It’s now or never for fans who want a piece of Elvis Presley. Some 2,000 belongings and related items of the rock icon, who died in 1977 of drug-abetted heart disease at age 42, are to be auctioned Oct. 8, 9 and 10 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. The goods include his prized 1956 Lincoln Mark II (estimated at $500,000); his Stroud piano ($300,000 to $400,000); his sixth-grade report card showing A’s and B’s in music, D’s and F’s in math ($15,000 to $20,000); and manuscripts, furniture and clothing from his Memphis mansion. “With a few exceptions these items have never been removed from Graceland,” says Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey’s, the New York City auction house handling the event.
Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie, 30, decided to sell the property fit for a King—most of which had been in storage for years—to raise money to build transitional housing for the homeless in Memphis, a cause of personal interest. “Lisa Marie never forgets that her father and his family [once] lived in federally subsidized transitional housing,” says Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises. The sale is expected to net at least $2 million. (The ’97 auction of Princess Diana’s dresses brought $5.7 million.) “Elvis wasn’t really sentimental about holding on to stuff,” says Presley’s childhood friend George Klein, 63, a Memphis radio personality who thinks his pal would approve of the sale. “He always said, ‘If I give you something, and you have to sell it, then I’ve done two good things for you: I’ve given you a gift, and you’ve made some money by selling it.’ ”