Buick that drove King Edward goes under hammer in London

The world's oldest Rolls-Royce and the 1934 Buick that drove King Edward VIII to announce his abdication to Britain's prime minister, are for sale at Bonhams auction house in London.

The king's custom-made Buick was expected to fetch as much as 50,000 pounds (US$100,000 Ђ67,750), while the 1904 luxury Rolls could go for up to 2 million pounds (US$4 million, Ђ2.71 million).

The Buick comes with the original log book stating the first owner to be "H.M. The King," and a leather bound album showing a photos of the car before it was handed over to the king.

In the summer of 1935, the king, then the prince of Wales, ordered an American-built Buick. He ordered a range of luxury fittings, including two silver gilt cigarette boxes, a silver jewelry box, six silver top-decanters, and two posy holders, which remain in the car. It also has a blue light on the front, used to let police know the king was in the car.

By the time the car was delivered in February 1936, King George V had died and Edward had inherited the throne. Controversy over Edward's relationship with the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson grew as rumors spread that the king intended to marry her.

The king was driven to 10 Downing St. on Dec. 10, 1936, where he told then Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin that he planed to abdicate. The next day on British Broadcasting Corp. radio he told the nation: "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love."

After the speech, Edward headed to Portsmouth in the Buick. There, the car was loaded on a British battleship and taken to France, where Edward met Simpson. The two assumed the titles of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and later married. They kept the car for three years.

The Rolls-Royce was first exhibited in Paris in 1904. The 10 horsepower, two-seater passed through several owners.

Also up for sale in Bonhams Annual Olympia Motoring Sale are a rare 1930 Bentley expected to fetch more than 1 million pounds (US$2 million, Ђ1.35 million) and a 1956 Bentley Continental once owned by Sir Elton John.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova