Elvis Presley’s Flying Graceland

Elvis Presley ruled the music charts, the stage and the screen, so it’s only appropriate that he ruled the skies, too.

Forty years ago this month, Elvis took off in his own custom private jet for the first time. The Lisa Marie, which he nicknamed his “Flying Graceland,” took Elvis to concerts and family vacations, all in incredible rock ‘n’ roll style. These days, plenty of celebrities have their own jets. But Elvis proved you could travel in style with his beautifully decorated Lisa Marie.

See the Lisa Marie for yourself here at Graceland. It's open for tours.

See the Lisa Marie for yourself here at Graceland. It’s open for tours.

In April 1975, Elvis purchased a Convair 880 jet, taken out of service by Delta, for $250,000. He named the plane after his daughter, Lisa Marie.

Elvis spent more than $800,000 on remodeling the plane from an ordinary plane to a rock star’s private jet, complete with two half-baths, a lounge area, a conference room, sitting room (which could be turned into a guest bedroom) and a master bedroom.

Elvis had a four-member crew, headed by Captain Elwood David, on constant standby for planned and unplanned flights on the Lisa Marie.

Elvis had a four-member crew, headed by Captain Elwood David, on constant standby for planned and unplanned flights on the Lisa Marie.

The plane is gorgeously decorated with lush blues, greens and gold. The Lisa Marie features gold-plated belt buckles and accessories, suede sofas, leather-topped tables, a quadraphonic 8-track stereo system, a sky-to-ground phone system and more.

The tail features an American flag and Elvis’ famous TCB – “taking care of business in a flash” – logo. He also had the registration number changed to N880EP, and sometimes called it “The Pride of Elvis Presley Airways.”

This is one of the gold-plated sinks on the Lisa Marie.

This is one of the gold-plated sinks on the Lisa Marie.

Elvis’ first flight on the Lisa Marie was on November 27, 1975, to Las Vegas. He had two weeks’ worth of concerts to perform there.

One of the most memorable trips Elvis made on the Lisa Marie was with the plane’s namesake. He realized that Lisa Marie had never experienced a winter with real snow – Memphis rarely sees snow – so he flew his daughter to Denver, Colorado on the Lisa Marie. The two played in the snow and returned to Graceland soon after.

One of Elvis' many flights on the Lisa Marie was on June 29, 1976, to Richmond, Virginia.

One of Elvis’ many flights on the Lisa Marie was on June 29, 1976, to Richmond, Virginia.

Elvis dreamed of having his own fleet; he purchased five planes over the years. Another of his planes, a 1960 Lockheed Jetstar, which he named the Hound Dog II (the Lisa Marie is Hound Dog I), is also at Graceland and open for tours.

The Lisa Marie went on display at Graceland in 1984. It arrived to its destination with much fanfare: the media and fans lined up to watch as the plane was brought down Elvis Presley Boulevard.

The Lisa Marie has become a popular spot for selfies at Graceland.

The Lisa Marie has become a popular spot for selfies at Graceland.

Like Graceland itself, the Lisa Marie is a “must-see” for every Elvis fan. Come to Memphis to see Elvis’ Graceland and Flying Graceland!

 


41 Comments

  1. I AM GLAD THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A TCB ON THE LISA MARIE AND ITS HOME IS GRACELAND MEMPHIS TN

    • Rosa Prestinenzi

      Im so glad l have seen the lisa marie plane (TCB) it was an amazing feeling

  2. Wayne McCaffrey

    like to see

  3. Thank you for purchasing the Lisa Marie earlier this year to guarantee it to forever be at home at Graceland. Elvis would be so happy to show it off to his fans, forever.

  4. I love the “Flying Graceland” With Lisa Marie,TCB in a Flash.
    Graceland MEMPHIS TN

  5. I have been there and have a picture of me in front of the plane

    • Ursula, we have the same first name. I am from Heidelberg and now live in Arizona. Are you also from Germany? I plan to go to Graceland sometime in 2016. I met Elvis when I was 16 years old at a performance in Oakland, California. You can contact me at uschie@cableone.net.

  6. Planes must allways stay at graceland when I was there they were a great attraction

  7. MONA C LeBLANC

    Love going to Graceland and seeing everything ELVIS – the aura of Elvis is all around and moves me to tears – I never have enough and look forward to going back next year for the new Guest House at Graceland. Who knows I may be there sooner than you think. Love you, Elvis!!
    Muah! XOXO

  8. I have planned for a long time to come to see Graceland. I am so excited that this next year I may be able to. He was such a wonderful human being and I wish I could see him as he would be now. I think I have most of the books written about him, I love to listen to G.K. (George Kline) on the radio. He tells it like it really was. I am so looking forward to seeing his house.

    • Elaine, I listen only to Sirius XM Channel 19, the Elvis Channel and I have called in several times when Bill Rock is the DJ

  9. Teresa Migneco

    I also have pictures that were taken (unfortunately) after Elvis’ death, when it was in Fort Lauderdale for maintenance. It was a thrill to be able to take a tour of the “Lisa Marie”.

  10. Helga Wyer

    My Dream was always to be able to see my IDOL”ELVIS PRESLEY ” in Person ,but was never able to fulfill that .BUT , then i had an opportunity to be a guest at Harrahs Casino in Tunika,,and there was my one Time chance to go and visit GRACELAND .It was on his 75th Birthday .Had a wonderful time and took so many Pictures ( had to send them to germany just to let my Family know i was really at Graceland :) ) Elvis was the King and always will be .I miss him ! I also went inside the ” Lisa Marie”and saw the pink Cadillac .Graceland IS BEAUTIFUL and the plot where the Family lays is so touching .Thank you so much For KEEPING ELVIS ALIVE .

  11. Carol King

    I was lucky enough to tour the Lisa Marie at Graceland May 2001. I would like to get back again!

  12. Looks great the plane.

  13. The plane was a gift that got given back

  14. Janny van Holland

    Last October I visit Graceland,and also the Lisa Marie,I love it and had a wonderful time.

  15. Ethel Hay

    Went to Graceland ,went inside the Lisa Marie it was fantastic .

  16. pierre faubert

    i went to graceland on the 23 07 05 to visit graceland and ase a fan of elvis since age of 16 i never forget that day elvis graceland tours was a dream that came true for me… thank you.

  17. Graceland does not own the Lisa Marie.
    It may be taken away sometime in 2016. Unless Graceland buys it back, that’s the word that’s going around.

    • Graceland owns the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II, and the planes are on permanent display at Graceland.

    • I thought the Lisa Marie had already been bought back. I certainly hope that is true so that when I hopefully get to go to Graceland in 2016 I will get to go inside the plane

  18. Christine Guillotte

    I have gone a few times and love the feeling of being there. He was the King and always will be the King. Memories live on. I went to 6 concerts of the King. I would still go if he was alive. Love you Elvis.

  19. larry bentley jr.

    my wife and me visit graceland and the planes it was a great place and some day we will visit graceland again

  20. Barbara Barlow

    I was on the Lisa Marie in 1992. I is something to see. You can get the feeling of Elvis being there. Hope it never leaves Graceland. It’s part of Elvis

  21. Pat Ramsay

    It’s fabulous, I am so lucky to have been inside the planes!!!

  22. I went through the lisa marie I can’t believe how big it is. Im glad that got to keep it at Graceland.

  23. Bryan Capps

    Got to see it again just a few weeks ago. Stll looks good considering that it has been exposed to the elements for so long. Those planes were fast. Pilots called them the sports car of airliners.

  24. Rosemary kelly

    I hope to get to Graceland next year I have
    Been an Elvis fan as long as I can remember can’t wait to see th Lisa Maire

  25. Robert farina

    I was at Graceland with my family in 1998 and I was awed by the plane itself when I saw it. Such lavish settings inside that it tells you the taste that Elvis had even on his own cars and the Lisa Marie. That was one of his traits that made him so unique this world. He was a very special human being.

  26. Robert farina

    I was at Graceland with my family in 1998 and I was awed by the plane itself when I saw it. Such lavish settings inside that it tells you the taste that Elvis had even on his own cars and the Lisa Marie. That was one of his traits that made him so unique in this world. He was a very special human being.

  27. Elaine Garman

    I have beeb to Gracel

    I have been to Graceland twice 1985 & Labor Day weekend 2015 & toured the Lisa Marie both times, love it there so beautiful and I will go back when the new Guest House is open, I always hate to leave Memphis,its like leaving a friend!

  28. Elaine Garman

    I have been to Graceland twice 1985 & Labor Day weekend 2015 & toured the Lisa Marie both times, love it there so beautiful and I will go back when the new Guest House is open, I always hate to leave Memphis,its like leaving a friend!

  29. Glyn Fellowes

    I visited Graceland in September and the house and planes are a must see.

  30. Diane Fisher

    There is such a great feeling and presence when touring the Lisa Marie… and Graceland!! Something hard to explain but a MUST to experience especially if you never have. Love Love Love #ElvisForever

  31. I got to see the plane as well as everything else. To me all was amazing and one of my life’s goal to get to see Graceland.

  32. Beverley DuPont

    I have been lucky enough to see and get on board the Lissa Marie jet when visiting in 2008. I took many photos which I treasure.

  33. went to graceland twice this year….I plan on taking my ill brother next year..hopefully… we stayed at the HBH and loved it…I know itas getting knocked down,,,but cant wait to stay at the new guest house….the lisa marie plane was a joy to see…as everything is…cant wait to go back…ty lisa marie for letting us go back in time to share your familys home and make us sooo happy…

  34. Today, Craig Ferguson snapped a pic in frot of the Lisa Marie with the caption “Fascinating day with a plethora of retail opportunities. I got this commemorative Convair880. Thanks @VistiGraceland”

    Did he buy the Lisa Marie or was he doing his usual play on words with us? He is a pilot. Did he buy it?

  35. My wife and I are from Australia and visited Graceland in July 2013. Along with everything else at Graceland the planes are fantastic. On that trip to the USA we were very fortunate to meet Sam Thompson who was Elvis’s bodyguard, a very interesting, polite and friendly man with some great stories

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