ELVIS IN MERIDIAN: THE PINK CADILLAC

November 5, 2010 § 1 Comment

I posted about Elvis Presley’s appearance in Meridian in 1955 here.

Several people who saw the Meridian parade with Elvis in person told me they remembered that the car was pink.  Turns out their memories were on target.

According to this Elvis fan’s website, Elvis had purchased the car, a 1954 pink and white model, in March, 1955, only 2 months before the Meridian parade photos that I posted.  He used it to transport himself and his back-up musicians, Scotty Moore, D. J. Fontana and Bill Black, who were billed as the Blue Moon Boys, to various gigs around the south.  Elvis had made it known to all of his friends and fellow performers that it was his dream to own a pink Cadillac.  The one he rode in Meridian was his first.

On June 5, 1955, Elvis and his band had completed a show at Hope, Arkansas.  The next show was in Texarkana, and  Elvis invited a local girl to ride with him in the Cadillac, while Moore, Black and Fontana rode in another car with some friends.  Near Fulton, Arkansas, about half-way to Texarkana, a brake lining on the Cadillac caught fire, and the car burned up.

Elvis's dream car goes up in smoke

Neither Elvis nor his passenger were hurt, but Elvis was probably sad to see his dream car, the one he rode on in the Meridian parade, in flames.

On July 7, 1955, Elvis bought his second pink Cadillac.  Actually, it was a blue 1955 Fleetwood Series 60 with a black top.  He had a neighbor formulate a pink color for it that the neighbor named “Elvis Rose,” and the neighbor painted the car for him.  This second Cadillac is the famous Pink Cadillac that Elvis gifted to his mother and became her proudest possession.  It is still on display in the auto museum at Graceland.

Gladys Presley's "Elvis Rose" Cadillac in the driveway at Graceland

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