Elvis Presley’s Rare Continental Mark II Traveling to New York Auto Show

by Caitlin Berard
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Though people know Elvis Presley all over the world for his classic songs, The King also had a passion for cars. His collection started in 1955 with a single pink and white Cadillac. Over the years, however, Elvis Presley’s car collection grew to include dozens of vehicles that would make any car enthusiast weak at the knees, including a rare Continental Mark II.

Sadly, that first Cadillac didn’t make it very long. After only a day of use, the brake lining caught fire. According to the Official Elvis Presley Fan Club website, The King said, “The first car I bought was the most beautiful car I’ve ever seen. It was second hand but I parked it outside my hotel the day I got it and stayed up all night just looking at it. The next day, it caught fire and burned up on the road.”

A year later, Elvis Presley bought his classic white 1956 Continental Mark II. Impressively, the rare car is just one of many stunning Lincolns owned by The King over the years. Now, almost 70 years later, the Continental is leaving its home in Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s traveling all the way to the New York International Auto Show for Elvis and car enthusiasts alike to enjoy.

The History of Elvis Presley’s Rare Continental Mark II

In addition to the Continental Mark II, Elvis Presley’s collection included many rare Lincolns such as a Lincoln Zephyr, a Lincoln Continental Mark 5, and a Lincoln MK IV. That said, the Continental Mark II is a particularly special vehicle.

Developed by William Clay Ford Sr., the Mark II was designed with world-class luxury in mind. When the car was unveiled in Paris in 1956, it marked the most expensive car on the market at the time. Hilariously, the MSRP was only $9,966.

Because of the attention to detail to the design and luxury price tag, the car was a popular choice for celebrities. Besides Elvis, Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor also owned Mark IIs. Only 3,000 Continental Mark IIs total ever hit the market, making Elvis Presley’s car an incredibly unique vehicle.

How did The King come to own such a rarity? Well, according to Angie Marchese, Graceland’s vice present of archives and exhibits, it all started with a tour in Miami. Elvis’ Lincoln Premier was parked outside the venue, where it was promptly covered in lipstick and love notes from The King’s fans.

Elvis could have taken the vehicle to a car wash. However, he opted to drive it to the closest Lincoln dealer instead. When he arrived, he traded the Lincoln for the all-white Continental.

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