January 8, 2015 | Latest video lessons → VOA Special English

Elvis Presley's Airplanes for Sale



January 8 is the birthday of American rock and roll legend Elvis Presley. He would have turned 80 years old on January 8. But, he died 1977 at the still young age of 42.

Elvis mania is still widespread in America. People go to shows featuring Elvis look-a-likes.

Hundreds of thousands go to Memphis, Tennessee, each year to visit his home and burial place, Graceland.

People also get excited about Elvis memorabilia -- his belongings, objects he touched, any of his writings and other things related to the man called the King of Rock and Roll.

On Friday, someone might get a huge piece of Elvis history.

On that day, the company Julien's Auctions will hold a special sale of Elvis Presley’s two airplanes. The special sale is called an auction. That is a public sale where objects are sold to the person or people who offer the most money.

The planes have been on public view at Graceland for 30 years. They are currently not airworthy.

The Lisa Marie was Presley’s first jet. It is also the bigger of the two. It could fly up to 28 passengers.

Presley bought it in 1975 for $250,000. Then he spent $300,000 more on repairs and making the inside beautiful. It has an area for sleeping, a conference room for meetings, and a bar -- a place for making and enjoying alcoholic drinks.

The Lisa Marie was named after Presley’s daughter. The plane is rare. There were only 65 of the same kind ever made.

The singer purchased his second jet while waiting for work to be finished on the Lisa Marie. The Hound Dog II could fly eight to 10 passengers.

Julien’s Auctions is based Beverly Hills, California. Officials with the company say they expect the planes to sell for $10 million and $15 million.

The company also says the buyer may purchase land near Graceland to keep and show the jets. An agreement between Graceland and the jets' current owners is set to expire at the end of April. The identity of the owners has not been released.

I’m Anna Matteo.

Caty Weaver wrote this story for Learning English using some material from Reuters news agency.

Why do you think so many people remain interested in Elvis Presley so many years after his death? Do you like his music? Do you have a favorite Elvis Presley song? Let us know in the comment section below.


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Words in This Story



legend – n. a famous or important person who is known for doing something extremely well

mania – n. extreme enthusiasm for something that is usually shared by many people

memorabilia – n. objects or materials that are collected because they are related to a particular event, person, etc.; things collected as souvenirs

jet – n. a fast airplane that has one or more jet engines

expire – v. to end; to no longer be valid after a period of time

My Way


For what is a man what has he got
If not himself then he has not
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way

(written by Jacques Revaux, Claude Francois, Gilles Thibaut, Paul Anka)

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