It may not be the best car Rolls-Royce has ever produced, and it's certainly doesn't have the most tasteful paintwork ever seen on a Roller either, but the Phantom V previously owned by John Lennon is definitely one you'll never forget when you see it. And thanks to auctioneers Bonhams, fans of the former Beatle and any other members of the public in the UK will be able to go and see the 'John Lennon Phantom V' between July 29 and August 2 at Bonhams on New Bond Street in London.
It's all because the legendary British luxury manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, has announced it's going to be celebrating the 50th anniversary year of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by bringing the colorful Phantom V back home to London for the British public to enjoy, for a short while at least.
Although originally owned by Lennon, the iconic car is now owned by the Royal British Columbia Museum in Canada. ‘The John Lennon Phantom V' will now make the journey from its home in Canada to London to join ‘The Great Eight Phantoms,' which is a very special Rolls-Royce Exhibition being held at Bonhams. The auctioneer's London home where the exhibition is being held is on New Bond Street, which is also an area that was regularly visited by Lennon in this very car during the late 1960s.
Lennon originally took delivery of the Phantom on June 3, 1965, and at that point it was in its original Valentine Black. He later revealed he'd always wanted to be an eccentric millionaire, and the Rolls-Royce would go on to become an important step towards achieving his dream.
In the true rock-star way of things, Lennon didn't want to settle for an 'ordinary' Rolls-Royce, so he went about having it customized. The rear seat was turned into a double bed; a television, telephone and a refrigerator were fitted, and a 'floating' record player and custom sound system that included an external loud hailer were also added.
However, the finishing touch was the 'psychedelic' paint job Lennon decided to have done by Surrey coachbuilders, JP Fallon, which he asked for in April 1967 as the recording of the game-changing "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album was concluding.
The car was shipped to the USA in 1970, and in 1977, after a period in storage, it was eventually donated by billionaire Jim Pattison to the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.