- Jan 10, 2011
This Ferrari was John Lennon's first car, and it's up for auction at Bonhams
John Lennon's 1965 Ferrari 330 GT – Click above for high-res image gallery
A Ferrari is a heck of a first car to start off with. But then John Lennon was a heck of a guy. The famous singer-songwriter and Beatles frontman didn't get his driver's license until 1965. By then he was 25 and one of the most famous – and famously wealthy – figures in the world. So when news broke, car dealers didn't wait for him to come to their showrooms; they brought their showrooms to him.
The dealers lined up outside his residence at Kenwood with Maseratis, Aston Martins, Jaguars and this '65 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Lennon ultimately picked out the blue Ferrari for £2,000, and though he soon bought a Rolls-Royce Phantom V and a Mini to go with it, the 330 GT will always have been his first car.
The French racing blue GT is now heading to the auction block in Paris under consignment to Bonhams for February 5 with pre-sale estimates placing its value around €120,000 – 170,000 ($155-220k). Details can be found in the press release after the jump.
John Lennon's Car – A Ferrari 330 GT - To Sell at Bonhams
Formerly the property of John Lennon, a 1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Coupe, which was the first car that John Lennon bought on passing his driving test in 1965, is to be sold at Bonhams' Paris sale of Motor Cars at the Grand Palais on 5 February 2011. It has attracted a pre-sale estimate of €120,000 – 170,000.
Philip Norman recounts in his biography John Lennon – A Life: 'In February 1965, John passed his driving test, an event that made headline news across the nation. Within hours, every luxury car dealership in the Weybridge area, hoping for business, jammed the road outside Kenwood's security gates with Maseratis, Aston Martins, and Jaguar XK-E. John strolled out to inspect this gleaming smorgasbord, eventually selecting a £2,000 light blue Ferrari.'
Better known is Lennon's Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine, which he had delivered two months later and, subsequently, had painted in psychedelic colours. In the same garage, he also kept a Mini. In his book, John Lennon Imagined: Cultural History of a Rock Star, Janne Mäkelä records that Lennon's stable consisted of a Mini 'for pottering about in', a Rolls-Royce 'for relaxing' and a Ferrari 'for zoom'.
However this 'stable' was soon to change. On November 12 of the same year, The Autocar Magazine recorded Brydon Cars as offering for sale a 'Ferrari 330 GT fixed head coupe. 2+2 opalescent silver blue, electric windows, 3,000 miles. Ex-property of John Lennon MBE.'
The Ferrari's provenance after this is unclear, but by the late 1980s it was with Modena Engineering, from whom the current vendor bought the car. In the mid 1990s, it underwent a comprehensive restoration to original specification.