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Elvis Presley wasn’t called “The King of Rock and Roll” for nothing. He died in 1977, but is still a huge cultural icon. Elvis was even featured in two major recent films. Presley was also a big time car fan. You could’ve said he, “Can’t help falling in love” with a Cadillac. You can’t throw a stone in the South without hitting some vehicle he supposedly owned or rode in or dented with his door once. But among the many fake “Elvis cars” is one very special Cadillac station wagon he had custom built. And until recently it seemed lost forever.

Brian and Jay Grams are the latest generation running the Volo Museum which has displayed classic cars since 1960. Brian has always wondered about a certain picture showing a row of Cadillacs outside Elvis’ home, Graceland.

Now, Cadillacs parked outside Graceland are par for the course. But one in particular intrigued him: a 1974 station wagon. Here’s the kicker: Cadillac didn’t built a station wagon in the 1970s. So the car must have been a custom, which he hoped would be easy to track down.

Grille of a white Cadillac DeVille station wagon conversion parked in a museum.
Elvis’ 1974 Cadillac DeVille Station Wagon | Volo Museum

Brian poured over receipts and found Elvis had bought nearly countless Cadillacs. And almost all of them are in museums. Then he stumbled on an interesting story: Elvis swaggered in to Madison Cadillac in Kansas City in 1974 to take delivery of a car for himself. And that day he was feeling so generous that he bought five Cadillacs in total. It’s the stuff Elvis legends are made of. And there is evidence of him transferring four of these cars to friends and family. But no more paperwork for the fifth. The one he kept for himself. Brian began to wonder if this was the ghost Cadillac wagon.

When Brian called around, he was told to talk to the team at Bob Moore Cadillac in Oklahoma City about possible station wagon conversions. The team there gave Brian contact information for a collector known as Aaron Van Zandt.

Van Zandt seemed happy enough to meet Brian and Jay, and to show them his man cave. When they asked about his “Elvis Car” he proudly took them out back…to show them a rusty old Chevrolet Suburban. Brian complained that, “This is not the car I’m looking for.”

Van Zandt explained that he’d bought it because he heard a rumor that it had once been a military transport that Elvis rode inside. But he had no documentation to back this up.

Pinstriping on the door of a station wagon.
Elvis’ 1974 Cadillac DeVille Station Wagon | Volo Museum

Brian was about to leave in disgust when he said he was looking for Elvis’ Cadillac station wagon. Van Zandt smiled and said, “Oh that!” And then he took the guys back inside and uncovered a custom 1974 Cadillac station wagon conversion with a title in Elvis Presley’s name. It was the exact car from the photograph.

It turns out that a collector had snagged it at auction three months after Elvis’ death for $50,000. Van Zandt bought it in 1991 for $100,000. Brian offered him $200,000 on the spot, and the two shook on it.

The conversion was completed by the “American Sunroof Company” and combined the body of a Cadillac DeVille with a Chevrolet station wagon. Elvis requested a pink vinyl top and matching pink pinstriping down the sides. The doors have his signature “TBC” (Taking Care of Business) logo. All in, it cost him $7,000. He supposedly used it to haul his musical equipment to the airport and back and put 8,000 miles on the wagon.

Next, learn about the Bugatti so rare that Jay Leno can’t buy one, or see the hunt for Elvis’ lost station wagon yourself in the video below: