It belonged to The Beatles star John Lennon.
At the end of the month, Rolls-Royce will reveal the all-new, eighth-generation Phantom. But because this is a Rolls-Royce reveal event, the new luxury limo won’t be introduced to the world at a conventional car show. Instead, it will be part of an extravagant exhibition hosted in Mayfair, London, alongside some of the finest Phantoms ever produced throughout the model’s history. Every generation will be on display since the prestigious Phantom launched in 1925 – including this Phantom V originally owned by The Beatles star John Lennon.
Lennon originally took delivery of his Phantom V on June 3rd, 1963 in its original Valentine Black finish. He wanted to become an “eccentric millionaire,” and owning a Phantom was part of that dream. Befitting this image, Lennon had the Phantom V extensively customized. A double bed replaced the rear seats, and a television, telephone and refrigerator was installed, along with a record player and a custom sound system. Then in 1967, in the run up to the release of The Beatles’ eighth studio album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Lennon enlisted coachbuilders JP Fallon to make the exterior a little more, shall we say, vibrant.
The striking yellow mixed with a multitude of colors mimics the album artwork. While the outlandish paint scheme was often described as “psychedelic,” Lennon opted for a floral Romany scroll design combined with a zodiac symbol applied on the roof. Lennon used the repainted Phantom V until 1969 before shipping it to the USA in 1970 where it was loaned out to The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. After being kept in storage, in 1977 it was donated to the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria. Now it’s returning to its UK home where it will be on display at “The Great Eight Phantoms” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.