How Elvis Presley’s Cars Are Carefully Repaired and Properly Preserved

by Joe Rutland

Elvis Presley built up quite a collection of cars fit, well, for a King. After his death in 1977, they have been preserved quite well.

As part of the Graceland experience, fans get a chance to see Presley’s car collection. But there is a lot of work and effort that goes into keeping his cars repaired all the time.

During an interview for his “Gates of Graceland” show, host Tom Brown asked Angie Marchese, vice president of archives and exhibits at Graceland, about this type of work. You can pick up the interview around the 4-minute mark and hear Marchese speak at length.

“You know, it really depends on the story we’re telling with that item and how historic of a piece it is,” Marchese said “If it’s something that Elvis was wearing and he spilled orange juice on it, you know, we’re not going to take the orange juice stain out of it. Because it happened at an event and that’s part of the story.”

Elvis Presley Cars Restored And Are Able To Run, Too

“It’s kind of like the cars in the car museum,” she said. “They’ve all been restored and, yes, they all can run but because of the laws in Memphis and the fire marshal, we’re not allowed to have fluids in them. Now if there’s anyone who knows about antique cars, the most important thing is to keep them lubed and keep them fueled.”

Marchese said that because Graceland is a museum, the cars are preserved up to that point so they can be displayed in the building.

“And so, there’s a guy that we’ve been working with for a long time, you’ve probably heard of him, named Jimmy Cofer and he’s done work with us on lots of our cars,” she said. “(He’s done) lots of restoration work on our cars, finding authentic pieces to replace pieces that might be broken.

“And when we replace something, we don’t get rid of the original,” Marchese said. “The original’s always a part of the collection. So that’s kind of the process you go through the restoration project.”

Presley Takes To The Streets And His Fans Are Excited

There are plenty of stories about Elvis Presley being a recluse and staying behind Graceland’s gates. It was hard for him to go out and simply be a normal resident of Memphis, Tenn., because of his celebrity status.

Yet there are photographs and even some film that show Presley out among people. In this video, he drives many of his cars and motorcycles too.

Fans either stand in awe of seeing Elvis Presley drive out or back into Graceland in the photos. Some of them look like they don’t know what to do. But this collection of photos and video show Presley leaving the safety and comfort of Graceland for a little time away from home.

Take a look and enjoy seeing Presley drive around in his cars.

Many of the cars in this video, if not all of them, are now available for fans to see at Graceland.

They carry sacred memories of the rock ‘n roll legend’s life and his own shot at enjoying a normal life.

Well, as normal as it could be for Elvis Presley.