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Elvis Presley’s Pink Cadillac on display in London

Written by admin on June 19, 2015 – 2:12 pm -

Elvis Presley’s iconic pink Cadillac is the latest of the temporary exhibits to arrive at the “Elvis at The O2” exhibition in London. The huge exhibition features around 300 items from Graceland, many of which have never been seen before. Some of the most high profile items, such as the Cadillac, appear for two-month intervals before being returned to their Memphis home.

Elvis Presley's pink Cadillac
Elvis’ pink Cadillac pictured at Graceland

The aim of the “Elvis at The O2” exhibition is to chronicle the rise of the rock ‘n’ roll icon and how he impacted popular culture around the world through his music, movies and personal style. The exhibition opened in December 2014 and was originally scheduled to close in August of this year, but has been popular enough to earn an extended run until January 10th, 2016.

Elvis’ former wife, Priscilla Presley, says:

The pink Cadillac meant so much to Elvis and his mother Gladys, and became one of the most famous cars in history. It’s indeed exciting to bring this iconic car to the Elvis At The O2 Exhibition and have it on display for the first time outside of Graceland, as we mark its 60th anniversary year. The response to The O2 Exhibition has been extraordinary, so my daughter Lisa and I are very pleased that we can extend its run, to ensure that everyone gets a chance to see all of the treasured items from Graceland up close, and experience the man and artist in such a memorable way.

Elvis was a lifelong lover of flashy cars. It’s said that he got the idea for one day buying a pink Cadillac when his mother expressed admiration for a car that she had seen parked at a hospital that she worked at in the early 1950s. During the song “Baby Let’s Play House,” recorded in early 1955, Elvis hinted at the imminent purchase of his first pink Cadillac when he changed the lyric “You may get religion” to “You may have a pink Cadillac”.

The Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60 on display at the exhibition was purchased by Elvis in July 1955 to replace his original pink Cadillac, which had caught fire while driving between gigs with his band the previous month. This second Cadillac, which Elvis famously gifted to his mother, was originally blue with a black roof, but he had it repainted pink. The white roof was added later, along with new upholstery.

Other items featured at the exhibition include:

  • the Red 1960 MG Roadster from the film Blue Hawaii
  • Elvis’ “TCB” (Taking Care of Business) ring
  • the pool table Elvis played on with The Beatles during their visit with him in 1965
  • Elvis’ personal keys to Graceland
  • the gold plated telephone from the side of Elvis’ bed at Graceland
  • numerous casual and stage outfits
  • the bongo drums that Priscilla gave Elvis as a Christmas present when they first met
  • Elvis’ personal wallet containing photos of a young Lisa Marie Presley.

The pink Cadillac has been on display at Graceland in Memphis for more than 30 years and will return there after its run at the exhibition concludes.

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