What airborne object has been grounded in the desert of Roswell, NM for nearly 40 years? It's not a UFO. It's Elvis Presley's old private jet. But, alas, a lucky collector has already snatched it up.
On what would have been Presley's 88th birthday on Jan. 8th, the King's dilapidated private jet sold at auction for a cool $260,000 - a drop in the bucket compared to the record-breaking $1.32 million shelled out for his iconic 1942 Martin D-18 guitar.
The 1962 Lockheed 1329 JetStar sold at the Mecum Kissimmee Collector Car auction in January. At the time, the jet had been collecting dust outside New Mexico's Roswell International Air Center. Despite some 40 years sitting in the beating desert sun (the exterior red and silver paint has dramatically faded), much of the jet's original interior remains, including sumptuous red velvet upholstery, gold finishes and...wait for it...authentic 1960s shag carpet.
Per Robb Report, Presley bought the JetStar in 1976, just a year before his death. The King paid $840,000, which would be about $4.4 million in today's dollars. The JetStar, which held nine passengers and three crew members and reached top speeds of 565 mph, is just one of many private jets Presley owned throughout his lifetime. Two of the music icon's remaining jets can be viewed on display at Graceland.
Auction house Mecum stated that the JetStar was one of a fleet of planes used to fly Presley, the TCB Band, Col. Tom Parker and the Memphis Mafia (a group of Presley's friends and family) to concert venues across the country.
There to witness the landmark Florida auction of the JetStar was Priscilla Presley, who reportedly told the packed house of collectors, "Elvis loved planes and this was one of them. This is my first auction and I'm excited to be here. Today would be Elvis' 88th birthday."
One of the private jets now on display at Graceland is Presley's 1958 Convair 880, which he purchased in 1975 and named after his now-deceased daughter, Lisa Marie.
READ MORE: Is Stella Leaving 'Chicago Fire'? Why Fans Are Worried About the Future of the Firehouse 51 Favorite
Enjoy all things country?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.