Bonhams announced that the collection of the late Rhode Island-based collector Ted Leonard will lead its annual auction at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance in Connecticut, on Sunday, June 7th 2009. Built over a number of years, Mr. Leonard prided himself on acquiring cars that had been owned by celebrities or had starred on the ‘Silver Screen’.
None better illustrate this than the 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Tourer (Estimate: $150,000-200,000) which is a prominent feature of the acclaimed 1971 movie of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic story of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ – The Great Gatsby, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. The decadent tale centers around Gatsby’s car, which required lead actor Redford to learn how to drive a vintage Rolls, a task which Ted Leonard proudly assisted with, and it is reported the actor enjoyed immensely.
Its Hollywood twin, is the 1938 Packard Darrin convertible, which is not only covetable as being one of the earliest of the Howard ‘Dutch’ Darrin designs on a Packard but was owned in its early life by one of the most famous car aficionados of this era, Clark Gable. It carries an estimate of $175,000-250,000), while another of the Packards, a rare 136 Single Eight Sport Model, in the collection was owned new by the famed writer Edith Wharton, author of “The Age of Innocence”, and could sell for its estimate of $30,000-40,000. Other highlights in the collection are Woodrow Wilson’s Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (Estimate: $200,000-300,000) and another icon of the 1920s, a 1928 Auburn Boattail Speedster (Estimate: $175,000-225,000).
Rupert Banner, the specialist overseeing the sale of this interesting collection commented, “Ted Leonard was a well-known and much liked enthusiast and user of his collector cars. Building his collection in the earlier days of the hobby, he was able to assemble an incredible group of famous owner cars, which would surely be impossible to source today, its dispersal offers a superb opportunity for collectors.”
The auction takes place at the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, overlooking Greenwich Harbor, CT. For more information, visit www.bonhams.com/greenwich.