<em>The Godfather</em> Lincolns To Cross Auction Block

The Godfather Lincolns To Cross Auction Block

Just the Facts:
  • Sonny Corleone's "death car" from the movie The Godfather will cross the auction block in January.
  • Bonhams will offer the 1941 Lincoln Continental Coupe and a second Lincoln that appeared in the film.
  • The cars are among those that will go on sale January 17 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — A 1941 Lincoln Continental Coupe that starred as the car of crime boss Santino "Sonny" Corleone and another Lincoln that had a bit part in the 1972 movie The Godfather will be sold at auction here on January 17.

The coupe is prominent in the highly acclaimed 1972 film about a fictional Italian-American crime family in the post-World War II years. Santino, the hot-tempered eldest son of The Godfather, Don Vito Corleone (played by Academy Award winner Marlon Brando), is assassinated by rival gangsters when he drives into an ambush at a causeway toll booth.

Bonhams assures potential buyers that the immaculate vehicle had a pair of stand-in "stunt doubles" that absorbed the staged damage from multiple assassins with Thompson submachine guns.

There's no comment about the scene in which an angry Santino (James Caan) grinds the gears in the car's three-speed manual transmission and sprays driveway gravel as he manhandles the car in an impatient turnaround to leave the family compound on the way to his fateful encounter, but presumably no serious damage was done — and there have been more than 40 years to effect necessary repairs since the 1971 filming.

According to Bonhams, the car is lumped together with other famous movie cars such as James Bond's Aston Martins, Steve McQueen's Bullitt Mustang and other vehicles.

The other Godfather car, a 1941 Lincoln Custom limousine, had only a bit part as the ride of a crime boss who was a rival to Corleone.

Eugene Beardslee of Brookville, New York, owned the coupe and provided it for use by the Paramount Pictures film crew. He later acquired the limousine.

Edmunds says: Appropriately classic automobiles from a classic movie; each figures to net an offer the auctioneer can't refuse.

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