Auction Is a Slap in the Face

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Zsa Zsa Gabor put her notorious Rolls-Royce convertible on the block at a Woodland Hills auction Saturday, but apparently drove too hard a bargain. The highest bid fell $20,000 shy of her minimum $125,000 price.

Appearing at the Warner Center Marriott in a crush of reporters and spectators, Gabor was poised to cash in on the newsworthiness of the white 1980 Corniche, the car that she was driving during her ill-starred encounter with Beverly Hills Police Officer Paul Kramer in June.

The timing couldn't have been better. The auction came just three days before Gabor is to appear in Beverly Hills Municipal Court for sentencing on her conviction on charges of slapping Kramer, along with other misdemeanors. The incident occurred when Kramer got into an argument with the former beauty queen after pulling her over for a routine traffic stop.

But the bids rose no higher than the $105,000 offered by Michael Verdi, owner of Select Motor Cars of Beverly Hills. Gabor had made it clear to auction organizers that she would not sell it for less than $125,000.

"I want to sell it for $125,000, otherwise I don't," she curtly informed an official with Spectrum Auctions before the bidding began.

Gabor, accompanied by her husband, Prince Frederick von Anhalt, and their three Shih Tzu dogs--Genghis Khan, Macho Man and Zoltan Gabor--said she is determined to find a buyer for her car. She said that since her clash with Kramer, she fears that the Rolls convertible will make her a moving target for police.

"I'm afraid to drive it in Beverly Hills now," Gabor said. "I'm going to buy American cars from now on. You know the new, red Cadillacs? That's what I want. We have one of those in Palm Beach."

Gabor didn't come away from Saturday's auction completely empty-handed. A cobalt blue, 1986 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur sedan that she had given her husband was sold for $79,000 to Henry Hakim, a San Diego automobile dealer.

And Oakland A's outfielder Jose Canseco used the auction to sell what was billed as the second "bad news car" up for bids--a heavily customized, metallic red Jaguar in which Canseco accumulated a string of speeding tickets before switching to a less-conspicuous Porsche earlier this year.

The 12-cylinder sports car, after 8,076 miles of use, was sold to Escondido businessman William Byrom for $75,000.

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