Elizabeth Taylor was the epitome of Hollywood style and luxury, an iconic actress who seemingly wanted for nothing. Except a successful long-term relationship. Liz had eight husbands, after all. Technically, there were only seven, since she told Richard Burton, “I do, I don’t, I do, and I don’t” again.
“I am a very committed wife,” Taylor once joked. “And I should be committed, too—for being married so many times.”
Actually, she enjoyed a 20-year marriage with a custom-built 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II that she called “Green Goddess.” The drophead coupe, styled by H.J. Mulliner, will be auctioned by Guernsey’s on August 6 at The Pierre, the New York City hotel where Taylor was living with Eddie Fisher, hubby #4, when she purchased the car new. Guernsey’s posted a video of the car that opens with a photo of Taylor and Fisher sitting in the Rolls, along with the words, “She dumped Eddie, but kept the Rolls!”
Taylor’s relationship with Green Goddess lasted longer than any of her marriages—and that includes both of her stints with Burton combined—but she sold it in 1978 to its current owner, a West Coast resident who meticulously maintained it for more than 40 years.
The matching-numbers Silver Cloud II is one of approximately 20 left-hand-drive drophead coupes (convertibles) built. At Taylor’s request, Rolls-Royce matched the color to the dress Taylor wore when she married Fisher, a color it named Smoke Green. The car (#LSWC278) was delivered on December 23, 1960.
Taylor and Fisher took the car with them when they traveled to Rome in 1962 for the filming of Cleopatra. Starring in the movie opposite Burton, the two began an affair that ultimately ended Taylor’s marriage to Fisher.
The four-door Silver Cloud II features a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that produces 185 horsepower, enough power to propel the 2.5-ton luxury automobile a reported top speed of 112 mph. The car is essentially identical to the Bentley S-Type Series II, but Bentleys are worth considerably less. A ’61 Silver Cloud II in #2 (Excellent) condition has an average value of $69,200.
A '61 bodied by Mulliner, on the other hand, goes for six times that in #2 condition: $450,000.
Guernsey’s does not list an auction estimate for Taylor’s matching-numbers car, which shows 40,644 miles on the odometer. Try to suppress all of the mileage jokes that just popped into your head.