Elvis Presley Gifted Cadillacs to Everyone From His Mother to Bank Tellers

Nearly 50 years after his death, Elvis Presley still looms large in the national zeitgeist. The Mississippi native was best known for rollicking tunes like “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock.” However, the King of Rock and Roll had a lesser-known generous streak. Elvis once said, “My fans want my shirt. They can have my shirt. They put it on my back.” And, as it turns out, that generosity extended far beyond clothing.

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Elvis Presley Really Liked Giving Away Cadillacs

In 1955, Elvis bought his first Cadillac, a pink 1954 Fleetwood Series 60. That car is now on permanent display at Graceland.

The King’s love of Cadillacs was far too strong to keep to himself. He bought the original pink vehicle for his mother, Gladys, although she never had a driver’s license.

What’s more, Elvis didn’t limit his altruism to family. In 1966, he bought two black Caddies for his bodyguards. Then he bought another for his hair stylist, followed by two white ones for a couple of friends, another white one for his personal valet, and a maroon one for another friend. Later, he bought one each for his Karate and Taekwondo instructors.

As The Drive magazine wrote in 2016, “Shake hands with Mr. Presley, and the Caddy keys come next.”

[RELATED: The Top 8 Elvis Presley Country Songs]

Even Total Strangers Weren’t Off Limits

In a classic case of “right place, right time,” Mennie Person walked by Madison Cadillac in Memphis, Tennessee, on a July evening in 1975. The 33-year-old bank teller (and Caddy enthusiast) stopped to admire a unique, custom-made, Cadillac parked on the lot.

That’s when none other than Elvis Presley approached her. The King asked her if she liked the Cadillac. Mennie said she did, and then was floored by his response: “That one’s mine, but I’ll buy you one.”

A flabbergasted Mennie told Elvis that she and her husband already owned a Cadillac and could not afford a second one. The King reiterated that he was paying for it.

Ultimately, Mennie selected an $11,500 gold-and-white Cadillac Eldorado. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $67,969 in today’s money.

When Mennie told Elvis that her birthday was just two days away, he handed her another check, instructing the bank teller “to buy some clothes to go with the car.”

Featured image by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images

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