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John Lennon’s blue Ferrari to hit the auction block

Car his Beatles bandmates bought him when he passed his driver's test expected to fetch up to $340,000 when it goes on auction in July

Published May 10, 2013

John Lennon once wondered in song, “Imagine no possessions; I wonder if you can?”

Lennon may have imagined such a thing himself, but in practice he had plenty of material goods, including several cars. One of those — the Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Coupe his bandmates bought for him the day he passed his driving test in 1965 — will be crossing the auction block this summer at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom.

Although the Beatles paid £6,500 for the blue Ferrari in 1965 (about $170,000 today), Bonhams, the auction house selling the car, said it was expected to bring from $280,000 to $340,000.

Other luxury carmakers offered Lennon cars when news broke that he had gotten a driving license, among them Maserati, Jaguar and Aston Martin. Lennon chose the Ferrari, coincidentally less than a month after recording “Ticket to Ride.”

The Ferrari has passed through a few other owners’ hands over the years, changing colour to red along the way. The current owner bought the car in the late ’80s, restoring it to its original condition and reconnecting it with its Lennon-era registration number: DUL 4C. The car was nearly auctioned in Paris in February 2011, but its owner withdrew the car at the last moment because, according to Bonhams, “he could not bear to part with it.”

The collectibility of this particular Ferrari rests more upon Lennon’s ownership than the car itself. The Ferrari 330 isn’t as sought after as, say, the Ferrari 250 GTO. But although Lennon only owned the car for a couple of years, Bonhams reported being inundated with calls the last time the car went up for auction.

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