1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200
Elvis Presley's Motorcycles
Elvis' custom painted 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra- Glide at
the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, SD
Postcard Photo © Dave Geisler
In August of 1976 Elvis flew back out to the west coast. He still owned the house in Palm Springs, the
one fans refer to as the Honeymoon House. On the 11th he bought another Harley, this being a 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra-Glide. This FLH was dressed like all his others, save for the
Liberator, but at some point this bike was custom
(re) painted. It is not a standard H-D scheme but could possibly have
been painted at the same time as another in
the collection at Graceland with a similar scheme.
The original 1976 paint scheme (vivid blue) and tank
emblems on a slightly customized 1976 FLH
Photos courtesy 2040
In 1976 the colors available from Harley were Birch White, Black, Chestnut Brown, Sequin Black
Metallic (as used on the Liberty Edition), Vivid Blue, Vivid brown,
Vivid Red and Champagne Silver Metallic. There are no pictures of him known on it and how it left his ownership or estate is not yet clear but there is a valid paper trace and history. After Elvis' death it was owned by a
hotel owner in Wildwood, New Jersey who used it as a showpiece on display. Around 1983 it was purchased by Tony Rakowski from Frankfort IN.
1976 ad showing a stock 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 in vivid
red, note the double pinstripe whitewall tires
Photos courtesy ebay
Tony had started in the Classic Car business in 1976 dealing primarily in vintage Thunderbirds. He
first saw the Harley in an auction in Las Vegas, he thinks one of the Dan
Kruse shows, but it
received no bids. Talking with its owner, he got the VIN and contacted the Division of Motor
Vehicles in Sacramento, California to confirm with them the legitimacy
of the title and who the original owner was. Satisfied of its
authenticity, he then traded a 1957 Thunderbird for the motorcycle even,
one which he had about $25K invested in. The trade included the display case the
New Jersey owner used to display it. He then showed the car in several places, arranging with Kruse to waive the fee of bringing cars to the auction if he brought the motorcycle to showcase for the advertising benefits.
Elvis' custom painted 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra-Glide at
the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, SD
Photos courtesy fotothing,
He didn't own it long until it was seen at one show in Wisconsin by Dave Geisler, who with his family has owned and operated the
Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, South Dakota since 1954.
Tony offered to sell it for $30K but Dave counter offered with a trade for any car of his choice in his museum (save one). Back in Murdo Tony perused
Dave's collection and settled on an
un-restored 1932 Packard 4-door convertible, which he later sold for
$54K, content with the return on his investement.
a copy of the title to Elvis' custom painted 1976
Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra-Glide
© Dave Geisler
Dave has had the motorcycle on display since at the Pioneer Auto Show, where he also sells copies of the original title and post cards featuring the
motorcycle. You'll note the misspelling of Elvis' middle name on the
title, "Aeron" instead of "Aaron" (a common affliction in Elvis lore). The VIN
of 2A43580H6 decodes as 2A=FLH, 43,580 in sequence,
H=7 (decade), 6 being the model year (1976). The title was issued on September 14th of that year.
Elvis' custom painted 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electr-Glide at
the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, SD - 2014
Photo courtesy Riding
Today, with only about 1200 original miles on the speedometer, it is a popular attraction there and
over the years Dave has been approached by several auction companies wanting to put it up.
He was even offered $350K from a collector. As yet he's not interested in parting with it and for the
foreseeable future at least it will remain in Murdo, in the original display case and dressing from Wildwood, NJ. Its the only vehicle in over 250 at the museum you can't touch.
page added October 5, 2015
1 according to John
Special Thanks to Dave Geisler and Tony Rakowski for their help with this page.