Media Release


CARS OF THE STARS! JOHN LENNON’S AUSTIN PRINCESS AND JAMES MASON’S MERCEDES-BENZ SET TO ROLL DOWN THE LONDON RED CARPET WITH RM SOTHEBY’S

London

 

‘Imagine’ owning John Lennon’s iconic personal limousine; you now can at RM Sotheby’s forthcoming London sale,
7 September in Battersea Park

 

Or perhaps a classic Mercedes-Benz owned by a classical actor? RM Sotheby’s London sale also features beautiful Mercedes-Benz 300 SE Cabriolet offered direct from the estate of the late, great James Mason and in single-family ownership from new

 

LONDON (25 July, 2016) - The Beatles were, and remain, one the world’s most famous pop groups, with millions of devoted fans around the world. John Lennon, the enigmatic and much loved front man of the band, has become an icon of popular culture with his music remaining as popular now as it was in period, and a natural fascination in all things associated with him – not least his cars.

 

RM Sotheby’s, the world’s largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, will proudly offer the 1956 Austin Princess that was the personal property of Lennon and famously used by him and Yoko Ono in the 1972 film Imagine at its forthcoming London sale, 7 September. The car is prominently shown in the film which was created to promote Lennon's Capitol Records album which shared the same title. Austin Princess limousines were a popular mode of transport for The Beatles, and a number of them passed through the hands of Apple Records for use by the various band members. It is understood that the large rear door aperture made quick access to the vehicle an easy undertaking; a quality much appreciated when being chased by hundreds of adoring fans! The car is still fitted with the five aeroplane seats in the back that Lennon added to the Austin.

 

The car on offer is complemented by its original vehicle registration/title document, signed by Lennon when he purchased it on 26 August, 1971, which, is in itself, is an important historical artifact. This upcoming sale of this wonderful car, which was donated to the Austin Rock and Roll Car Museum in Texas in 2008, will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for any serious collector of Beatles or music industry memorabilia. A portion of proceeds from its auction will be donated to various children's charities.

 

“Since donating the Austin Princess to the [Austin Rock and Roll Car] Museum, it’s been seen and enjoyed by thousands,” says Milton Verret, who purchased the car in 2005 and donated it to the Austin Rock and Roll Car Museum. “Now the Museum wants to offer this rare vehicle at auction with the hope that it will be seen and enjoyed by even more fans of John Lennon and the Beatles worldwide, while at the same time raising funds for deserving charities.”  

 

Alongside the Austin Princess, RM Sotheby’s central London auction will present another fine car boasting wonderful celebrity provenance: a 1965 Mercedes-Benz 300 SE Cabriolet purchased by the great British actor, James Mason. Like the Lennon car, the Mercedes-Benz is accompanied by its title document noting James Mason as a long-time owner. The car was used extensively by Mason’s family whilst on holidays in Switzerland and the South of France, and is being offered for the first time from the Mason family estate.

 

James Mason starred in numerous classic films during the 1960s, including North by NorthwestThe Desert FoxLolita and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. A comparatively rare, low-volume production car, the elegant cabriolet would be treasured by any serious collector of memorabilia or can be simply enjoyed as an exceptional example of this highly sought after model (Est. £150,000–£200,000).

 

Peter Wallman, Managing Director of RM Europe, says: “We are honoured to have been entrusted with the sale of these two historically important cars. Celebrity provenance doesn’t get stronger than this, and the fact that both cars are accompanied by the original, signed title documents is fantastic. They are very different cars, but each will surely find a delighted new owner at our London sale.”

 

RM Sotheby’s exclusive evening London sale celebrates a decade of excellence in the British capital this September. Held in partnership with the Concours of Elegance, which, this year returns to the magnificent Windsor Castle, celebrating the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, the action-packed week of events is set to draw thousands of local and international enthusiasts. The auction, held at the stunning Battersea Evolution in central London, has been witness to the sale of some of the world’s finest automobiles over ten years – a tradition that is set to continue in September as some 70 blue-chip automobiles cross the podium.

 

For further information or view a frequently updated list of entries, please visit www.rmsothebys.com or call RM’s London office at +44 (0) 20 7851 7070 to discuss limited consignment opportunities. For further information on the Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle, please visit www.concoursofelegance.co.uk.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more