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As of today, John Lennon was the owner of quite possibly the coolest car on Earth.

It had been a pretty cool car even before this. Back in June of 1965, John had invested some of his filthy Beatle lucre in a custom-outfitted black Rolls-Royce Phantom V. That car saw a lot of action in the next couple years; I’ll let the good people at Neatorama pick up the story from here:

John and his fellow Beatles were driven in the vehicle to the premiere of their second movie Help! in July of 1965. On October 26, ’65, a very ambivalent John and his three comrades were chauffeured in the car to Buckingham Palace to receive their MBE medals from the Queen. While being driven, John loved to lie on his back and play with the car’s various control buttons with his feet.

In 1966, John had the back seat converted to a double bed. Later, a Sony television, a portable refrigerator, and telephone were installed. A “floating” record player (with perfect balance so it could be used without being affected by stops and bumps while driving) was also fitted inside. An interior and exterior sound system was included. John added blacked-out windows and was the first person in England to have this feature in his car.

In September of ’66, when John went to Spain to film his first solo movie How I Won the War, he had his beloved Rolls driven to Spain…. In early 1967, Ringo Starr suggested to John that he should have the car painted in psychedelic colors. “We were passing the fairground one day,” remembered [Lennon driver] Les [Anthony], “and they were admiring the fairground decorations and gypsy caravans. Ringo said why not have the Rolls painted the same way. John thought it was a great idea. It was painted all yellow first, then hand painted (with bright blue and red flowers and psychedelic designs).”

John later told a story of a woman rushing at him and attacking him with her umbrella when she saw his car, shouting, “You swine! You swine! How dare you do that to a Rolls-Royce!”


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