Take-off failure – Elvis Presley’s jet sold for well below expected price
Elvis Presley’s last private jet failed to rock at auction – selling for almost $3million (£2.3 million) less than its estimate.
The 1962 Lockheed JetStarOne had been expected to fetch up to $3.5million but instead was snapped up for just $430,000 (£336,000) by a mystery buyer.
The red and silver plane is in need of some care after sitting on the tarmac in Roswell, Mexico, for the past 35 years.
It has no engine and the cockpit requires a complete overhaul.
Even so liveauctioneers.com, the site handling the bid, had slapped an estimate of £2million to $3.5million on the so called ‘lost’ jet.
But in a sold note GWS Auctions Inc. stated it had been bought for $430,000 on Saturday at an event in California.
The jet had remained hidden away for years in an ‘aircraft boneyard’ and is preserved with its red velvet seat, shag red carpet and original woodwork.
Brigitte Kruse, owner of GWS Auctions, Inc., said: “It has attracted a lot of tourists in Roswell, and it still has the original woodwork, inlay, red velvet seats and red shag carpet.
“It has the potential to be fully restored and made the centerpiece of a major exhibit.
“This is the only jet owned by Elvis that is still owned privately, he owned it with his father Vernon, from what we understand it’s a very early asset.
“The first thing that came to my mind when the seller contacted me was what kind of shape the jet would be in.
“It had been sitting for 30 years, so I believed it had to be dilapidated but it isn’t at all.
“The owner chose the location because of the altitude and air quality so that it was not exposed to rust or oxidised.
“It’s in impressive condition for being in the desert for 30 years, inside is impeccable, the engine has been taken out, but it’s a perfect exhibit piece.”
Other items in the auction, including negatives of Elvis, newspapers mourning his death, a Hawaii wood mounted photo, vintage tracks and a BMI award, were set to fetch $5,000.
Just 204 examples of the Lockheed Jetstar were produced between 1957 and 1978; a project that started as a bid to win a United States Air Force contract.
When that fell through, Lockheed continued development and created a small business jet instead.