When’s a modified bicentennial Harley FLH price greater than an authentic? Documented possession by the King’s most likely a superb begin. Encapsulating a protracted love affair with Milwaukee iron, this 1976 Harley-Davidson bicentennial FLH was the final Harley Elvis Presley ever bought, and is about to cross the block at Mecum’s Indy 2023 public sale on May 20.
Influenced by all the things from blues to bluegrass, and pioneering American rock and roll, Elvis Presley’s style in autos was simply as numerous as his music. While his assortment would finally comprise all the things from Triumphs and dune buggies, to BMWs and Ferraris, the King’s favorites had been all the time Cadillac and Harley-Davidson. With his first tastes of success in 1955, Elvis cashed in on a Cadillac and his first Harley, the latter being a beginner-friendly 1956 HD ST 165 that he’d use to study the ropes.
Elvis was hooked, and shortly upgraded to a scorching little ’57 KH mannequin, which was a precursor to the Sportster. The KH match the King’s rising rock-and-roll picture, and he ordered it with a touring windscreen and buddy seat to carry any would-be feminine callers alongside for the experience. Elvis and his KH appeared on the duvet of Harley-Davidson’s The Enthusiast journal in May of 1956.
After the KH, the King moved as much as massive twins when he noticed a brand new FLH Hydra Glide in a Memphis supplier’s showroom in 1956, and needed to have it. With his rising success, model new Electra Glides and Duo Glides adopted, virtually all the time decked out with a full assortment of equipment. Throughout the ’60s and early ’70s, his assortment grew to incorporate wild VW-powered trikes and customised choppers. In 1976 alone, Elvis ordered three Electra Glides, all of which had been modified and completed with customized paint.
Mecum’s lot S228 is among the King’s bicentennial ’76 Shovels, however extra importantly, it’s the final Harley-Davidson he ever bought. Significant for its place in HD heritage, the unique bicentennial specification is only a drop within the bucket in comparison with the unique California pink slip bearing the King’s identify (albeit along with his center identify misspelled). Purchased in August of 1976, the FLH’s tins had been subsequently refinished in a blue and black shade scheme with some wild airbrush work, earlier than the bike was delivered to his Graceland, Memphis, property.
With the King’s passing in August of 1977, the FLH was bought to a lodge proprietor in New Jersey ,and later displayed in a glass case on the Pioneer Auto Museum for over 30 years. Showing 1,261 miles on the odometer, and supplied with its authentic keys and California pink slip, the FLH was bought by GWS Auctions in 2019 for $800,000.
What’s the bike price now with Mecum’s large following? It’s exhausting to say, however we wouldn’t be stunned to see seven-figure bids. Because what could possibly be extra rock and roll than the King’s private bicentennial Shovelhead? [Mecum]