On January 17th, Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction will offer a pair of 1941 Lincoln cars that were used in Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic The Godfather. A Lincoln Custom Limousine and Continental Coupe will be sold from the estate of renowned classic car collector Eugene Beardslee, who originally supplied the cars for the 1972 movie. Boths cars were restored prior to filming and since than have been kept in climate-controlled conditions.
The Continental Coupe is featured in the scene in which Sonny Corleone (played by James Caan) is assassinated in his car at a Long Island tollbooth – one of the film’s most famous moments, when the bullets riddled the car’s body during the scene. Beardslee’s model was replaced by two identical Continental Coupe’s before the shooting was filmed. It have the same V12 engine and 3-speed transmission of the Custom Limousine.
The 1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine can be seen in the less prominent role in the film – driven by one of the Corleone family’s enemies, and also featured in the background of the wedding scene. This car is considerably rarer than the Continental, since in 1941, only 295 Custom Limousines were built with sports a 292ci L-head V12 engine, matched to a 3-speed manual transmission.
Both cars are accompanied by binders featuring original paperwork, restoration details and production photos detailing their involvement with the film.
These two models are certainly worthy of the attention of collectors, especially those who are fascinated by this cult movie. Although both vehicles will be sold without reserve, and Bonhams have released no pre-sale estimates, the price will be surely high as the quality and popularity of the film.