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Elvis Auction Nets $5M

Elvis fans paid $277,000 for one of his classic cars and $113,000 for one of his capes, forking over a total of $5 million in person and over the internet for the King of Rock 'n' Roll's memorabilia during a three-day auction.

"It was significantly more than we expected," Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's Auction House, said above the din of bidders and curious fans Sunday.

A 1956 Lincoln Continental in which Presley dated the late actress Natalie Wood drew the top bid of $250,000 plus $27,000 in auction commissions, Ettinger said.

The bejeweled aloha cape that Presley wore in one of his last television shows drew a bid of $98,000 plus a 15 percent commission, Ettinger said.

A pair of sunglasses with an EP monogram fetched $37,500 plus commissions and his personal .9 mm handgun drew $115,000. A blue police light that Presley used to plop atop his car and stop unsuspecting motorists drew $31,000. A green jumpsuit sold for $75,000.


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Elvis' second Cadillac, a Lincoln Mark IV

The money will go to Memphis-based Elvis Presley Enterprises. The primary goal of the auction was to establish a building fund for the creation of Presley Place, a transitional housing development in the Tennessee city where Presley once lived with his parents in a subsidized housing project.

Another significant piece auctioned off was the piano Presley bought when he purchased Graceland.

"He was there through the mid-'60s, and Elvis had a lot of jam sessions in the music room in Graceland at this piano," Graceland curator Greg Howell said.

Presley fans also bid on the King's sixth grade report card and his draft card.

The auction was sanctioned by Presley's sole heir, his daughter, Lisa Marie. The items were culled from the Presley estate, much of it in archives that have been kept at Presley's Graceland mansion since his death 22 years ago.


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Glasses fit for The King

Hundreds of bidders were on hand each day at the auction site, the MGM Grand Hotel, and hundreds more bid on items via fax or on the Internet. Some 2,000 pieces were on the block.

The interest in the auction was evident Saturday when an auction wrker mistakenly produced a Christmas tree-shaped television antenna that once sat atop the Graceland mansion. The antenna had been shipped here by mistake.

"It was not supposed to be in the auction, but was brought here mistakenly," Ettinger said. "In the spirit of the moment, we went ahead and put it up for bid."

The antenna sold for $1,725.

"It's a real piece of Graceland, not just some document," Sue Fergerstrom of Springfield, Mo., said, laughing. "And when he tries to contact me, I'll have better reception."

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