Friday, December 25, 2015
FRANK SINATRA'S 10 FAVORITE CARS
Today, Frank Sinatra would’ve been 100 years old. Perhaps more than any other artist, his career perfectly summed up the 20th century. He began singing professionally in 1935, and released his first record in 1939. He caused a pandemonium later paralleled by Elvis, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson all the way back in the ’40s, single-handedly made middle-agedom cool in the ’50s and ’60s, retired and came back in the ’70s, entered the ’80s with hit records, and released his multi-platinum selling final album in 1994. From music to movies to style to politics, if you look back over the last century, you’re likely to find Sinatra somewhere in the mix. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Even after he found fame, Sinatra stayed a loyal Chrysler man. When he married his first wife Nancy Barbato in 1939, they reportedly drove off to honeymoon in a brand new 1939 convertible. And in a snapshot taken just as he became a household name, Sinatra is seen sitting proudly behind the wheel of a 1942 convertible, one of just 36,586 cars Chrysler managed to eke out before production was halted by America’s entry into World War II. Today, even without Sinatra’s provenance, these cars are highly collectible, the ’42 pictured above fetched $34,100 at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas auction this year.
In 1975, Sinatra married for a fourth and final time to Barbara Marx. As part of their wedding, the two exchanged cars; Frank giving her a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow with paint to match his eyes, and receiving a British racing green XJS. Introduced in 1975 to replace the aging E-Type, the XJS wasn’t as sporty as its predecessor, but it was a popular grand tourer that saw an impressive 21 year production run. Sinatra seemed to be a fan too – he later augmented his wedding car with a second, nearly identical 1989 model. The 1975 wedding cars were both sold this year by Russo and Steele, with the Jag fetching a mere $11,000.