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John Lennon's Austin Princess up for auction

Auction house RM Sotheby’s is to offer a 1956 Austin Princess that was the personal property of John Lennon and used by him and Yoko Ono in the 1972 film ‘Imagine’.

Set to go under the hammer in London on 7 September, the car is prominently shown in the film Imagine 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 (such as the black and white image of a different one). It is understood the fab four appreciated the large rear door aperture for quick access to the vehicle - much appreciated when being chased by hundreds of adoring fans! This particular car is still fitted with the five aeroplane seats in the back that Lennon added.

The car on offer is also 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 artefact. A portion of proceeds from the sale of the Princess, which was donated to the Austin Rock and Roll Car Museum in Texas in 2008, will be donated to UNICEF - one of Lennon’s favourite charities. Other charities set to benefit from its sale include Make A Wish America and Dell Children’s Medical Centre.

“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.”

For further information on the sale, click here