Elvis Presley and the Gold Cadillac Tour
Elvis' Gold Cadillac helped promote the king's movies.
The Cadillac was purchased from Southern Motors, Inc., of Memphis, for $11,064.25 on December 22, 1959 and delivered on December 29, 1959. Elvis put down a deposit of $2,000 for George Barris to customize it in November 1961, and he paid an additional $3,000 for more work in March 1962.
Elvis was promoting his latest movie, 'Tickle Me', but his manager, Col. Tom Parker, knew he couldn't send the very busy King of Rock 'n' Roll on the road for a promotional tour. Instead, he and RCA sent the Cadillac on tour in the spring of 1965. Gabe Tucker, driver and tour manager for RCA, helped oversee the project.
George Barris, 'King of the Kustomizers', made Elvis' car truly unique. The car held both a TV and telephone, and just about everything was gold.
The Cadillac's 1965 spring tour made these stops in the Southeast:
Rialto Theater, Atlanta, Georgia - May 28 - On display for four days. Estimated attendance: 50,000.
Cobb Theater, Atlanta, Georgia - June 4 - Daytime display Estimated attendance: 5,000.
Toco Theater, Atlanta, Georgia - June 4 - Evening display. Estimated attendance: 1.500.
Lenox Square, Atlanta, Georgia - June 5 - Displayed for one day. Estimated attendance: 27,000.
Belvedere Theater, Atlanta, Georgia - June 6 - Displayed for one day. Estimated attendance: 2,000.
Dealer Showing, Atlanta, Georgia - June 8-11 - All dealers from the Atlanta region attended the showing.
John Lee's Music Store, Anderson, South Carolina - June 12 - On display for one day. Estimated attendance: 50,000.
Broadcasters' Convention, Calloway, Georgia - June 13 - On display for one day. Station managers and program directors from the area attended the convention to see the car.
S&W Music Store, Aniston, Alabama - June 24 - On display for one day; no record of attendance.
Eastwood Mall, Birmingham, Alabama - June 25 - On display for two days; no record of attendance.
Roebuck Shopping Center, Birmingham, Alabama - June 26 - On display for the evening; no record of attendance.
Capri Theater, Birmingham, Alabama - June 27 - On display for one day; no record of attendance.
Kincade TV Sales, Tuscaloosa, Alabama - June 28 - On display for one day; no record of attendance.
Normandale Shopping Center, Montgomery, Alabama - June 30 - On display for one day; no record of attendance.
National Hills Shopping Center, Augusta, Georgia - July 3 - On display for one day. Estimated attendance: 15,000.
City Square, Canton, Georgia - July 5 - On display for one day; no record of attendance.
The Gold Cadillac went back on tour - this time on the other side of the world - in 1968.
Here's one view of the car's interior…
…and here is another view.
In mid-1967, Australian Elvis fan clubs got word that the car would go on tour in Australia and New Zealand in '68. RCA, Elvis Presley Enterprises and the Benevolent Society of New South Wales worked together on the tour and hoped to raise $100,000 for 17 Australian charities.
As a bonus, Elvis included $1,000 worth of toys inside the car for needy children in Australia. He also signed photos that were given away.
Elvis' Cadillac left for Australia on December 8, 1967 and arrived in early January 1968. The car's gold bumper was removed before it was publicly displayed, since the bumper could be easily removed. A regular, non-gold bumper was used instead.
Elvis fans loved seeing Elvis' stunning car, up close and personal.
A press conference took place at the Sydney Trocadero on January 17, and then the Cadillac hit the road. Also included in the tour were Elvis' Australian RCA Gold Records that were put on display near the car. Fans could also purchase souvenirs, including a souvenir photo of the Cadillac with the car's full details listed on the back; Elvis Australian RCA records; souvenir brochure and more. Elvis fan club members donated their time and efforts by assisting with the merchandise sales.
After a short tour of New Zealand, the Gold Cadillac returned to the States. The Benevolent Society Charity Committee sent Elvis a letter of appreciation and noted that the tour raised $149,175 for Australian charities.
Elvis' Gold Cadillac went on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1977, and you can still see it there today.
Elvis Presley's Famous Pink Cadillac : 1955 Fleetwood Series 60
Elvis with his Messerschmitt : June, 1956
Elvis Presley driving his Pink Cadillac : July 5, 1956
Isetta Sports Car (Elvis gave to Colonel Parker as a birthday present)
Elvis' BMW 507's : Germany 1958-1959
Elvis' 1962 Ford Thunderbird
Elvis at Graceland in his 1964 Cadillac Limousine : March 1965
Elvis Presley's Stutz Blackhawk's
Elvis driving his first Stutz Blackhawk : Hillcrest Beverley Hills : October 9, 1970
View more photos : Elvis' Stutz Blackhawk Prototype (Prototype #2)
View photos : Demonstrating the repairs to Elvis' first Stutz Blackhawk
View more photos : Elvis' 1971 Stutz Blackhawk
View more photos : Elvis' 1972 Pearl White Stutz Blackhawk
Elvis' De Tomaso Pantera
Pantera was fit for 'The King' Elvis Presley
Other Elvis Toys on Wheels;
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Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.