Lincoln cars used in ‘The Godfather’ headline Bonhams Arizona sale


2015-06-26 11:09:11

Lincoln cars used in ‘The Godfather’ headline Bonhams Arizona sale

Lincoln cars used in ‘The Godfather’ headline Bonhams Arizona sale

Bonhams are hoping bidders will make them an offer they can’t refuse- when two cars from The Godfather appear at auction in Arizona.

The pair of classic Lincolns – a 1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine and a 1941 Lincoln Continental Coupe - were both used during the making of the classic 1972 movie voted the second greatest film in American cinema history.

The 1941 Coupe was supplied to the film-makers by owner Eugene Beardsley, after a call went out to the Lincoln Owners Club for suitable period vehicles. It was chosen by director Francis Ford Coppola as the car of Sonny Corleone, heir to the Corleone family business played by James Caan.

In one of the film’s most famous scenes, Sonny’s ambitions to become the next Godfather prove short-lived as he is ambushed at a toll-booth by assassins. However, despite appearing to be riddled with bullets, Beardsley’s car was in fact substituted with two others for the explosive shots – one with pre-drilled bullet holes, and another electrically rigged to simulate the impact of Tommy-gun fire.

Thanks to the magic of cinema, the original car survived in pristine condition and has remained with Beardsley’s family in climate-controlled storage ever since.

It will be joined in the auction by the 1941 Custom Limousine – another vehicle sourced for the film by the Lincoln Owner’s Club, and one of just 295 custom limousines of its type ever built.

Originally supplied by owner Charles Murray, this highly-limited car appears in the famous wedding scene and is also driven by one of the rival Dons soon after the bid to assassinate Don Corleone fails.

Soon after the release of the film, the car was purchased by Eugene Beardsley to accompany the 1941 Coupe and the pair have remained on display together ever since.

Both cars are accompanied by binders featuring original paperwork, restoration details and production photos detailing their involvement with the film.

The superb condition, excellent provenance and connection to one of cinema’s greatest ever films means expectations for both cars are high. Although both vehicles will be sold without reserve, and Bonhams have released no pre-sale estimates, the iconic nature of the cars could easily see them sold for six figure sums on January 17.


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