THE latest exhibit to go on display in the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is the 1977 Cadillac Seville purchased and driven by the King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley.
The Cadillac was bought by Elvis in October 1976 for his own use and he chose the burgundy and silver colour scheme.
The car is in original condition and still has the CB radio installed that Elvis used to communicate with the kitchen at Graceland and to the guard house outside Graceland, to open the gates.
One of the first people to see the car at Beaulieu was Lady Fiona Montagu, wife of the museum’s founder, Lord Montagu, a lifelong Elvis fan.
The Cadillac Seville V8 automatic was manufactured by General Motors and the body custom-built by Fisher. Its features include electronic windows and mirrors and a grey interior with wood grain accents on the dashboard, doors and steering wheel.
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. The auction coincided with Elvis Week at Graceland, which commemorates the singer’s death on August 16th, 1977. 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 Elvis’s 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, who are great Elvis fans, run Europe’s Tribute to Elvis, an annual Europe tribute artist contest held in Blackpool with the winner taking part in the 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.”
The Cadillac was the last car Elvis purchased for his personal use and it was driven by him on the day prior to his death. It is believed he bought more than 200 Cadillacs in his life – for himself, friends, family and even strangers. After his death it was gifted by his father, Vernon, to Elvis’s girlfriend, Ginger Alden.
The car is now on display in the National Motor Museum and can be seen as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction, http://www.beaulieu.co.uk.