Robert Redford’s Gatsby 1928 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Phantom I Ascot Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton is up for sale and it’s causing quite a stir…
Unsurprisingly Jay Gatsby, the protagonist in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great novel ‘The Great Gatsby‘ chose a Rolls-Royce as his favourite mode of affluent transport. The story continued when Paramount assembled a world-class cast in the early 70s to create the third film version of The Great Gatsby.
A glorious Rolls-Royce was required by Paramount to star alongside the legendary Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern and Sam Waterston in the storied playground of Newport, Rhode Island which stood in for the fictional North Shore Long Island communities of East and West Egg.
S304KP was a perfect fit and had been owned by Ted Leonard, a well-known collector from Seekonk, Massachusetts. The yellow Rolls-Royce is reputedly the only Ascot sport phaeton built as a dual cowl with F. Scott Fitzgerald describing Jay Gatsby’s Rolls saying:
“It was a rich cream colour, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns. Sitting down behind many layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory, we started to town.”
The famous Roller has been sold before at Bonhams auction in 2009 to John O’Quinn of Houston, Texas. Mr O’Quinn died suddenly a few months later, and the car was eventually sold to the current owners, for whom a ground-up restoration was completed from 2011 through 2019. Many of the leading experts were involved in the restoration.
Today, the Gatsby Rolls is in near perfect condition following a massive restoration process costing around $1.2 million.
It would be welcomed at any concours event throughout the world and had previously been invited to be shown at the prestige 2019 Pebble Beach Concours.
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The Ascot body is widely considered one of the most stunning designs of the classic period.
Interested parties can find the sale here.