Monday, March 2, 2015

Who wants Dolores Del Rio's Town Car?

The past couple of autumns, TCM has been running stuff from Bonhams auction house about auctions of movie memorabilia to be held that November. I presume TCM get money or other considerations for running these promos; it's not as if TCM is truly commercial-free. What did you think all those promos for Midnight Lace were for, if not to prise more films from Universal (and the Paramount titles they own) to show on TCM?

Well, Bonhams runs other auctions throughout the year, and there's a car auction coming up next week at Amelia Island, FL. Among the cars up for auction is a 1930 Cord L-29 Town Car supposedly owned by Dolores Del Rio. Unfortunately, this seems to be the one car in the auction that doesn't have a reserve price listed, although one of the other cars if I read correctly is expected to fetch a seven-figure fee. Sadly, I don't have that kind of money lying around. I also don't have a place to put a fine car like that. You wouldn't want to see what the winters here would do to such an automobile.

I can't help but think of Norma Desmond's car in Sunset Blvd. that she claims cost her $25,000 in 1920s dollars. That car, an Isotto Fraschini Tiop 8A. is apparently at the Italian National Automobile Museum; the English-language pages are apparently not working just now. That car, or a certain yellow Rolls-Royce....

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