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Was Elvis in the Auto Custom Shop?


In the series about Custom Car Business Cards, we highlight a nice card from an rather unknown body shop in Memphis Tennessee.

This business card is scanned at the 2013 Grand National Roadster show, because it is really nice. And because we had never seen it before, nor heard about the body shop. The owner of the card could not tell us anything about the card, or even how he it got into his possession.

The card must have been a rather expensive one to produce, with no less than three colors. Red, green and black on yellow paper. Much more refined than the usual one-color cards we know from those days. It appears to be the card of  an all round custom/hot rod shop, that could handle all the work you needed.


We have searched for more information about the Auto Custom Shop in Memphis Tennessee, but ended up basically empty handed. The only thing we were able to find was that one of the guys on the Business card: Jimmy Sanders, apparently did some custom work on several of Elvis Presley’s cars. We are not sure if Jimmy Sanders was still working at the Auto Custom Shop, when he did Elvis his cars, or had started his own body shop.

If any of you readers knows anything about the Auto Custom Shop, or any of the two names listed on the card, please let us know.

One of the stories we found, refers to a 1956 Cadillac that Elvis had repainted by Jimmy.

Elvis purchased the new white 1956 Cadillac Eldorado. He later took the car to his custom body guy, Jimmy Sanders and mashed a bunch of grapes against the fender, proclaiming “This is the color I want”.

CCC-elvis-presley-56CadillacThe 1956 Cadillac Eldorado that Jimmy Sanders painted purple for Elvis Presley. The inset photo shows the Cadillac in white how Elvis bought it.


Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

One thought on “Was Elvis in the Auto Custom Shop?

  • The colors on this card, Red & Green, are positioned in a way that looks like the Italian flag. Could be purely coincidental. Or, could one or both of these guys been Italian, and involved in the Italian community in Memphis?

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