Beatles cars go under the hammer
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Next month's Bonhams Bond St Sale in London offers the unique opportunity to buy two highly collectible classic vehicles originally owned by members of arguably the biggest band of all time.
The first, an Aston Martin DB4 worth an estimated NZ$2.9 million, was originally bought by Sir Paul McCartney in 1964 and the second, a characterful 1966 Mini Cooper S Radford conversion, was owned by drummer Ringo Starr and could sell for about $230,000. Take a closer look at both cars before they go under the hammer next month.
The long-standing association with the James Bond series, and the fact there are relatively few still around, has made the Aston Martin DB5 an obvious collectible, with the best examples of the 1059 made easily fetching seven-figure sums at auction.
But this one has the added celebrity association with Macca, who ordered the car in 1964 before the Beatles' world tour that summer.
When he took delivery on September 22, the bass guitarist and singer handed over £3800 10s. plus purchase tax of £793 6s. 8d. (around NZ$168,000 today) — experts now believe it's worth more than 320 times that first-paid figure.
However, the car you see here today isn't as it was when McCartney got his hands on the keys some 53 years ago.
Back then it was finished in Sierra Blue with a black interior and was registered BYY 379B — as it remained for 48 years, six of which were under McCartney's ownership.
Everything changed in 2012, after TV presenter and motor enthusiast Chris Evans had owned the car and fitted it with the “64 MAC” plate it has today.
The new — and most recent — keeper, who purchased the car at an RM Auction sale in London five year's ago, commissioned a full restoration that took four years. .
Since then the Aston has covered just 4200km.
All four of the Beatles famously owned Minis, but Ringo's had to be a little bit different for practicality purposes.
The boot was tiny so the drummer had to look for another solution to carry his bulky equipment.
Step forward the specialist Mini coachbuilder Harold Rashford, who was creating a small run of limited edition Mini de Ville GT conversions with a hatchback door and more luggage space.
Finished in two-tone Regal Red and Silver-Grey, it was described as the Roll-Royce of Minis and featured in displays at the Beatles City exhibition in Liverpool and Dallas during the 80s.
In 1990, the car returned to the UK and was restored. Eight years later it won the coveted Cartier Style et Luxe concours award at the Goodwood Festival of Speed before making an appearance on Top Gear in 2001.
The auction is on December 2.