Most people know Elvis Presley as the King of Rock and Roll, but few know that the King traveled in style. Elvis owned a private fleet of three jets, which helped get him from one concert to another. After The King died, however, what happened to his jets? Let’s take a look.

The Complete Fleet

Source: Wikimedia/Tzali

Elvis’ fleet contained three jets: two Lockheed Jetstars and a Convair 880. Each of these private planes was customized to Elvis’ liking since The King liked riding in style no matter where he went. If anything, Elvis’ penchant for the flashy set the stage for today’s superstars.

Yet after Elvis died (or disappeared, depending on who you’re talking to), what happened to his private fleet of jets? Did they get sold off to the highest bidder? Where are they now? The stories for each of these planes are pretty wild.

The Convair 880 Used to Be a Commercial Airplane

Source: Wikimedia/T.A.F.K.A.S.

Elvis’ Convair 880 was bought from Delta Airlines in April 1975. For fifteen years before Elvis owned it, the plane served as one of the Delta fleet’s workhorses, traversing the country. Once it was ready for retirement, Elvis bought it from Delta.

He spent a massive $250,000 (approximately $1.2 million in today’s dollars) for the plane. He rechristened it the “Lisa Marie” in honor of his only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. However, the aircraft was showing its age and was in no shape to carry a King.

Renovations Cost A Lot

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The first order of business when Elvis got the plane was to renovate it. This meant replacing a lot of the internal upholstery, removing seats, and turning it from a commercial flight into a more private vehicle that he and his entourage could use to get around the country.

According to the Graceland blog, the renovations cost around $800,000. It took as long as six months to finish as well, meaning the plane was out of commission for half a year while it was retooled. Inside was fitted with gold-plated buckles and suede couches.

Sitting At Home Today

Source: Wikimedia/Thomas R Machnitzki

The plane was one of The King’s favorites until he died in 1977. For a while, it remained abandoned as no one was sure what to do with it. After some time, the plane was acquired by OKC Partnership in 1984.

Today, visitors to Graceland can marvel in wonder at the plane. Walking inside reveals several features that might be standard in today’s luxury planes but were cutting edge for the time. It even had a sky-to-ground phone and a quadrophonic stereo system on board!

Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog (II)

Source: Wikimedia/Thomas R Machnitzki

While the Lisa Marie was the pride of Elvis’ fleet, he had another jet that he would use regularly named the Hound Dog II. Elvis acquired this plane in 1975 while he was waiting for renovations to the Lisa Marie to be complete.

This plane, a Lockheed JetStar, was an executive business jet designed for carrying entertainers and their support staff. When Elvis got the plane, it was in excellent working condition, and he could simply hop into it and fly wherever he wanted.

A Smaller Version of the Flagship

Source: Wikimedia/Thomas R Machnitzki

While the Hound Dog II was smaller than the Lisa Marie, it was also outfitted with many of the same creature comforts the King had grown accustomed to in the pride of his fleet. The plane only had ten seats, so it wasn’t nearly as luxurious as the larger plane.

Some estimates say Elvis spent as much as $900,000 to buy this plane. The interior color scheme was unique, changed to green and yellow to distinguish it from the Lisa Marie. Sadly, this aircraft found itself in the same position as the Lisa Marie once Elvis died. It was sold and rebought before going on display at Graceland.

The Last Plane in the Fleet

Source: YouTube/Jimmy’s World

Elvis seemed to have liked The Hound Dog II, as he purchased another Lockheed JetStar in 1976, just a year before he died. However, this second jet outshone the other two in Elvis’s fleet by the interior design, decor, and comforts available on the inside.

The panels were made out of woodwork, varnished to perfection. The seats were pink velvet sofas, allowing passengers to recline and enjoy their travel. Inside, the design was painted a vivid red to show off the vibrancy of Elvis’ life. It’s a shame the plane only flew for one year with The King.

Lost In Another State

Source: YouTube/Jimmy’s World

While the first two planes were sold to other buyers, this one was simply left to rot in the New Mexico desert. Time and the elements took their toll on the once-proud plane, and it remained there, battered by sand, winds, and rain for 40 years.

Eventually, a new buyer was found, and he acquired the downtrodden plane for a mere $234,000. The new owner, James Web from Jimmy’s World, desperately wanted the old bird to fly again, but due to the damage it sustained from its abandonment, that just wasn’t possible.

Breathing New Life Into an Old Plane

Source: YouTube/Jimmy’s World

Repairing the old JetStar would have cost Jimmy a cool $5 million. After the damage sustained, the amount of time it remained abandoned, and all that had befallen the aircraft, it was a blow to learn how much it would cost to regain its former glory.

Even if Jimmy had $5 million, there’s no guarantee it’d get greenlit by IATA to fly. Aviation requirements and regulations have changed significantly since the plane was manufactured in 1962. So, Jimmy decided to rebuild the plane into something different, enabling it to fly again.

Still Holding On

Source: Wikimedia/Thomas R Machnitzki

Elvis’ planes no longer soar through the sky carrying anyone, but they have an importance all their own. One JetStar and the Convair remain in Graceland, reacquired by the estate so visitors can experience what the King must have felt like traveling in his heyday.

The remaining JetStar is undergoing renovations and might actually fly again. These aircraft are remnants of a simpler time, but they carry the indelible mark of Elvis on them. No matter where they end up, they’ll always have the privilege of being a part of the air fleet of the King of Rock and Roll.