(Motor Authority) – The 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton used in the 1974 film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ is up for auction. This is part of Worldwide Auctioneers’ upcoming sale in Auburn, Indiana, scheduled for September 1-3.
The Rolls featured prominently in the film, which starred Robert Redford as the enigmatic aristocrat Jay Gatsby. Following the novel’s plot, Gatsby was a wealthy Roaring Twenties partier seeking to win the heart of Daisy Buchanan (played by Mia Farrow), and his car was part of that characterization.
Robert Redford and the 1928 Rolls-Royce of
Fitzgerald made Gatsby an owner of Rolls. In the novel, he describes Gatsby’s Rolls as “a rich cream colour, gleaming nickel, billowing here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes, soup cans and toolboxes, and floored by a maze of windshields that reflected a dozen suns.
This car – chassis S304KP – may have been chosen for the film role because it features a Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton body from coachbuilder Ascot, with the multiple windscreens described in the book. It has been repainted and its interior upholstery dyed green to match the description in the novel. It also recently underwent a “no-cost restoration,” according to the auction listing.
As the Phantom I, this car is the ancestor of Rolls’ current flagship. Its straight-6 engine probably looked impressive in the 1920s, but to maintain its luxury status, today’s Phantom uses a twin-turbocharged 6.75-liter V12 producing 563 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Body-in-body is no longer the norm, apart from a few occasional special editions like the trio of Boat Tail convertibles.
No pre-auction estimate has been released, but a movie connection can often drive up the price of a car. The 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible from “Rain Man” sold for $335,000 earlier this year, and the 1976 “Wayne’s World” AMC Pacer fetched $71,500 at auction. As a pre-war Rolls, the “Gatsby” car would likely attract attention at an auction on its own, so it could fetch a significant sum.
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