At the tail-end of last year, we caught wind of Elvis Presley’s 1962 Lockheed JetStar L-1329 heading to auction in January. Well, it sold for US$324,000 (AU$390,525) to a mystery buyer since revealed as 44-year-old YouTuber and aviation buff Jimmy Webb who is currently in the process of turning the dilapidated jet into an RV.
Yes, an RV.
Webb, who runs the YouTube channel Jimmy’s World, has detailed exactly how he plans on turning Elvis Presley’s former private jet into an RV, going through the painstaking process of first relocating the jet from Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico to his rural storage facility around Florida’s Plant City, which is close to Tampa.
This included sawing off the wings and tail section then fitting the remains into two semi-tractor trailers and driving it 2,869 km back to Florida.
“Within five seconds of seeing it, I knew it was never going to fly again, Webb told Robb Report.
“The best plan we’ve come up with is to mount it on an RV chassis so it can be driven and seen by Elvis fans.
Webb’s plans include taking the unique new RV and driving it down the Las Vegas strip so Elvis fans can take a drive in the king’s former jet.
“We could have the driver dress up as ‘The King’ and have a flight attendant serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” said Webb.
The transformation from jet to RV makes sense. This is not a vessel that’s anywhere close to flying again. Between the rusty fuselage and the vintage interior, the private jet was sold with no flight instruments or engines. Cutting off the wings and attempting to turn this into a vehicle for a possible business venture is the only way this could have gone without some collector just throwing this into a collection and leaving it untouched until the next buyer comes along.
The 61-year-old jet is currently sitting in pieces on a concrete floor while Webb finalises his plans to turn this into a road legal vehicle. Reportedly, he has already made a great deal of progress with the project, even going so far as to track down the original housings for the jet’s four Garrett turbofan engines, which he found in an aviation museum in Tennessee. After procuring the housing, Webb will remount them on the plane ahead of the eventual transformation, which will take around a year.
“Yes, turning the jet into an RV isn’t the project solution,” said Webb.
“But neither was parking it in the desert for 40 years. This way, Elvis fans will get to see it, and even take a ride. We want to make it the true King of the Road.”