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Insiders Artifact: Check for 1971 DeTamaso Pantera

September 20, 2012

This week's Insiders artifact is a check for the 1971 DeTamaso Pantera that Elvis purchased on September 19, 1974. Elvis bought the car for Linda Thompson, his girlfriend at the time. The actual amount of the car has long been disputed and this artifact debunks many reports of how much Elvis actually paid for the car. Previous reports said Elvis paid $2,400. Elvis fans are quite familiar with this car due to stories about Elvis shooting through the steering wheel when the car would not start. According to, the DeTomaso Pantera was a mid-engined, Italian car sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealers from 1971 - 1975. When Ford eliminated importation in 1975, production continued for several years afterwards bumping the total build to approximately 7,200 vehicles.

Each week, a rare or never-before-seen photo or document from the Graceland archives is added to the Elvis Insiders artifacts gallery. This gallery is exclusive to Elvis Insiders Basic and Plus members. Not an Elvis Insider? Learn more about becoming one!