Magical History Tour: The cars of Lennon

 

johnlennonJohn Winston Lennon, a name that is as synonymous with art as Vincent Van Gogh, and easily one of the most illustrious celebrities to ever live. A game changer who rewrote the definition of what rock ‘n’ roll is and what it could be. Someone who was as equally as talented as he was outspoken and spiritual.  Also a man with a collection of beautifully exotic cars. Of course, all the members of the Beatles had a wide and vast number of vehicles, but Lennon’s collection is my personal favorite.

1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Coupe

The first car John Lennon owned was a 1965 light blue Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Coupe, he bought it just hours after passing his driving test. Within hours of him passing, an event that made a worldwide headline, every luxury car dealership in the Weybridge area jammed the road outside Kenwood’s gates with Ferrari’s,  Maserati’s, Aston Martin’s, and a Jaguar XK-E. John strolled out to inspect this gleaming buffet of cars and decide upon the Ferrari. The Ferrari was pre-listed in Bonham’s auction for £180,000-£220,000, it sold for £360,000.

1965 Rolls Royce Phantom V

One of the most famous cars John owned was his Rolls Royce Phantom V which he bought in 1965. John customized the car by adding a telephone, television and a refrigerator. The rear seat was modified to convert into a double bed. The most famous customization is the paint job, the original color of the car was a matte black. John had it repainted in psychedelic fashion by ‘The Fool’ in 1967. Lennon’s newly painted car had drawn a bit of negative attention, however. The most memorable incident was that of an old woman attacking the car in downtown London with her umbrella and yelling; “You swine, you swine! How dare you do this to a Rolls-Royce?!” The car was eventually shipped to the United States in 1970 when John and Yoko moved to New York, it continued serving rock royalty as a rental for other artists such as The Rolling Stones, Moody Blues and Bob Dylan, imagine if this car could talk! It was eventually sold for 2.3 million dollars in a 1982 auction (add seven times that for inflation and that’s what it would go for now)

1956 Austin Princess

The Princess was the crown jewel of the now-obsolete Austin marque, and Apple Records used several of them to bring the Beatles to and fro to wherever they wanted. This 1956 model, however, was John Lennon’s personal property that he bought in 1971. Lennon fitted the car with aircraft seats and used it as his personal limousine. Records show that the car was registered in the name of John Ono Lennon at the address 3 Savile Row, which was the home base of the Beatles. The car was expected to fetch a whopping £250,000 and is currently still up for auction if you feel you can afford it.

1970 Mercedes Benz 600 Pullman Limousine

Lennon bought the car new from a Surrey-based Mercedes-Benz dealer in February 1970, the same time he was embarking on a new solo career. The white limo is more than six meters long, can seat six or seven people and has a privacy screen and drinks cabinet in the rear. Its features include black leather door linings, Becker Grand Prix radios in the front and rear compartments and a Phillips Mignon EP record player in the rear. The limo was later sold to Lennon’s fellow Beatle George Harrison in April 1975 for 5,000, when Lennon moved to New York with Yoko Ono.  The limo reached £190,000 at an auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in London in 2001.

1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

John bought this 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL in 1965. They honored his request to have the stirring wheel switched to the right side. Lennon had ordered this car new and specifically to suit his tastes. It was put up for auction on January 18, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona and is estimated to go for anything between $500,000 and $3million.

1979 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

Lennon’s 1979 Diesel Mercedes Benz Station Wagon was custom designed for John and Yoko. It also was the first Mercedes-Benz Diesel wagon to be delivered in North America according to Mercedes-Benz.  It’s been suggested at most this car might pull somewhere in the $20,000 to $30,000 range to the right collector. but upon researching it on eBay the listing was ended and doesn’t to appear to have sold.

 

 

~Matt Beal

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