Through the power and creativity of LeMons, we’ve seen a variety of non-car things become cars. Like a boat. Or a Cessna. There was even an upside down car once. But outside of that sphere, non-car to car action is limited. But one person is about to embark on a huge journey: turning Elvis’ old Lockheed JetStar into an RV.
It’s no novelty project either. The original plan when airplane Youtuber James Web bought Elvis’ old private jet for $234,000 in an auction was to make it see the skies once again. But his plan hit troubles immediately, even though the JetStar was actually extremely well preserved. A lot of the function of the aircraft remained, with Webb doing a video showing that the various switches and gear works in the cabin, though its original four engines were removed at some point during the aircraft’s tenure in desert storage.
Even with the aircraft is in relatively great shape inside, complete with the custom interior that Elvis commissioned in 1976, getting it to airworthiness would be a huge step regardless. But Webb’s bill stacked to an eye-popping number after getting consulting from an aircraft maintenance service. No single part is cheap, with the four ancient (and illegally loud) Pratt & Whitney JT12 costing $2.2 million on their own. The grand total for airworthiness is $5.7 million. The aircraft sold new for the equivalent of $4.4 million.
If Webb did spend the $5.7 million to restore the aircraft, he still wouldn’t be able to fly it. The JT12 engines that the JetStar came equipped with far surpass modern aircraft sound and volume laws, and though there are so-called “hush kits” that solve the problem, there are none for the JT12 on the JetStar.
Thus, Webb is making the old PJ into an RV by simply placing the fuselage, sans wings, onto an RV chassis. After all, Elvis had a microwave, a couch, and a restroom put onboard.
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