John Lennon’s Rolls Royce

Date:
painted in 1967
Record:
992.66.2
Artist:
Stephen Weaver

This Rolls Royce Phantom V Touring Limousine, delivered in 1965 to John Lennon, has been identified as the car that took the Beatles to Buckingham Palace to receive their MBEs. When Lennon ordered it, he did not yet have a driver’s licence.

It is the largest model made by the celebrated English car-manufacturing company, and had several custom updates over the next two years, including modifying the rear seat to convert to a double bed. In 1967 – the year the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band – Lennon commissioned artist Stephen Weaver to create a design for the unique custom paint job that replaced the original matte black finish.

In 1970, John Lennon and Yoko Ono had the Rolls shipped to the US, and in 1977, they donated it to a New York City museum.

The car was donated to the province in 1992 by BC entrepreneur and philanthropist Jim Pattison, OC, OBC. He was Chairman of Expo 86, which had the theme of Transportation. He had acquired the car at auction, where it briefly established the highest price ever paid for an automobile.

It has been enjoyed here in Victoria, and loaned to other museums around the world.

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This object selected by Dr Lorne Hammond.