Elvis Presley: Graceland share how fans could tell if The King was home or not
Graceland: Take a live virtual tour of Elvis' Memphis home
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At Buckingham Palace in London, people know if The Queen is at home by spotting if The Royal Standard flag is up. However, if the Union Jack is flown instead, that means the monarch is not in residence. Interestingly, there was a similar way fans of The King of Rock and Roll could know if Elvis Presley was home at Graceland or not.
Elvis Presley lived at Graceland from 1957 until his death 20 years later and fans would often be hanging around the gates trying to catch a glimpse, photo or even autograph.
And during a recent virtual live tour of Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment and exhibit complex just across the road, our guide shared just how you could tell if The King was in residence or not.
The tour included a look at Elvis’ incredible car collection and archivist Angie Marchese said how those vehicles in use would be stored in the carport at Graceland.
She said: “Back in the day if you were ever at the gates of Graceland and you saw the cars around the front of the mansion, that meant Elvis was home.”
Angie continued: “He could hop out the house and take any car he wanted, to go wherever he was wanting to go that evening.
“And if they were around back on the carport, it meant Elvis was not home.
“But that’s where the cars would be parked when Elvis wasn’t home and there was that long drive so they could be parked along the side of the driveway as well.”
During his lifetime Elvis purchased and gave away between 200-250 vehicles.
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Elvis had fleet policies that were constantly changing and had a habit of buying a car, driving it for a while and then trading it in.
For much of his life at Graceland, there would be 20-30 cars in use at one time.
Among the many of The King’s vehicles on display at Graceland is his first Rolls Royce and even a dented John Deere tractor.
Angie shared how Elvis believed that buying his cars was a sign that he’d made it; a sign of freedom – hence why he often gifted them to friends and family.
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Another highlight on the tour was seeing the last car Elvis drove just hours before his death on August 16, 1977.
It was his 1973 Stutz Blackhawk III, which he used to drive himself to the dentist just before midnight.
Even though he was a huge star, Elvis didn’t like being chauffeured around that much.
Instead, The King was much more likely to be driving his friends and family to wherever he needed to get to.
Next year sees the release of the upcoming Elvis movie biopic from Baz Luhrmann.
And no doubt star Austin Butler will be driving around some impressive cars to reflect The King’s love of automobiles.
The new film also co-stars Tom Hanks as Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker.
Elvis is released in cinemas on June 3, 2022.
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