it has been and because of who owned it. And that means the imperfections and so on can be forgiven. They are part of this car’s history. Plus, without wanting to go full ‘Theseus paradox’ about it all, if you restore it, is it still the King’s Caddy? The fact it is imperfect kind of makes it, well, perfect.
The big Caddy isn’t running at the moment, but we’re told by the vendor that this is due to the fact the car simply hasn’t been used. Nothing has suffered any sort of catastrophic failure. It just needs to be refreshed and checked over.
The vendor tells us everything is there, and everything is original, with the exception of the battery and an engine-bay mounted kill switch. Probably used when the car was on display.
Again, treat this as a project. The good thing is, parts for the 500cui Cadillac engine are readily available, and repairing and maintaining such a beast is actually fairly simple. The car is going to need inspection, and it will need a full mechanical overhaul, but hopefully nothing more than consumable, wear and tear items. The car hasn’t failed or broken down, it’s just been hidden away.
Elvis bought it. That’s it. That’s the appeal. This car was bought by Elvis and it has the paperwork to back it up. As we said earlier, even the cars in the Elvis museum don’t have that kind of paperwork.
This is, no hyperbole employed, a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s also one that, should you wish, will almost certainly earn you money. People the world over will want to see this car, they will want to interact with it, touch it (if you let them) take pictures with it, so on and so forth.
There is no person in popular culture that has a following as vast or as passionate as that of Elvis Presley. That, right there, is the appeal. This is the King’s car, and with just a couple of clicks, you could be next in line for the throne.
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