Beatles fans with cash to spare can buy a piece of pop history when one of John Lennon’s favourite rides goes to auction on September 7.
Lennon’s personal limousine, a 1956 Austin Princess, will be offered for sale by RM Sotheby’s, after being handed over by its current owner, the Austin Rock and Roll Car Museum.
If you’ve seen the full-length movie version of “Imagine”, made to promote Lennon’s Capitol Records album of the same name, you’ll recognise it immediately:
Lennon’s cars are venerated by collectors. He bought his 1965 blue Ferrari 330 GT just hours after getting his licence, and it was most recently sold for £359,900 in 2013.
He had a habit of making his cars uniquely personal. A Rolls Royce Phanton V he bought in 1965 was painted in technicolour swirls, and featured a telephone, fridge, TV and double bed. It last sold in 1982 for $US2.3 million.
The Austin Princess was a popular car for The Beatles, reportedly due to its large rear door aperture which made jumping in and out easier while being mobbed.
Lennon bought his own Princess in 1971 and had it fitted with five aeroplane seats. They’re still in it, complete with ashtrays:
Adding to its value, the Princess comes with the original vehicle registration/title document. So the buyer will also get an authentic John Lennon autograph:
Proceeds from the sale of the Princess will go to UNICEF and various other charities. Texan billionaire and philanthropist Milton Verret bought the car in 2005 and donated it to the Austin Rock and Roll Car Museum.
“It’s been seen and enjoyed by thousands,” he said. “Now the Museum wants to offer this rare vehicle at auction with the hope that it will be seen and enjoyed by even more fans of John Lennon and the Beatles worldwide, while at the same time raising funds for deserving charities.”
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