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Classic Car News - Journal

Late film director’s car collection up for bidding

With a list of credits ranging from the Superman and Lethal Weapon movies to The Goonies and from television westerns to The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, Richard Donner had a long career as a director and producer in Hollywood.

But the late director, who died in 2021 at the age of 91, also was a car collector, and his vehicles will be offered for bidding January 24-28 when Gooding & company stages its Geared Online Scottsdale Edition auction.

While bidding will be done online only, the cars will be available for viewing to registered bidders at Hangar One in Scottsdale during Arizona Auction Week. 

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible

Mr. Donner, who made such an impact with his long-standing career in entertainment, thoroughly cherished and enjoyed many of these cars over several decades of ownership, and we trust that their new owners will appreciate the background and history of each and every one of these vehicles,” Gooding & Company founder David Gooding is quoted in a news release. 

“The Richard Donner Collection, alongside other spectacular motoring offerings, composes a robust variety that we are excited to present at our upcoming viewing and sale.”

According to his biography on, Donner was born in The Bronx, New York, as Richard Donald Schwartzberg. His father had a small furniture-making business and his grandfather owned a theater in Brooklyn. His directing spanned more than 50 years, starting with episodes of the television shows including the Loretta Young Show, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Rifleman and Have Gun-Will Travel.

1963 VW 23-window microbus

His first film was the London Affair in 1970 and in 1976, he directed The Omen and two years later, Superman.  He was married from 1985 until his death to Lauren Shuler Donner, a television and movie producer. Their Donners’ Company was responsible for such films as Free Willy and 13 X-Men movies.

Cars from his collection going to auction without reserves include a 1965 Porsche 356 SC cabriolet he owned since 1971, a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible said to be his favorite driver, a 1963 Volkswagen 23-window microbus, a 1948 Chrysler Town and Country convertible, a 1949 Buick Roadmaster estate wagon, a 1958 Continental Mark III convertible, a 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Down sedan, a 1962 Crown Imperial convertible, a 1939 Ford Deluxe 4-door phaeton convertible, and a 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe cabriolet.

1958 Continental Mark III convertible

For more information about Gooding’s Scottsdale online sale, visit the auction website. 


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