John Lennon’s ‘limo’ up for grabs
Beatle’s Princess to be auctioned to help charities
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.