John Lennon Austin Princess To Be Auctioned

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John Lennon Austin Princess RM Sothebys Pic Stephen Kim

The 1956 Austin Princess once belonging to John Lennon. Check out the California license plate “EMA IJN” (Imagine). Photo by Stephen Kim via RM Sothebys.

John Lennon’s iconic 1956 Austin Princess hearse is expected to pull off a cool £250,000, almost 20 times what it is typically worth, when it is auctioned later this year. Lennon’s car is just the latest to join a slew of items from classic rock legends. Janis Joplins’s psychedelic Porsche sold in December 2015. Ringo Starr’s Beatles drum kit also was sold in December 2015. And David Bowie’s personal art collection is scheduled to be auctioned in November.

The Beatles star used the British car as his personal limousine after buying it secondhand in August 1971. Fun fact: Lennon owned the 1956 hearse at around the time he was writing and recording the famous song “Imagine,” and the car appears prominently in the “Jealous Guy” portion of the film, which was released the following year.

The car even still has the U.K. plate GNH 240 and the U.S. license plate EMAJIN (read: Imagine). The car still features five airplane seats that were added in by Lennon.

The auction will take place on September 7, by RM Sotheby’s at its London location. Reports have the car expected to sell for £250,000 (equal to $328,337 as of July 26, 2016). See the listing here.

Lennon's original Title to the vehicle comes with the auction purchase

Lennon’s original Title to the vehicle comes with the auction purchase

The high bidder will also receive the original vehicle registration and title, which is documented as John Ono Lennon at the address 3 Savile Row in London. Lennon’s signature from the original purchase is located on the documents, making them a one of a kind, rare memorabilia item.

Lennon sold the car in 1972 and it has remained in the U.S. with a few different owners. Its current owner, Texas businessman and entrepreneur Milton Verret, bought the car in 2005 and gave it to the Austin Rock and Roll Car Museum. “Since donating the Austin Princess to the Museum, it’s been seen and enjoyed by thousands,” said Mr. Verret. “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.”

A portion of the proceeds will go to UNICEF, which was one of Lennon’s favorite charities as well as Make A Wish America and Dell Children’s Medical Center.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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