Corrections and clarifications: the article was updated to reflect the removal of a Rolls-Royce from the auction line.
The authenticity of a car billed as the property of the deceased-Rev. Billy Graham has come into doubt, leading Barrett-Jackson officials to take him out of the auction.
Barrett-Jackson examines the cars he sells before they reach the auction block and consignees must provide documentation to prove the provenance of the cars, said Nick Cardinale, executive vice president and general manager of Barrett-Jackson.
In this case, the consignor of the 1966 Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine provided auction officials with a Rolls-Royce record that included the owner as Billy Graham, whose occupation was listed as an "evangelist," Cardinale said.
However, people close to Graham questioned the authenticity of the car after reading about the sale.
Erik Ogren, spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a Christian nonprofit organization founded by Graham in 1950, said he investigated car ownership and spoke with people close to the famous evangelist, but found no evidence to suggest it was ever owner or drove a Rolls-Royce
Cardinale said that without further evidence, such as a picture of Graham with the car or other documentation, Barrett-Jackson could not prove that Billy Graham who was on the Rolls-Royce record was the famous evangelist.
Although the consignor was willing to omit any mention of Graham in the description and move on with the sale, Barrett-Jackson officials were not comfortable and removed the car from the file, he said.
"While we have updated the descriptions before, we are not comfortable to continue selling the car in this case," Cardinale said. "We feel that omitting it is not enough and we didn't want to fool anyone."
He said, as far as he knows, this is the first time this happens with a famous car.
Barrett-Jackson will have many other famous cars in the auction block this week.
Adventure novelist to sell car
Fiction writer and underwater explorer. Clive Cussler will auction his 1960 Pontiac Bonneville convertible on Wednesday.
The car, which has been restored in a garnet color with a three-color Pontiac interior, has a V8 389ci engine with a four-barrel carburetor and a four-speed automatic transmission.
It has eight-lug wheels with wide white-wall tires and has electric windows, steering, seats, brakes and a convertible hood. It has 36,393 miles.
The car was part of the Cussler collection and was displayed in Colorado and in a car museum in Minnesota.
New Yorker tailored by Howard Hughes for the offer
Chrysler New Yorker, business mogul, aviator and film director Howard Hughes 1954, will cross the auction block on Saturday.
The car, which was custom built for Hughes, is powered by a V8 345ci engine with a three-speed automatic transmission.
It has an air purification system in the trunk to ensure that there is always clean air in the cabin. According to the listing, the cost of the filtration system exceeded the cost of the car at the time of its construction.
Hughes used the glacier blue car with a two-tone blue wool interior in his later years when he lived at the Desert Inn on the Las Vegas Strip.
It has 1,685 miles and is in new condition near the showroom.
Check back for more Barrett-Jackson coverage. Reach reporter Paulina Pineda in [email protected] or 602-444-8130. Follow her on Twitter: @ paulinapineda22.