John Lennon’s first car, a 1965 Ferrari, headed to auction


It’s a good time for Beatle fans to be collecting cars.

First, Paul McCartney’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5 sold for almost $500,000 in October 2012. Now bidders will have the chance to snatch up the first car John Lennon ever owned: a 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Coupé.

Bonhams announced Thursday that it will put the car up for auction at England’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. The company said it expects the car to sell for between $276,000 and $338,000.

Lennon bought the car in February 1965 amid much fanfare, according to Bonhams. The Beatles had just recorded “Ticket to Ride” and the singer attracted national attention by getting his driver’s license for the first time.


Seeking to win the most coveted sale in the country, numerous car dealerships quickly flooded Lennon’s street with Maseratis, Aston Martins, and the Jaguar E-Type. As Bonhams tells it, Lennon came out to inspect the cars, and settled on this Ferrari.

“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,” said Sholto Gilbertson, a senior specialist in Bonham’s automobile department.

Lennon paid about $10,000 for the right-hand-drive car, which is equivalent to about $169,000 today. He is said to have loved the Ferrari, racking up more than 20,000 miles on it in the three years he owned it.

The 330GT is powered by a 4-liter V-12. Each cylinder displaces 330 cc’s, hence the name. Horsepower is in the 300 range. Though the car is titled as a 1965 -- since that’s the year it was purchased -- the 330GT model with quad headlights was actually only built in 1964.

The design wasn’t as popular as Ferrari would have liked, so Series II models were quickly introduced in 1965 with the more traditional single headlight on either side.

Bonhams said the current owner bought the car in the late 1980s and restored it to its original specs, including the Azzuro blue paint and blue interior that it has today.

Despite its impressive pedigree, this isn’t the most expensive Ferrari Bonhams will have at the auction. The company is also bringing a 1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast that it expects to sell for between $1.29 million and $1.54 million. High prices to be sure, but remember what the Beatles said about love.


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