The Aston DB5 and Mini Cooper S were owned and driven by Beatles
Beatlemania will rock during Bonhams’ Bond Street Sale as a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 originally owned and driven by Paul McCartney and a 1966 Mini Cooper S that belonged to Ringo Starr cross the block during the December 2 auction in London.
The Aston Martin would be a star entry in the auction even without the top-celebrity status of McCartney, the Beatles’ singer, songwriter and bass player, since the DB5 coupe is a much-sought-after classic model, as well as being linked with fictional British spy James Bond.
The Aston, chassis No. 1653/R, was ordered by McCartney just before the legendary 1964 Beatles world tour that was punctuated by the screams of millions of female fans, and which cemented the quartet’s enormous popularity.
“He ordered it at a particularly important career juncture: just weeks after the Beatles’ famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and the completion of filming ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ their first film,” Bonhams says in the catalog description.
The rock star drove the car for six years and accumulated more than 40,000 miles before he sold it in 1970. He later owned an Aston Martin DB6.
The DB5 was originally painted Sierra Blue and was outfitted with a leather interior with musical notes in the stitching and, notably, a Philips Auto-Mignon record player.
The Aston went through a number of subsequent owners, including well-known British broadcaster and car collector Chris Evans. Along the way, it was cosmetically refurbished and repainted in the original colors, with a new interior added.
In 2012, the car’s new owner undertook a complete nut-and-bolt restoration of the DB5. It was decided to repaint the car in an iconic DB5 color, Silver Birch, the same as that of 007’s Aston Martin. The interior was re-trimmed in Mulberry leather.
The painstaking restoration was completed earlier this year, and the car has been driven about 2,600 miles since.
Described by Bonhams as being in immaculate condition, the DB5 gets a moderate celebrity bump with an estimated value of £1.25 million to £1.5 million ($1.6 million to $2 million).
The Austin Mini was a motoring icon during the 1960s, the years that the Beatles first spun their magic, and each of the band members owned one. Ringo’s Mini was slightly different from the rest, however, with a hatchback conversion by coachbuilder Harold Radford, reputedly added to facilitate the loading of his drum kit. Radford called his conversion, which including a number of luxury embellishments, the Mini de Ville GT.
The Mini was registered in Ringo’s real name, Richard Starkey, in June 1967, and he kept it until December 1968. The car dropped out of sight until 1977, when it was purchased by the current owner’s father.
“While in the latter’s ownership, LLO 836D appeared on the BBC television program ‘Blue Peter’ in February 1984, being described as the Rolls-Royce of Minis, and in March of that same year went on display at the Beatle City exhibition in Liverpool,” according to the Bonhams catalog description. “In August 1987, the Mini went on display in Dallas, Texas, when the Beatle City exhibition transferred to the USA, and following its return home was restored by Naylor Brothers in 1990/1991.”
The Mini comes with a logbook signed by both Starr and Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ famed manager.
The special Mini with the Ringo provenance has an estimated value of £90,000 to £120,000 ($120,000 to $160,000).
For more information about Bonham’s London sale, visit the auction website.2 comments