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Elvis' 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH sells for $800K

Published: 02 September 2019

Updated: 02 September 2019

Elvis Presley’s last ever motorcycle sold at the weekend for a whopping $800,000 (approx. £660,000), making it the third most expensive motorcycle in the world.

The 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH was the last bike the King bought and covered just 126 miles in his care before he died three months later.

Elvis had the machine delivered to his Graceland home and had it repainted in a custom scheme before ultimately selling it to a local Harley dealership before his death.

From there it ended up with Tony Rakowski, who purchased it for around £20,650 but didn’t own it for long before swapping it for a car with Dave Geisler, the owner of the Pioneer Auto Museum.

Since then it’s spent the last 30 years in a glass case in the museum, so it’s in near perfect condition. There’s even a video of it running. There are no pictures of Presley on the machine, but there’s plenty of provenance to prove it was his, including the original registration certificate that’s in his name (amusingly with his middle name misspelled).

Elvis was an incredibly keen biker although he never amassed a huge collection, as he made a habit of giving them away for charitable purposes. Some of his most famous film roles involved riding bikes, including the musical film Roustabout, which saw Presley playing a travelling singer who rode a Honda Superhawk. In fact, the very leather jacket from that film is also in the sale.

The rest of Presley’s collection of bikes is distributed around the world – there’s no record of how many machines the star owned but he’s been associated with 15 different bikes, including 11 Harley-Davidsons (mostly full dressers).

It was thought before the sale that it could go for as much as $2 million however the bids never materialised. The current record for the most expensive bike sold at auction is for a 1951 Vincent Black Lighting, which was sold by Bonhams last year for £766,000.

The GWS Auctions sale that included Presley’s FLH was a collection of Hollywood memorabilia, including Elvis’ leather jacket, which sold for $40,000 (£33,000).

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