“Casablanca’s” 1940 Buick Phaeton Goes to Auction
Quick: think about one of the most iconic scenes in movie history. We’re not looking for the shattering glass of a snow globe, the form of a massive Great White cutting the water beneath a tiny boat, a horse sliding beneath a flatbed truck, or anything from The Killing of Satan. While those are all valid arguments, the “There’s Always Paris” scene from Casablanca is undeniably one of the most memorable and important scenes in cinema. You remember the lines, the style, the atmosphere, and all of that simmering Bogart/Bergman tension. But what about the car? Now, the film’s 1940 Buick Phaeton could be yours, thanks to Bonhams .
The film-used car, a four-door convertible that is every bit as beautiful as the scene in its own right, will be on the auction block come November 25 at What Dreams Are Made Of: A Century of Movie Magic at Auction as Currated by TCM. The New York City event will give one lucky (and independently wealthy) film buff the chance to own a piece of cinema history.
The 1940 Buick Phaeton is a Limited model 81C convertible with an eight-cylinder engine, manual transmission, and only 42,000 miles on the speedometer. Reportedly still in driving condition, this handsome car was famously driven by Claude Rains (as Captain Louis Renault) in the 1942 classic that still captivates audiences to this day. And is it ever handsome…here’s looking at you, car.
Unfortunately, it’s going to take more than a hill of beans to buy this legendary vehicle: the 1940 Buick Phaeton is expected to sell for around half-a-million dollars.
In addition to a number of Casablanca memorabilia, the Bonhams auction will also feature such gems as a can of Soylent Green (Spoilers: it’s people), Clark Gable’s Rolex, your very own Michael Keaton Batman or Jack Nicholson Joker suit (we’ll only mention the rubber nipple-toting Robin suit from Batman and Robin if someone promises to buy it and burn it), or a Han Solo in Carbonite prop from Empire.
Bidding starts…maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow…but on November 25.