Royal 1941 Limousine Goes To Auction

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor's 1941 Cadillac limousine goes to auction next month in New York

The one-of-a-kind, 1941 Cadillac limousine that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor once owned will be going up for auction next month in New York. RM Auctions and Sotheby's will be hosting the auction, which they call “Art of the Automobile” and say will "celebrate the motor car and its place in the history of design." The limousine is expected to be sold for as much as $800,000.

In 1941, the Chairman of General Motors, Alfred P. Sloan Jr., allowed the Duke and Duchess to use the jet-black 1941 Cadillac limousine while they were in New York. They loved it so much that the bought it from their American friend for the princely sum of $14,000. RM Auctions says there is no other 1941 Cadillac like it.

With the roof, hood, trunk, doors and fenders all crafted by hand, not a single body panel on the custom-built vehicle matches the 1941 production model. Cadillac and Buick designers picked up many of the cars styling cues and incorporated them into their 1942 models.

Inside the car, the floors are covered in rose-colored Wilton wool carpet and the seats are upholstered with matching broadcloth. All interior surfaces and the doors are capped with rich walnut.

To accommodate the Duchess’s valuables, there are four brushed stainless-steel jewelry cases that are lined in pure velvet. The Duke’s creature comforts are enhanced with a pipe rack, a cigar humidor and three built-in lighters. Since he was an auto enthusiast that liked to drive, GM outfitted the driver's compartment with the same creature comforts as the passenger area.

The “Duchess,” as RM Auctions calls the car, was one of the first Cadillac limousines to be equipped with power windows and an electric center privacy divider with satin privacy curtains. She will be sold with complete documentation, including a copy of its 1952 New York State title with the Duke's signature and historic photographs of the car when it was delivered to the royal couple in 1941.


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