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Elvis’ Harley expected to fetch $300k at auction

By General Posts

by Chris Best from https://www.wkrg.com

Elvis Presley, who died in 1977 at age 42, was also a motorcycle fan. A 1975 FLH 1200 Harley-Davidson that he liked to ride around his Graceland estate in Memphis carries a pre-sale estimate of $300,000 – $350,000 at a memorabilia auction in Los Angeles. Another of Presley’s bikes was sold for $800,000 in September 2019.

But that’s just part of the auction. A gold and diamond “TCB” ring worn by Elvis Presley is expected to fetch more than $500,000. The ranges from rock guitars to a set of master tapes from the Woodstock festival.

The Elvis Presley ring is described as the first in a series of rings with the TCB (Taking Care of Business) letters and lightning bolt motif that the singer adopted as his mantra in 1969 when he returned to performing concerts after focusing on movies.

“It’s the quintessential Elvis jewelry piece,” said Brigitte Kruse, founder of GWS Auctions. Kruse said she thought the ring could fetch anything between $500,000 and $1 million at the 300-item auction on Nov. 28.

Presley gave the ring, which has a total 2.25 carats of diamonds and which he designed himself, to his opening band singer J.D. Sumner in 1975.

The most expensive lot could be a collection of master tapes from the 1969 Woodstock festival that sat in a producer’s storage locker for more than 10 years and have never been available for sale before.

The 700 plus hours of tapes, independently valued at $1.6 million, include performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who and dozens more artists who took part in what is seen as a cornerstone of hippie culture.

Kruse said it was difficult to estimate how much the Woodstock tapes might sell for. “There’s just nothing to compare it to,” she said. “Every now and then we bump into those pieces that are truly exceptional and things you wouldn’t even think still existed.”

The Harley-Davidson That Tried and Failed to Become World’s Most Expensive Bike

By General Posts

In August 2020, 43 years will have passed since Elvis Presley, the king of rock ‘n’ roll, or simply The King, died of an overdose on prescription drugs. To this day, he remains one of the most iconic figures in pop culture.

Even after all these years, Elvis is still considered a top artist in music. He made dozens of movies as well and, while they’re all popular in their own right, they do not speak of his artistry but rather of his desire to capitalize on his music career. In short, he made too many of them, of too questionable quality.

Even in death, The King is still a top-selling artist, which drives up the price to every item that he owned, ranging from his clothes (the flamboyant outfits from his final years, in particular), to his guns, letters and photographs, and last but not least, his impressive car and motorcycle collection. As you probably know, the richer Elvis got, the more he liked to splurge on fancy riders, be they on two or four wheels, and occasionally on three.

Another thing that Elvis was famous for where his car and bikes collection is concerned is the fact that he hardly kept any item around for too long. He would often buy stuff in the spur of the moment, enjoy it for some time and then pass it along, either by gifting it to friends and associates, or reselling it.

This brief introduction is necessary when talking about the last motorcycle he ever bought, which is also the Harley-Davidson mentioned in the headline: a 1976 FLH 1200 Electra Glide that aimed to set a new record for the world’s most expensive bike sold, back in August 2019. It failed.

In the summer of 2019, Kruse GWS Auctions’ Artifacts of Hollywood announced the upcoming auction of a new lot, containing, among others, Presley’s last bike. It was a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide that was still functional and with all the original parts from the moment of purchase, having been stored in a glass museum-quality display at the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, South Dakota, for 30 years. Visitors were never allowed to touch it, so it remained in pristine condition.

In the listing, the auction house highlighted the bike’s impressive pedigree: Elvis himself had bought on August 11, 1976, after visiting a Harley-Davidson dealership to buy a Sportster 1000 for a friend – as a gift, of course. With the Electra Glide, he was very specific about what he wanted: a two-tone paintwork in black and baby blue, hand-stitched leather seat and chrome accents.

He had the bike delivered to his home, Graceland and, in true Elvis form, would pass it on after a while, when he grew bored with it. He sold it to a local Harley-Davidson dealership only days before his death, with just 126 miles on the clock. From there, it passed to the museum, where it would remain until 2019.

This impressive history, and the fact that the Harley was in top condition and with all-original parts prompted the auction house to estimate it would fetch between $1.75 million and $2 million. Which, if you think about it, is not too far-fetched for a piece of Elvis history.

Had it been able to meet this mark, it would have become the world’s most expensive bike ever sold, beating previous record holder 1951 Vincent Black Lightning used by Jake Ehret to set a speed record on in 1954, which went for $929,000 in 2018.

Surprisingly though, Elvis’ Harley not only failed to meet the lowest estimate but fell short by it by a several hundreds thousands: it went to an unknown bidder for a “mere” $800,000.

This still makes it the world’s third most expensive bike sold, but it also shows that, even when it comes to The King, there are some things you can put a price on. And it’s much lower than you think, especially if the butt of said King hardly ever touched it.

The Trikes of Elvis Presley

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elvistrike

centaurtrike1975TCB by Trikes.bikernet.com Editor Ujjwal Dey
Taking Care of Business, our Trikes Editor has painstakingly compiled a comprehensive track on Elvis owned Trikes. Play the record, visit the Trikes site, feel the energy.

Simply “The King” : The Trikes of Elvis Presley
During the 1970s craze for Trikes, legend Elvis Presley rode these with joy

“I wasn’t popular in school … I failed music—only thing I ever failed. And then they entered me in this talent show … when I came onstage I heard people kind of rumbling and whispering and so forth, ’cause nobody knew I even sang. It was amazing how popular I became after that.” – Elvis reminiscing about his 1953 song and dance routine.

In 1954, Elvis finally got himself a job as a truck driver. A job many of us who dream and chase dreams know as the job that pays the bills for the expensive hobby of dreaming.

In the summer of 1975, Elvis bought several Trikes (three wheeled motorcycles), the first of which was a 1975 Rupp Centaur with a 340cc two stroke engine. Within weeks two other types would follow. They were the 65 bhp, 1600cc Volkswagen engine trikes based on Ed Roth designs. The two VW Trikes were seen many times on the road with Elvis Presley riding it in and out of his Graceland home.

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– Ujjwal ‘Wayfarer’ Dey

Managing Editor Trikes.bikernet.com

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