Elvis Presley’s jet has its wings clipped for life on the road

Source: YouTube/Jimmy’s World

A jet once owned by Elvis Presley is to be converted into an ‘Elvis-mobile’ and driven across the United States, giving fans a chance to experience the luxurious life of the King of Rock ‘n Roll.

The red Lockheed JetStar L-1329 had languished in the New Mexico desert for about 40 years until YouTuber James Webb – from the Jimmy’s World channel – bought it in January.

Earlier this week the jet arrived at Mr Webb’s Florida workstation, where he flips beaten up and abandoned aircraft.

Mr Webb, who says that the plane purchase was the biggest financial purchase he has made besides his house, paid $US234,000 ($352,457) at an auction at the Roswell International Air Centre in New Mexico.

‘Best or worst choice’

He believes that the conversion will be a “fantastic” experience that will allow everyone to appreciate the legacy of Elvis Presley.

“I knew that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and the whole time I never could get quite sure if this was the best choice or the worst choice of my life,” Mr Webb told Fox News.

“And still, I’m not sure which way that’s gonna end up.”

In a video posted on his YouTube page, Webb revealed his plans for the conversion. He plans to use a motorhome or recreational vehicle (RV) chassis and cover it with the jet’s exterior, so the vehicle will still have the appearance of Elvis’ jet.

He hopes to keep the captain’s seat, mounting the steering wheel where the dashboard of the RV would be.

The RV will have a functional bathroom, microwave, TV, stereo system, lights and air-conditioning, all powered by a generator.

The plane’s interior features red velvet seats, a sound system, and a built-in television, all of which will be retained in the conversion.

Mr Webb plans to tour the RV across the country, from “Las Vegas to Graceland“.

Elvis purchased the private jet in 1976, less than a year before his death in August 1977, for $840,000, and it was the least flown of all his aircraft.

According to Mecrum Auctions (which arranged the sale), when Elvis took ownership of the plane, he was no stranger to lavish aviation acquisitions.

The Interior of jet once owned by Elvis Presley. Photo: Mecrum Auctions

He had already amassed a modest fleet, which included a custom Convair 880 named the ‘Lisa Marie’ that went by the call sign of Hound Dog 1, along with a second JetStar identified by its call sign of Hound Dog 2.

The auction house says on its website: “With a busy touring schedule, these crafts were needed to transport the singer, his Taking Care of Business band, back-up groups, Colonel Tom Parker and the ever-present Memphis Mafia to venues, concerts and appearances all around the country.

“Elvis kept several pilots on retainer that were ready to fly him to adoring fans at a moment’s notice.”

After his death, the jet was sold to a Saudi Arabian company and then sent to a desert in New Mexico for storage.

What to do with the wings?

However, there is one dilemma that Webb has yet to solve: What to do with the excess material that won’t be used in the RV conversion?


Elvis’ plane will be turned into an RV. Photo: TND/Supplied

The wings and engines of the plane won’t fit on the RV chassis, and the tail is too tall for it to be driven down the road.

On his channel Mr Webb is asking for suggestions on what to do with this extra material so it can still honour Elvis’ legacy.

One idea Mr Webb has floated is turning the pieces into Elvis mementos for profit.

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