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John's Psychedelic Rolls Royce
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22 February 2014
Oyster Black Pearl
Liverpool, UK
Royal Command Performance
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26 March 2014
Billy Rhythm
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Seems as though those of you in the Ottawa area have only a few more days to view Lennon's car before the Exhibit ends after this Weekend, and if you're unable to, here's a nice video tribute set against a most suitable soundtrack:



I'm unsure as to where it's next destination is, but hopefully it's making its way back to Victoria B.C. where those of us in the Pacific Northwest can enjoy it again.  The car usually goes under extensive restoration after these lengthy exhibits so I don't expect it to reappear until the Summer...:-)

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HeyTrud, Bongo
26 August 2015
Ahhh Girl
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I found a story today about John's Rolls Royce

AT THE time, it outraged many Rolls Royce lovers. "You swine! You swine! How dare you do that to a Rolls Royce" yelled an old woman in London attacking The Beatles band member John Lennon with her umbrella. {wouldn't you like to have witnessed that!}

The Rolls Royce in question was a Phantom V which Lennon bought in June 1965 at the height of Beatlemania. He was just 24 years old.

It was fitted with a limousine body, was 19 feet long and weighed three tons. {I wonder what the mpg was on it. Oh, well, John could afford the petrol.} It was finished in matte black.

A year later Lennon had the back seat converted into a double bed. A Sony television, a portable ref {what is a portable ref?} and telephone were installed along with a "floating" record player with perfect balance so it could be used without being affected by stops and bumps while driving. An interior and exterior sound system was included.

Interestingly, Lennon was the first person in England to have dark tinted windows in a car. {um-hum, what was he doing behind those darkened windows?}

The Beatles used the car exclusively during their heyday. They even took it to Buckingham Palace on October 26, 1965 to attend the royal ceremony at which they received the medals making them Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

In early 1967, shortly after The Beatles had made the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, Lennon and Ringo Starr were passing a fairground. They were admiring the fairground decorations and gypsy caravans when Starr suddenly suggested that Lennon should do the same to his Rolls Royce.

Lennon thought this was a great idea. The car was painted yellow first and then hand-painted with bright blue and red flowers and psychedelic designs by a group of Dutch artists who called themselves “The Fool." {wonder if they lived on a hill} Lennon had previously employed them to paint a gypsy caravan he kept on the grounds of his home in Surrey, south of London. The paint job cost $4,200 (P193,000).

The newly painted car was delivered to Lennon in May 1967. But the venerable car’s radical transformation did not meet unanimous approval. Many lovers of these iconic British cars - and even Rolls Royce officials themselves - were horrified at what Lennon had done. paul-mccartney

In 1970, after Lennon married Yoko Ono, he had the car shipped to New York, where it was rented out to such artistes as The Rolling Stones, The Moody Blues and Bob Dylan. But Lennon hardly ever used it and eventually the car was put into storage.

Seven years later Lennon ran in to tax problems owing some US225K (P10 million). In lieu of paying the IRS {Taxman} in cash he donated the car to the nation via the Cooper-Hewitt Museum at the Smithsonian Institute.

In 1985, the Smithsonian sold the car at a Sothebys's auction. It fetched $2.3 million (P103 million) at the time making it the most expensive car in the world. It was bought by Jim Pattison, the Canadian owner of the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in South Carolina.

In 1987, Pattison donated the car to the province of British Columbia. The car was exhibited at the British Columbia Transportation Museum in Cloverdale, near Vancouver.

In 1993, this magnificent vehicle was handed over to the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria where it can be seen today.

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ewe2, natureaker
30 January 2016
Ahhh Girl
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A story about John's Rolls Royce.

I hope the guy gets to keep the job.

What may be the world’s most famous car is outta sight most of the time but it is not forgotten.

The Royal B.C. Museum has posted the job of caring for the mechanical needs of its bright yellow 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V, first owned and customized by Beatle John Lennon.

Jim Walters, owner of Bristol Motors, which specializes in Rolls-Royce and Bentley vehicles, was the car’s caretaker between 1993 and 2015. B.C. regulations now require the opportunity to be posted publicly, he said.

Walters plans to apply.

The museum intends to line up mechanical services as needed for three years, with options to renew for two one-year periods, bid documents state. The closing date is Feb. 18.

Walters’s time with the car started after he was contacted 23 years ago to do some work on a Rolls.

Entering an underground parking lot, he was “flabbergasted” to see Lennon’s car. “To be asked to look after the car was a mind-blowing experience.”

Under an agreement with the museum, Walters stored the car for free, paid its insurance and was able to use it in advertising.

That eventually turned into a paid arrangement.

Lennon’s Rolls was a gift from Vancouver businessman and philanthropist Jim Pattison, who bought it for $2.3 million in the 1980s when it was auctioned by the Smithsonian Museum.

Pattison displayed it at one of his Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museums, later donating it to the province, which had it in a Cloverdale museum before sending it to the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria.

Taking care of the car has been a labour of love for Walters. “It really is an icon of a generation,” the 61-year-old said.

“I grew up with the Beatles.”

The car spent a decade in Walters’s showroom, which was then on Chatham Street. Today, it is stored in a secret, secure location.

Lennon commissioned its distinctive Romany-inspired floral and scroll patterns. A double bed in the back seat, a refrigerator, record player, television and telephone were also added.

The Rolls has about 56,000 kilometres on it and is in “extremely good condition,” Walters said.

It was taken out every six months in an enclosed trailer to a private location and driven at 30 kilometres an hour, he said.

“That keeps the gas from getting stale. It keeps the carbs from sticking. It keeps the brakes working properly,” he said.

The ride is “very quiet, very, very smooth. You don’t feel bumps in the road. It literally floats along.”

This touring limousine measures 20 feet (about six metres) bumper-to-bumper and weighs almost three tonnes, Walters said.

It has been displayed locally and at special events elsewhere.

“It is one of a kind. It is probably the most famous car in the world.”

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