By Christopher Scapelliti
Baby, you can drive his car.
His first car, in fact…provided you have the cash.
John Lennon’s 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Coupe will go on the auction block this summer courtesy of Bonhams auction house, a sale estimated to fetch — conservatively — more than a quarter of a million dollars.
The car is significant not only because it is a Beatle car but also because it is the first car Lennon owned. He picked it out on the day he passed his driving test, February 15, 1965, paying £6,500, about $10,000 today.
The car has a presale value of between £180,000 and £220,000 ($280,000 to $340,000). The auction will be held at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale in Chichester, England, on July 12.
The purchase of his first car was no small event for John Lennon, but it was an even bigger occasion for auto dealers in England. Within hours of news reports that the Beatle had passed his driving examination, the road outside the security gates of his Kenwood home in Weybridge, Surrey, was jammed with Maseratis, Aston Martins and the Jaguar E-type, as luxury car dealerships – hungry for business – spotted an opportunity to secure a high-profile client.
Lennon strolled out to inspect the cars and chose the right-hand-drive Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Coupé finished in Azzuro blue paint, with a blue interior. He drove the Ferrari for the next three years, until October 1967, logging more than 20,000 miles on it.
Even without Lennon’s name attached to it, the vehicle would be noteworthy: it is one of only 500 of its type built.
The car will be offered for sale along with an extensive history file documenting its provenance and restoration, which also includes correspondence with Lennon.