All right; I’ve got two articles about some of John Lennon’s possessions that are being auctioned; his first car and a guitar he owned for about a month. And both are being sold for approximately the same price.
First off, a 1965 Ferrari 330GT Coupé that John Lennon bought the day he got his ticket to ride is going under the hammeron the day he passed his driving test.
It is expected to fetch between £180,000 and £220,000 at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale on 12 July 2013.
By an extraordinary coincidence, their #1 hit “Ticket to Ride” (written by John), was recorded in the same month John bought the car. It should be noted that John and Paul had differing accounts of the meaning of the title, but neither seem to reference John’s recent acquisition of his driver’s license. John said it was about a Hamburg hooker’s bill of clean health, and Paul said it was a railway ticket to the town of Ryde.
The story behind the car is an interesting one; the news that John got his ticket to ride made headlines and, within hours, hundreds of luxury cars of various brands jammed the road outside the gates of his home in Weybridge, Surrey, hungry to secure a high-profile client. He chose a right-hand drive Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Coupé finished in Azzuro blue paint, with a blue interior, priced at £6,500 (equivalent to just over £110,000 in today’s money). This is that car. He used it until October 1967.
Quoth Sholto Gilbertson, Bonhams car specialist: “It is a wonderful commentary on the early excitement generated by Beatlemania that John Lennon didn’t even have to leave his house to buy his first car.”
One other item that’s being sold, this time on May 18 at New York’s Julien’s Auctions, is a custom-made, one of a kind, 1966 Vox “Kensington” guitar. According to Fabguitars, the #1 internet source for the guitars of the Beatles, it was played during the “Magical Mystery Tour” era; it has been spotted in photos of the shooting of the “Hello Goodbye” video (but not in the video itself) and the rehearsals for “I am the Walrus.” There is no evidence that you can hear it in any of their songs, though. It was allegedly also played by George Harrison, but the evidence for this is lacking.
The guitar, a custom-made guitar, with built-in special effects of an inadequately described nature, was given to Lennon’s friend “Magic Alex” Mardas as a belated birthday present. A plaque attached to the back of the instrument reads “To Magic Alex/ Alexi thank you/ for been [sic] a friend/ 2-5-1967 John.”
It is expected to bring in £130,000 to £200,000.