The latest exhibit to go on display in the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is the 1977 Cadillac Seville purchased and driven by the one and only king of rock and roll – Elvis Presley.
The Cadillac was purchased by Presley in October 1976 for his own use and he chose the burgundy and silver colour scheme himself. The car is in original condition and still has the CB radio installed that he used to communicate with the kitchen at Graceland and to the guard house outside Graceland, to open the gates.
Previously auctioned in Las Vegas in 1994 and sold for $101,500 to a private collector, it again came up for sale in August when Graceland held its first ever auction. All the items in the auction were offered from third-party collectors. Among the items were rare and unique artefacts from the collection of Greg Page, founding member of Australian children’s music group, The Wiggles, and one of the world’s biggest and most well-known Elvis Presley collectors. Page’s items included this 1977 Cadillac Seville.
The car was purchased at the auction for $81,250 by Steve Horn as a present for his wife Suzannah. Steve and Suzannah run Europe’s Tribute to Elvis, an annual Europe tribute artist contest held in Blackpool with the winner taking part in the contest finals in Memphis. Explaining their decision to offer the car for display at Beaulieu, Steve said: “We wanted to give all of Elvis’s UK fans an opportunity to see his car and Beaulieu is the perfect location. We are delighted they could find a space for it.”
This Cadillac was the last car Presley purchased for his personal use and it was driven by him on the day prior to his death. It is believed that Elvis purchased more than 200 Cadillacs in his life; for himself, friends, family and even strangers.