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 Post subject: Amassing Elvis: Branko Kavcic has never forgotten
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:22 am
Posts: 353
Location: Canada
Amassing Elvis: Branko Kavcic has never forgotten the first time he laid eyes on Elvis Presley. It was 1968 and Mr. Kavcic, a recently arrived 22-year-old machinist from Dornberk, Slovenia, was watching a movie on television at his brother's Toronto home. Mr. Kavcic was mesmerized by the dark-haired, charismatic, cliff-diving star of 'Fun in Acapulco'. A lifelong fan of The King was born.

"To me, he was something special," Mr. Kavcic recalls. "This guy was different, so gentle, so nice looking, and he sang like a violin."

In the more than four decades since that powerful first impression took hold, he has a collection of Elvis memorabilia on which he estimates that he has spent close to $100,000.

That figure doesn't include the thousands more he spent on his most prized possession: the very first prototype of the 1969 Stutz Blackhawk. Mr. Presley, a car collector, was the first to buy the luxury vehicle (though his was the second prototype), eventually owning several and forever becoming linked with it.

Filling two rooms in Mr. Kavcic's Vaughan, Ont., home, the other Elvis items range from books, records, CDs, posters, figurines and musical instruments to commemorative wines, plates and coins.

Mr. Kavcic's compulsion to surround himself with all things King began after his first trip to Memphis in 1981. His success has afforded Mr. Kavcic the means to scour local shops and markets for new items to add to his collection every time he travels to Memphis, an annual event for the past decade. He says he's known in the Elvis community for snapping up "hundreds or thousands" of dollars' worth of pieces on a whim.

A lifelong car fanatic, it's fitting that the item Mr. Kavcic considers to be the crown jewel of his collection is the original prototype of the 1969 Stutz Blackhawk made famous by Mr. Presley. Stutz Motor Co. was a U.S. manufacturer of luxury cars that, during its heyday, enjoyed the reputation as a favourite ride of Hollywood's A-list entertainers.

Though the company stopped production in the mid-1930s, New York banker James O'Donnell revived the flagging brand in 1968. Stutz spent more than $300,000 to manufacture the first Blackhawk prototype. A savvy marketer, Mr. O'Donnell invited Mr. Presley to test-drive the original 1969 Stutz Blackhawk prototype, a sleek, hand-built coupe that Mr.O'Donnell hoped would rival the Rolls Royce. The singer, a dedicated car collector, was reportedly so taken by the Blackhawk that he wanted to buy it off the lot, but it wasn't for sale. Instead, Mr. Presley purchased the model's second prototype for $26,500 in October, 1970, becoming the first person to own the new Blackhawk and forever connecting the car to his name.

Mr. O'Donnell kept the original car for himself, but in 2002, his brother sold the car to Stutz collector Greg Ryckman. Two years later, the Blackhawk was back on the market.Mr. Kavcic made an impulse purchase of the car when he attended the Toronto Spring International Classic Car Auction in April, 2004.
One month after taking the vehicle home, Mr. Kavcic was invited to display his Stutz in front of Graceland. He hired four security guards and purchased an 18-wheeler just to transport the vehicle to Memphis. Since then, Mr. Kavcic has toured the car at major Elvis festivals across North America, and has been featured on an episode of the TV show Dream Car Garage .

The car has also brought him a great deal of attention on the Elvis circuit. He now counts Elvis notables such as Sonny West among close friends.While he keeps the Stutz locked up for most of the year in a storage unit, Mr. Kavcic still considers this splurge the best money he's ever spent.

"People are calling me from museums saying that they would like to buy it," he says. "But I'm not saying a price because I don't think I will ever sell it."

(News, Source;TheGlobeMail/ElvisInfoNet)

"Value are like fingerprints. Nobody's the same, but you leave them all everything you do" ELVIS AARON PRESLEY
 Post subject: Re: Amassing Elvis: Branko Kavcic has never forgotten
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:47 pm
Posts: 4300
Location: California
I bet that fella has fun! Going everywhere, digging into things and finding treasures of Elvis days and etc! I am so glad there are those like him who do keep things, and who appreciate having them. So much has been lost, even with all there is available and more to be found later. I know I wish I had kept the shirts Elvis gave to Jimmie, a red one and a black one... he'd worn in a film. Jimmie
may have worn them twice, then I cleaned out his many, many shirts and he gave those two to his brother, also a big fan. I have no idea where they are now as
his brother began to change and last we heard he had Alzheimer and was not doing very well. We have no contact with his son or his daughter's any longer, they have gone their own way and were doing good last we heard. His mom is
gone, his dad earlier and people tend to go their own way in that family quite often. Including I guess, us. Maybe it's our Indian blood say's Jimmie...who is 1/2 Creek. And it is evident in his habits though he would argue that point-ha. I have a tad of Indian blood also, but mostly I am Irish and German via my mom's side.
Boy, I'd be every person in the world to a great extent anyway, is a mixture of
many "tribes". We are a "culture pie" as my Uncle used to say when mixing things together to make something else.
Thanks for the article Liliane. How are are you doing? Miss you!
Love to all,

Wanda June Hill
author of "We Remember, Elvis" & "Elvis - Face to Face"
 Post subject: Re: Amassing Elvis: Branko Kavcic has never forgotten
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:40 am
Posts: 383
Elvis' fans are all over the world and its a great thing that they collect all the items that he used and owned, even a lot of people got a kick out of it to have memorabilia of Elvis.

Thanks for this interesting article, Liliane :hello:

The biggest part of Elvis Presley was his big heart. It was full of love for everyone
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