“Gatsby Rolls” 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom I AscotRedford's "Great Gatsby", Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton, $1.2 Invested
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Robert Redford’s Gatsby Rolls. This is one of the very few cars ever to hold co-star status within a great American classic novel, an iconic movie, and an actor such as Robert Redford. This 1928 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom I Ascot Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton is nearly perfect after benefiting from a thorough restoration with marque experts with a total investment of about $1.2 million. We believe it is safe to say that between its provenance on the silver screen and the restoration, this is one of the most important Rolls-Royces in existence.
F. Scott Fitzgerald selected a Rolls-Royce as the car to be featured in his classic and timeless novel, The Great Gatsby. The car was described in detail in the novel and was an important highlight in the movie as well. And with an all-star cast selected by Paramount studios, it was important that the Rolls-Royce was equally as stunning. Robert Redford starred alongside Mia Farrow to create this all-time classic movie.
S304KP was just the right car to co-star with Robert Redford. It had been owned by Ted Leonard who was a well known collector from Seekonk, Massachusetts. The Rolls is likely the only Ascot sport phaeton built as a dual cowl. And this was one of the details F. Scott Fitzgerald included in his description of Jay Gatsby’s Rolls: “He saw me looking with admiration at his car. “‘It’s pretty, isn’t it, old sport!’ He jumped off to give me a better view. ‘Haven’t you ever seen it before?’ I’d seen it. Everybody had seen it. It was a rich cream color, 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 wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns. Sitting down behind many layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory, we started to town.”
After being selected as The Gatsby Rolls, S304KP required its livery repainted in the creamy yellow combination and its leather interior to be dyed in an elegant green. The result was perfect.
Chassis S304KP was originally a Town Brougham delivered to Mildred Loring Logan of New York City, and was later owned by American Tobacco Company president, George Washington Hill. There is no documented history in the Rolls-Royce factory “Schoellkopf Cards” from 1929 through 1964. The research determines that the Ascot body was originally mounted onto chassis S240RM and that the body was moved onto chassis S304KP sometime during or after 1945. The history of the Rolls is well researched and documented, and copies of the related factory and historical information accompany the motorcar. Mr. Leonard acquired the car just in time for the starring role as The Gatsby Rolls. The Leonard’s maintained ownership of S304KP for the next 36 years.
In 2009, The Gatsby Rolls was sold at auction from Leonard’s estate 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. Steve Littin from Vintage & Auto Rebuilds in Chardon, Ohio did the full mechanical restoration and the paint and body restoration was performed by Shawn Robinson from Yesterday’s in Tyler, Texas. The Gatsby Rolls is nearly perfect today after a total investment in the restoration of about $1.2 million. It would be welcomed at any concours event throughout the world, and had been invited to be shown at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours.
The elegant cream paint is excellent in all respects and is accented by the abundance of concours quality chrome. The green leather interior is complimented by the tan Haartz cloth canvas convertible top and the beautiful wood dashboard with chrome bezels.
The Ascot body is widely considered one of the most stunning designs of the classic period. It is both sporty and elegant.
We have an appraisal for The Gatsby Rolls supporting the asking price. But more importantly, we believe this Rolls is priced well. It is well known that such iconic classics that are indelibly fixed into our memories and culture, are sought after the world over. This explains the values for such items as the decrepit Bullet Mustang selling for $3.74 million in January 2020 and Paul Newman’s Rolex selling for $17.8 million in October 2017.
The Great Gatsby as a book has sold about 30 million copies and the number of people who have watch the classic movie is beyond estimation. This is an important fixture in America’s culture.
This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the most important Rolls-Royces in the world. The Gatsby Rolls is owned by The Chamberlain Foundation, a not-for-profit. Its purpose is to help educate future restorers of collector cars and watch makers. Certain tax advantages may be available to the purchaser of the motorcar.
The Gatsby Rolls is available for viewing and inspection in our showroom in Texas. Please call, text or email Harry Clark at +1.602.245.7200 or email@example.com.
“Gatsby Rolls” 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot
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