John Len­non’s ‘limo’ up for grabs

Bea­tle’s Princess to be auc­tioned to help char­i­ties

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Gil­lian Car­moodie www.rm­sothe­bys.com

John Len­non’s 1956 Austin Princess limou­sine is ex­pected to sell for more than a quar­ter of a mil­lion pounds.

The air­craft-seated Austin, based on a hearse, is due to be auc­tioned at RM Sotheby’s 7 Septem­ber sale at Bat­tersea Evo­lu­tion in Lon­don.

Len­non bought the Princess in Au­gust 1971 and it be­came fa­mous when it fea­tured in John and Yoko Ono’s tele­vi­sion film Imag­ine in 1972.

GNH 240 comes fitted with five air­craft seats that were added by Len­non dur­ing his cus­to­di­on­ship. He only owned the car for a year, sell­ing it to a Cal­i­for­nian fan in 1972. A sub­se­quent owner, Mil­ton Ver­ret, do­nated it to the Austin Rock and Roll Car Mu­seum in Texas in 2008. He says: ‘ The mu­seum wants to of­fer this rare ve­hi­cle with the hope that it will be en­joyed by even more fans of Len­non and the Bea­tles, while at the same time rais­ing funds for de­serv­ing char­i­ties.’

The Princess has only re­cently re­turned to the UK. Pro­ceeds will be do­nated to UNICEF, one of Len­non’s favourite char­i­ties, as well as Make-A-Wish Amer­ica and the Dell Chil­dren’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

John Hard­ing, act­ing na­tional sec­re­tary of the Austin Sheer­line and Princess Club, says: ‘I can’t see how they can jus­tify that ask­ing price, with a typ­i­cal Austin Princess limou­sine cost­ing ap­prox­i­mately £8000-10,000.’

Launched in 1947, the Austin Princess was pow­ered by 3460cc and later 3995cc six-cylin­der en­gines and had in­de­pen­dent front coil sus­pen­sion. A tele­phone was avail­able as an ex­tra op­tion for com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween driver and pas­sen­gers.

Looks like a hearse, but this Princess limou­sine comes with its orig­i­nal ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion doc­u­ment signed by Bea­tle John Len­non.

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