One of the most iconic pieces of Elvis Presley memorabilia, the custom built 1929 Ford roadster that the King of Rock and Roll drove in the movie “Loving You,” is heading to auction for the first time.
Although Elvis drove the hot rod, dubbed the Elvis Roadster, on the silver screen, it didn’t actually belong to him. The film borrowed the Ford from its builder, famed hot rod pioneer John Athan, who built the car in 1937. But according to reports from the time, Elvis loved the car and attempted to buy it from Athan on several occasions.
According to Kruse GWS Auctions, “Elvis, who loved cars almost as much as he loved music, wanted to buy it, but Athan refused to sell it to him.” As the story goes, Athan and his wife drove the car from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to get married, making its sentimental value much higher than its cash value.
Over the years the hot rod has been displayed at a number of museums—including the Smithsonian, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and the National Hot Rod Association Museum in Pomona, California—but it never left Athan’s possession. However, the hot rod legend died in 2016, and the ’29 Ford is now being sold by his 89-year old widow.
Although the 1929 Ford will be the jewel of the Artifacts of Hollywood auction, it won’t be the only Elvis-related vehicle that will be up for grabs. Three other Elvis-owned vehicles will be at the auction, including a 1973 Lincoln Continental limousine, a 1976 Harley Davidson motorcycle and a 1967 GMC truck that was used on the singer’s Circle G Ranch in Mississippi.
The Artifacts of Hollywood auction is scheduled to take place on August 31 at the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood in L.A.