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John Lennon's famous psychedelic Rolls-Royce returns to Britain

John Lennon's famous psychedelic Rolls-Royce returns to Britain

It may not be the best vehicle 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. Now owned by the Royal British Columbia Museum in Canada, "The John Lennon Phantom V" will travel from Canada to London to join "The Great Eight Phantoms" - A Rolls-Royce Exhibition, at Bonhams on New Bond Street, an area visited regularly by Lennon in the late 1960s in this very vehicle.

Now it's heading for the "Great Eight Phantoms" exhibit at Bonhams in Mayfair, where it will sit alongside seven other great Phantoms - including the new Phantom VIII - on 29 July.

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Purchased in 1965, the vehicle was believed to have originally come in a Valentine Black paint finish but being the true eccentric John was, he chose to get it re-sprayed.

It was later donated to its current owners, the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, Canada. He used the vehicle quite regularly around Britain until about 1969 after which he shipped it to his new home in the US.

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Lennon had the "psychedelic" paint job done on the Rolls-Royce as the recording of the game-changing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album was concluding. Claiming he wanted to be known as an "eccentric millionaire", he had the rear seat converted to a double bed and installed a television, telephone, refrigerator, a "floating" record player and a custom sound system which included an external loud hailer.

Just before the album was released, John asked Surrey-based coachbuilders JP Fallon to give the vehicle a paint job, and what emerged was truly mesmerising.

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Lennon took the auto to the U.S. in 1970, and it's said it ended up belonging to the United States government in lieu of taxes, and it eventually found its way to the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada after being donated by its then owner, Jim Pattison.


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