If you’ve always wanted to own a piece of movie history, or if you’re just into classic cars, now may be the time to make your dreams come true: Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor’s 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupe is going to auction on Aug. 6 at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.
Nicknamed “The Green Goddess,” the custom-built vehicle was painted to match the green silk dress that Taylor wore for her wedding to pop star Eddie Fisher in 1959. It was first delivered to her at the site of the auction — the famed Pierre Hotel — which was their residence at the time.
When Taylor filmed “Cleopatra” in Rome in 1962, she brought the iconic car along with her. She kept the car for 20 years, until she sold it to Karl Kardel of Piedmont, California, who has lovingly maintained it ever since.
Now, it could sell for up to $2 million. The Rolls Royce has just over 40,000 miles on it, and the Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupes are rare. Over the years, Taylor’s vehicle has been refurbished with a new top and leather seats. Bids start at $400,000. The price that Kardel originally paid for the vehicle remains unknown.
“When I bought it, my friends thought I was an idiot,” he told The New York Times. “But then about four years later, the car shot up in value enormously, and I became a genius. And about four years after that, the values dropped again, and I became an idiot again.”
On the doors, the car features a one-of-a-kind detail that serves a reminder of its famous owners: the initials E & E, for Elizabeth and Eddie. Their romance didn’t last, though, as Taylor infamously began an affair with actor Richard Burton while filming “Cleopatra.”
Taylor divorced Fisher in 1964, and wed Burton for the first time that same year. In all, Taylor had eight marriages to seven husbands (she divorced Burton and later married him again). The actress died in 2011.