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Carole Lombard and her Cadillac

Posted by janepeters on 2014.08.15 at 23:14
Another poster called attention to an item for sale on eBay CLARK GABLE SIGNED AUTO CAROLE LOMBARD ESTATE DOCUMENT ROLLS ROYCE W/COA 1942. The seller incorrectly lists that the document pertains to a Rolls Royce. The document is in fact a settlement from Lombard's estate in the amount of $3.51 for a parts repair at the Hillcrest Motor Co.

hillcrest

The assumption that the vehicle is a Rolls Royce comes from the repair listed as "replace emblem & plate on RR streamliner". It's true that there was a vehicle called the Rolls Royce Streamliner but this dealership, Hillcrest, didn't deal in Rolls Royces. A closer look at the bill of sale shows the logos for Cadillac and LaSalle. And an even closer look lists the model number of the vehicle as 41-62. The 41-62 is a 1941 Cadillac, Series 62 similar to the one in the image below. And I'm 99.9% sure what was being replaced was the emblem on the rear wheel indicated by the yellow arrow. RR most likely meant Right Rear not Rolls Royce.

hillcrest_2

1941_Cadillac

But what's most fascinating is my search led me to a page that discusses Gable buying this 1941 cadillac and giving it to his wife, Lombard. This auto and two other Gable cars are owned by The Petersen Automotive Museum, all likely sold by Kay Gable prior to her death.

So all the pieces fit that the bill of sale from Hillcrest Motor Co. settled by the Carole Lombard estate was for a 1941 Cadillac given to her by Gable (seen on the left in the photo below). It was sent in for a repair with a dated bill of January 13, 1942. Did Gable drop it off or his secretary, Jean Garceau? Is it possible Carole took it in the week before? We'll never know but what we do know is that on Tuesday, January 13th, Carole was on the first leg of the bond tour. It's no wonder Gable kept the car. It was her car.

Lombard_Cadillac

Comments:


vp19
vp19 at 2014-08-16 07:44 (UTC) (Link)

Thanks for pointing out the error!

Both the seller and I incorrectly assumed that "RR" meant Rolls-Royce, not right rear. Well, I've been wrong before. Excellent research on your part, and I commend you.

Hey, now that I think of it, Lombard never really was the Rolls type. Cadillac was about as fancy as she got.
janepeters
janepeters at 2014-08-16 08:04 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thanks for pointing out the error!

No worries. I was just so excited to find that her Cadillac is still in existence. The Petersen Museum is in LA and if I'm ever down that way, I will definitely visit. Here's another image of the car - http://www.flickr.com/photos/kansas_sebastian/5073438141/. It's really a beauty. And yes, I definitely think high end for her was a Cadillac. Gable, on the other hand, liked his toys owning everything from a Duesenberg to a Jaguar.
(Anonymous) at 2014-08-17 23:38 (UTC) (Link)
Great detective work! Love stories like these. missladiva
(Anonymous) at 2015-02-22 02:55 (UTC) (Link)

Carole's car

Thanks for the interesting post. I saw this stunning car last week at the Reagan Library where the Petersen stashes a few of its cars. One tiny correction: a sign accompanying the car says that Gable sold it on Lombard's death to a man whose name I don't recall, who in turn gave it to his son. So it didn't get to the Petersen through Gable's estate.
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