Elvis fan snaps up vintage Cadillac for £7,000 at auction
IT IS one of the most iconic names in American motoring history.
The sight of a vintage 1957 Cadillac Fleetwood parked in a yard off Anlaby Road in Hull certainly pulled in the crowds before going under the hammer at an auction.
Well before bidding started at the Gilbert Baitson auction rooms, the teal blue vehicle was attracting admiring glances.
When its V8 engine purred into life, even more people crowded round.
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The night before, Hull City owner Assem Allam had been spotted at a pre-auction viewing prompting speculation he was about to trade in his Rolls Royce for the retro classic.
Instead, York-based vintage car dealer Frank Buck ended up with the keys after submitting a winning bid of £7,000.
After the auction, the 73-year-old admitted he was probably never going to take it for a spin.
"It's a beautiful car but at my age I prefer to collect cars and look after them rather than drive them very much," said Frank.
"I've been dealing all my life. I started as a ten-year-old and I'm still doing it today.
"I've got 35 classic cars in my collection at the moment and I'm really pleased to get this one.
"I'm a big Elvis Presley fan and he had a Cadillac Fleetwood, too.
"His was pink and mine's blue. I don't know which is the better colour!"
The Cadillac owned by Elvis was sprayed pink to match the colour of the car mentioned in his hit Baby, Let's Play House, the first of his songs to appear in a national chart.
The singer later gave the car to his mother Gladys as a gift, even though she never held a driver's licence.
It now takes pride of place in the Graceland Museum in Memphis.
Frank landed the car after a brief flurry of bids on a £3,000 starting price.
He said: "I thought I got a decent price for it, although it could have been a bit less.
"There was a chap bidding against me and that pushed the price up a bit but these things happen. He probably cost me a couple of thousand pounds in the end but it was worth it.
"I've got a friend in Hull who has a garage and he will be doing a bit of work on it. It just needs a bit of tender loving care, otherwise it's in pretty good condition.
"However, I don't think I will be driving it very much. I've just recovered from some treatment for cancer and I've recently lost a toe so I can't walk very well. Buying this Cadillac has cheered me up."
It was sold under instruction by another private collector along with a more modern Cadillac Sedan Deville and a 1200cc Harley Davidson motorbike.
The Sedan went for £1,200 while the Harley Davidson fetched £2,000.
Auctioneer Michael Baitson said all three vintage vehicles had been reluctantly put up for sale by their owner.
"The older Cadillac has been called Tammy for the past 20 years, although the chap who had it only owned it for the past seven years," he said.
"It was his daily runaround and he's keen to keep in touch with the new owner to make sure it's being looked after."
Mr Baitson's son Andrew said he had been expecting the Cadillac to fetch around £5,000.
"It was a good price in the end," he said.
"I've driven it and it is a bit like driving a tank. It's an incredibly large car with a lot of space inside.
"Getting it in and out of our yard for the sale has been a challenge, to say the least!"