Paul McCartney’s Aston Martin DB5 and Ringo Starr’s hatchback Mini will be offered by Bonhams in the New Bond Street auction.
Ringo Starr drove a garishly-sprayed Mini, John Lennon drove a psychedelic art-splattered Rolls Royce while George Harrison owned, among many others, a 1955 Ford Anglia. And last but not least, Sir Paul McCartney’s first significant machine of choice was the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 4.2 litre sports saloon. Bonhams is to offer both Ringo’s Mini and McCartney’s DB5 in its 2 December Bond Street sale.
Paul McCartney’s Aston Martin DB5
Estimate: $2,200,000 – $2,650,000
During their peak, when Lennon and McCartney co-wrote cultural history, the fabulous four worked their way through a stunning collection of – mainly British – cars. The DB5 has matching numbers, is fully restored to concours standard and has driven only 2600 miles since its restoration work was completed.
The car rolled off the Newport Pagnell factory on July 3rd, 1964 and was delivered to Bryce, Hamer & Isherwood, Paul McCartney’s accountants at the time. Ordered by McCartney prior to his departure for the Beatles’ world tour in the summer of 1964 and registered in the musician’s name.
Accompanying paperwork shows the price was £3,800 10s 0d plus Purchase Tax of £793 6s 8d. It also indicates that the Aston was originally finished in Sierra Blue with black interior. It was fitted as standard with the ZF five-speed gearbox and was supplied with a Philips Auto-Mignon record player, the latter seemingly an essential for a professional musician.
And as if McCartney’s musical career needed shouting any louder, the car was adorned with a musical note-styled upholstery.
This DB5 is believed to be the first Aston owned by the musician, making it a very rare machine indeed. It also marks a significant juncture in the Beatles’ career: the DB5 was ordered just weeks after the Beatles’ famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and the completion of filming ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, their debut on the big screen.
This is a car not just for the Aston Martin collector but any fan of cultural history.
Presented in truly immaculate condition, ‘1653/R’ comes with copy guarantee form, a V5C registration document; current MoT; invoices relating to its recent restoration; and the aforementioned BMIHT certificate.
Ringo Starr’s Mini
Estimate: $160,000 – $220,000
Ambition comes in many guises. One such guise is – without a doubt – attempting to convert a 1966 Mini Cooper into a make-shift band van.
But it’s amazing what coachbuilders can do. Especially when the customers are ex Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein and drummer Ringo Starr.
Here, one British pop icon was matched with another: the Beatles and the Mini Cooper. The 1966 S sports edition – which has appeared on Top Gear and won the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ competition in 1998 – is in immaculate condition and has belonged to the same family for 40 years.
All the Beatles owned examples of Minis but Starr’s was the challenge: he stipulated that his must be able to accommodate a drum kit, distinguishing his machine from those purchased for the other members of the Fab Four.
To solve the problem, coachbuilder Harold Radford converted Ringo’s Mini into a hatchback. But Radford was not the only firm offering modified Minis at this time – Hooper & Co were also adapting machines for celebrities, including Peter Sellers.
Like all of The Beatles’ Minis, ‘LLO 836D’ was purchased new by band manager Brian Epstein’s company, to which it was first registered in May 1966. The ‘LLO’ registration sequence is the same as that of Paul McCartney’s Aston Martin DB6 (‘LLO 840D’), which presumably was purchased at the same time.
Registration passed to Richard Starkey – aka Ringo – on 15th June 1967, and he kept the car until it was sold in December 1968.
The machine comes complete with extended wheel arches, Manx alloy wheels, a de-seamed bodyshell, Waso fuel filler caps, bespoke window frames and quarter lights, Huntmaster reclining seats and a Benolite grille.
The only thing it doesn’t come with, is a drum kit…