A yellow car plays a prominent role in both film versions of The Great Gatsby. The movies, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, puts the car at the center of a love triangle. On September 3rd, the car from the first movie with Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, was sold at a Worldwide Auctioneers event in Auburn, Indiana.
In Fitzgerald’s classic tale, narrator Nick Carraway describes wealthy Jay Gatsby’s luxury car, a creamy yellow Rolls:
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.
“Green Leather Conservatory”
The later Leonardo DiCaprio film used 2 Duesenberg cars to depict Fitzgerald’s yellow Rolls. On loan from a museum, the moviemakers got permission to paint them yellow. The 1974 Robert Redford film, on the other hand, stars a single, gussied up a 1928 Rolls-Royce. A rich yellow color, the car has been reupholstered in green leather. It is exactly as described in Fitzgerald’s tale of love gone horribly wrong.
The yellow Rolls is believed to be unique for its dual cowl phaeton body. It has separate front and rear compartments. Each has its own windshield.
Restored and Revalued
It’s not the first time this beautiful set of wheels has been on the auction block. In 2009, the car was auctioned off for $238,000. After a painstaking restoration that took more then eight years, the asking price for the yellow Rolls is now $800,000.
More Yellow Rolls History
The original chassis of the yellow Rolls originally was swapped out for a new one in 1945. This is a vehicle that has seen a lot of road, racking up over 70,000 miles since it rolled (get it?) off the Rolls-Royce assembly line in 1928.
Most of us only dream of a car like this. But we are glad that yellow car found a new owner to love and cherish it—as it deserves—until it is sold once more, as will surely happen in time to this car that has outlived its “maker.”
(The final bid at the September 3rd auction event is unknown at this time—stay tuned for an update, should the buyer’s name be revealed.)