ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Some $3 million worth of Elvis Presley memorabilia, billed as the largest such collection outside his Graceland home, went on display Monday at the Showboat Hotel, Casino & Bowling Center.
The display includes two of Presley's cars -- a white Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III and a 1977 two-toned Cadillac Seville, the last car ever driven by the king of rock 'n' roll.
Fans who paid a $10 admission could also view a wild collection of Presley's gaudy, chunky jewelry, ranging from pendants and heavy belt buckles to oversized diamond-studded rings, as well as two of the star's distinctive concert jumpsuits.
Several jogging suits, and accompanying photographs authenticating that Presley actually wore them, were exhibited in glass cases, along with guitars, an empty bottle of champagne from Presley's wedding day that bears his signature, and an array of ornately engraved guns.
Carl Perkins, author of rockabilly's anthem and the song made famous by Presley, "Blue Suede Shoes," said the singer himself would be glad to see his old belongings on display.
"It's something that Elvis himself is probably smiling about," Perkins said of the exhibit. "He said, 'Keep it alive, cats.' "
The collection belongs to Jimmy Velvet, a friend of Presley who is president of the Elvis Presley Museum Inc. Velvet runs museums in Memphis and Nashville, Orlando, Fla., and Honolulu.
Velvet's total collection numbers 1,300 Elvis artifacts, valued at $6 million, and includes 14 cars, a motorcycle, 240 pieces of jewelry and 28 guns.
Some $3 million of it was on display in the ballroom of the Showboat, he said.
"He's a legend," Velvet said. "Elvis changed the world of music, hair styles, clothing. Elvis was just so well-liked and loved by his fans. Even people that did not know him, that were not his fans, liked things that Elvis did."
He said the exhibit is the largest collection of Elvis memorabilia that has ever been assembled outside of Graceland, the Presley mansion in Memphis that was turned into a museum after his death in 1977.
The weeklong display was organized as a tribute to "the King" marking his Jan. 8 birthday.