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Pair of 1941 Lincolns featured in 'The Godfather' are up for auction

Come Jan. 17, auction-goers will have the chance to bid on a 1941 Lincoln Continental coupe and a 1941 Lincoln Custom limousine, both of which were prominently featured in 'The Godfather.'


Would you like to own a piece of movie history? How about a pair of vehicles from one of the most famous films of all time? Well, Bonhams Auction House is set to auction off two Lincolns that were featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 classic The Godfather. Next month, Bonhams will auction off a 1941 Lincoln Continental coupe and a 1941 Lincoln Custom limousine, both of which were prominently featured in the Oscar winning movie. The two vehicles will be up for grabs on Jan. 17, 2013 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. There is no reserve on either car. Keep reading for the specific details on each vehicle.

1941 Lincoln Continental coupe

Likely the more famous of the two vehicles, this ’41 Continental coupe boasts a 292ci, L-head V12 engine and a 3-speed manual transmission. Most importantly, it’s the car featured in the famous tollbooth scene in The Godfather. Fans of the film will remember that this Continental coupe was the vehicle of choice for Santino “Sonny” Corleone (James Caan), the hot-tempered son of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando).

Regarded as one of the most legendary moments in cinema history, the scene depicts Sonny meeting his bloody demise at a Jones Beach causeway tollbooth. Although Sonny didn’t make it out alive, his ’41 Lincoln did. In fact, it was replaced by a duplicate model shortly before it was hit with a barrage of bullets. The vehicle has been painstakingly preserved in a temperature controlled storage unit since filming wrapped. Not to mention, it comes with an extensive collection of articles, clips and photos depicting the car’s involvement with the film.

1941 Lincoln Custom limousine

While not as recognizable as Sonny’s Lincoln coupe, this Lincoln Custom limousine is in fact, much more rare. One of only 295 custom limousines built, it features a 292ci L-head V 12 engine and 3-speed manual transmission. Equipped with appointments like smokers’ kits, division window and jump seats, this Lincoln limousine was showcased in two key scenes in The Godfather: the wedding scene and in the scene where an opposing don announces that Vito Corleone has survived an assassination attempt. Additionally, it was stored in the same temperature controlled unit as the 1941 Lincoln Continental coupe.

The film

Based on Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel of the same name, The Godfather is currently ranked as the second greatest film in American cinema (behind Citizen Kane) by the American Film Institute (AFI). In 1990, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. A certified blockbuster, The Godfather was the highest grossing movie of 1972. Aside from connecting with audiences, The Godfather received universal praise upon its release and won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.