“Ambition is a dream with a V8 Engine”
When the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum opened June 12th, 1989, the museum held over 20 cars that were owned by Presley during his life. The building contained a semi-circular path that led guests around some of his most famous cars; including the iconic 1955 Pink Cadillac.
The new car museum has been given both positive and negative reviews, many of the negative comments indicated it seemed the cars were “thrown into the building without much care”. As someone who experienced the museum and is a huge Elvis fan, I loved the changes.
The new open-floor concept created more room for more vehicles to be displayed. Not to mention being accompanied by Elvis pictures, quotes, and information about the cars themselves. The new Presley Motors Automobile Museum is perfect for any Elvis fan or vintage car buff!
It is no secret that Elvis loved cars. His favorite gift to give was that of cars, even to complete strangers. Many of the cars on display at Presley Motors Automobile Museum are those he personally owned and even some fun vehicles Presley drove in the movies.
Of these cars, the most iconic 1955 Pink Cadillac is still on display and probably the most photographed of them all. If it had not been for the purchase of this car, Elvis may not have had much of a career. Though this car is famous for representing Elvis, not many know the story behind it.
1955 Pink Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60
Elvis purchased his first Cadillac in early 1955. This car was a 1954 Fleetwood Series 60. However, this car was destroyed by a fired after the brake lining failed on June 5th, 1955. This posed a problem as this car was their means of transportation between gigs. Without transportation, they had no way to reach audiences across the Southern United States.
Elvis then purchased the pink Cadillac we know today on July 5th, 1955. The car originally purchased was a Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60 in blue with a black roof. Yes, you read that correctly. The pink Cadillac was in fact blue. Presley’s first song to appear on the Billboard Country Singles chart was “Baby, Let’s Play House”.
From the lyrics themselves, “You may have a pink Cadillac”, Elvis decided the car should be painted pink since his original pink Cadillac was destroyed.
On its completion, Elvis gave this Cadillac to his mother, Gladys. As sweet as this gesture was, Gladys never obtained a driver’s license, so Elvis ended up driving the car and touring with his band members for the next year.
This car managed to help the members of the band travel at ease making it to one city after another. After Scotty Moore caused a car accident while touring, the Cadillac endured $1000 worth of damages. During this time the roof was painted to white, which is the current state of this car in the museum.
1956 Purple Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
With the pink Cadillac being a gift for his mother, even though she did not have a license, Elvis decided to buy himself a Cadillac. The Cadillac Elvis had in mind technically did not exists, but with help from the developers, Elvis custom-built his dream car.
When he ordered the car, it was Alpine white with a white convertible top, full white leather interior, air conditioning (because it was not included at the time), and tinted glass. It was ordered white so the car could be later painted purple.
This color purple was also not available, but they made it a possibility for Elvis. When completed, the Cadillac was purple with gold wheels and a gold grille opposed to the normal chrome. This car was truly built for a king.
Driving in Style
With stories like this for only two cars on display, imagine the other stories each car holds. This museum provides a deeper insight to who Elvis was as a person and showcases some of his styling choices. Many of the cars were gifts to those closest to him and some personal ones as well. The new layout provides more landscaping for more vehicles.
Next door to the Automobile Museum is Presley Cycles. Inside this area are many of Elvis’s motorcycles, tractors, and even his personal ski boat. Many of these vehicles are being displayed for the first time at Graceland.
The small room contains so much and even home videos are shown on screens of Presley himself riding each vehicle. Seeing each item in front of you along with a video really makes this museum unique and a must-see.
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Until we meet again!
TCB and TCE,
*All Photos were taken by Ashley Dion AKA Little Sister*