Baby, you can drive our cars: Ex-Beatles cars head to auction
Two of Britain's best-loved motoring icons are heading to auction soon, as Bonhams hosts its annual Bond Street Sale. An Aston Martin DB5 and classic Mini will both go under the hammer on December 2, and both share a common feature – previous owners as well known as the cars themselves.
The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 was bought new by former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, while the 1966 Austin Mini Cooper S was owned by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.
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McCartney's Aston Martin is predicted to sell for an impressive £1.25m-£1.5m. Even without the Beatles' provenance, this particular example would be a pretty special car – benefiting from a professional restoration to the highest standards and remaining in 'matching numbers' condition.
Paul McCartney owned the car for six years, having purchased it in 1964 for £3,800 plus tax. The car was originally finished in Sierra Blue with desirable options such as a black leather interior, five-speed gearbox, Motorola radio, and – essential for a musician – a built-in record player. Reports suggest the singer also had musical notes stitched into the upholstery.
Since he sold the car, it's been through a few hands, and was first restored in 2002. The next owner after its restoration was broadcaster and car collector Chris Evans, who added on the rather appropriate '64 MAC' registration (McCartney wrote the Beatles song 'When I'm Sixty-Four, which appeared on the iconic album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band).
The following owner restored it to its current condition, repainting it in James Bond's favoured Birch Silver with mulberry leather.
If over £1 million is a bit far for your wallet to stretch, Starr's Mini Cooper S may be more up your street. It's far from stock, having been converted by famed Mini specialist Radford to include a full hatchback rather than the original car's rather stingy saloon boot. While all the Beatles owned Minis at some stage, Starr's was the only one with this modification – reportedly because he stipulated the necessity of carrying his drum kit.
Sold with a fresh MOT but with some mild restoration still required, it's estimated to reach £90,000-£120,000 when it goes under the hammer.