For Rita Hayworth’s 1941 Lincoln Continental auction

The 1941 Lincoln Continental Coupe, owned by Hollywood legend Rita Hayworth, is set to go up for auction at a global auction scheduled for April 23.

Hayworth was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, starring in movies such as “The Lady from Shanghai” and “My Gal Sal”. Continental was the 24th birthday present for Orson Wells, who delivered the car to Hayworth on a Georgian movie set, according to the auction list. After that the two got married.

Continental has certainly made for an impressive gift. Launched in 1940 as the first Lincoln to carry the name, it was described by architect Frank Lloyd Wright as “the most beautiful car in the world”. It was a pet project of Henry Ford’s son Edsel Ford, who wanted to bring some European influence to American luxury cars.

1941 Lincoln Continental owned by Rita Hayworth (pictured through auctioneers worldwide)

1941 Lincoln Continental owned by Rita Hayworth (pictured through auctioneers worldwide)

This 1941 model is powered by a 1202 hp-made 292-cubic-inch flathead V-12 that drives the rear wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission. It has a rigid front axle, floating rear axle, transverse semi-elliptical leaf springs front and rear and four wheeled hydraulic drum brakes. Not the most sophisticated setup, but keep in mind we’re talking about 1941.

Heworth kept the Continental for about 30 years, although he donated the original bumpers to World War II scrap drives. The actress eventually gifted the car to her secretary Frita Wolf, who later sold it to Aspen Pitman for 2,000. The car was then sold to the Art Astor Collection, which recovered it completely.

The original Continental has given birth to multiple generations, the last of which will be discontinued after 2020. With Lincoln now focusing on SUVs, the continental nameplate is unlikely to return anytime soon.

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