It was, in fact, a 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Coupe, which will go under the hammer at the Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 12.
Or at least that’s the plan. The car has had only one owner since Lennon sold it in 1967 and was put up for auction in 2011. But the owner had second thoughts and withdrew it, unable to part with his historic machine.
After originally painting it trademark Ferrari red, the owner has restored it to its original condition - including Lennon’s actual numberplate. The Italian machine is finished in Azzuro blue paint complete with blue interior, as the Beatle singer requested.
The story goes that Lennon only passed his driving test after Ticket to Ride had become a massive hit. So with one of England’s wealthiest pop stars in need of a car, dealers from around London flocked to his house to try to sell him one.
Lennon reportedly chose the Ferrari over a selection of cars including a Jaguar E-Type, Maserati and Aston Martin.
“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,” says Sholto Gilbertson, senior specialist in the Bonhams Motor Car Department.
We are delighted to be offering a car associated with such an icon of contemporary popular culture at the first of our Goodwood series of auctions in 2013. Already our Festival of Speed Sale is shaping up to potentially eclipse last year's record-breaking total.”
The 330GT is expected to fetch around $300,000 at the auction.
Stephen Ottley Motoring Writer