Reading time 7 minutes
They revolutionized popular culture in the early 1960s, first with their friendly youth rebelliousness and later with their psychedelic rallies. From their native Liverpool to the conquest of the world, The Beatles put a soundtrack to a convulsive stage in which cars also represented freedom, independence and also a certain status.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were seduced by some special vehicles throughout their career that have already become part of the pop iconography of the twentieth century and today are (very valuable) relics for collectors. This is a small walk through the most prominent cars that were part of the collection of each of them.
The boys who left Liverpool to conquer the world © Getty Images
Although Lennon had a real passion for cars, his first wife, Cynthia, once manifested his lack of driving skills, comparing the journeys with him as a roller coaster ride.
One of his most iconic cars was the unforgettable Rolls-Royce Phantom V, originally black and that became a waste of psychedelic color after its transformation. Model of the year 1965, it had a sound system with microphone and external speakers, television, telephone, refrigerator and folding seats that could be transformed into a bed.
In 1966, during the recording of the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Lennon decided to paint his body with psychedelic motifs designed by Marijke Koger, leader of the Dutch group The Fool. It was an act of bravery, taking into account the usual sobriety surrounding the British brand. In fact, on one occasion, a lady came to incredible Lennon, umbrella in hand, for having committed such boldness.
Among the Italian cars of John Lennon stands out a 1968 Iso Rivolta Fidia, of good performance, although difficult to drive at low speed and too heavy, with a 5.3-liter V8 engine that reaches 197 km / h.
Replica of John Lennon's Rolls-Royce Phantom V © Cordon Press
The Beatle bought two units: one personally in the Earls Court Hall of 1967, and another through the Apple label that released the discs of the quartet. In the Italian factory of Bresso s e changed the original four-speed manual gear by a two-speed automatic.
However, John Lennon's first car was a 1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2 + 2 Coupe in which he used to drive around London, accompanied by George Harrison. Harrison himself was responsible for confirming the version of Cynthia Powell about John's poor expertise behind the wheel. Even so, both maintained a long complicity with respect to cars and when John left to live in New York with Yoko Ono, he sold his 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Limousine to George.
The bassist, composer and vocalist has shown weakness for the Aston Martin, we do not know if by British chauvinism or devotion towards 007. The truth is that he first had a DB5, and then went to Aston Martin DB6. Both used them to move around London in the mid-60s, when the four of Liverpool had already moved to the capital.
Interestingly, in the DB6 he asked to install a recorder in the dashboard to take advantage of the moments of inspiration that might arise while he was behind the wheel. According to several biographies, while the marriage formed by John Lennon and Cynthia Powell went to waste in 1968, Paul took his Aston Martin DB6 one afternoon, climbed to Saint George's Hill in Surrey, and began composing Hey Jude, a of his masterpieces with that recorder.
Paul McCartney coming out of his Mini © Getty Images
The car was acquired by Aston Martin Works in 2001 for restoration, in which they removed the recorder and kept it safely. Except for that nuance, the car has remained the same as when the ex-Beatle bought it, with its wooden steering wheel, its black leather upholstery and its sober but elegant cabin.
It has a firm and easy-to-use five-speed gearbox and a six-cylinder engine. Its maximum speed is 216 km / h.
Another McCartney car that has gone down in history has been his Austin Healey 3000, since he was the secondary protagonist of the unfounded but widespread rumor of the year 69 that he considered dead. That theory, without any foundation, assured that Paul left a recording session with considerable anger, took his car and crashed into it. The conspiracy defenders assure that since then a double replaces him.
Throughout his most glorious years, Paul McCartney also had several Lamborghini, specifically a Lamborghini 400GT from 1967, with a V12 engine, and a Lamborghini Espada S2 from 1972.
The Aston Martin DB5 by Paul McCartney © Cordon Press
Apparently, the latter had to be rebuilt after his wife Linda forgot to apply the handbrake and ended up at the bottom of a lake.
A Hispanic-Swiss Limo was another of the jewels in which Paul was portrayed, this time with his girlfriend of the time, Jane Asher. Specifically, the photo was taken when they left after the premiere of John Lennon's film How I Won the War, in 1967.
The four components of the Beatles had a Mini, customized for each of them by English coach Harold Redford, but without a doubt the most famous was George Harrison's Mini Cooper Austin S, which was immortalized in the Magical Mystery Tour movie (1967 ).
The car was painted with psychedelic motifs inspired by a Tantra art book and starred in another anecdote when, in the middle of a lysergic rush, George left his wife, Pattie Boyd, hanging in the middle of a journey from London to Surrey. John Lennon and Cynthia Powell.
For a time it belonged to Eric Clapton, but later he returned to Olivia, his widow, who keeps it in a magazine state and occasionally gives it up for display at a festival.
George Harrison was the true petrolhead of the group © Getty Images
George Harrison was the true petrolhead of the Beatles, a fan of the engine and Formula 1. As a good fan, he had a very special Ferrari, advised by his good friend Rodney Turner, a well-known car salesman to the stars. It was the Ferrari Dino 246GT, which was his for four years, with a 2, 418 cc V6 engine, four-speed manual transmission and a top speed of 237 km / h. It was designed by Pininfarina and built in Modena taking care of every detail to achieve an unmistakable harmony.
The first car Harrison had when the Beatles started to succeed was a Jaguar E-type FHC 964, which increased his rock star aura thanks to a Philips 'Auto Mignon' vinyl player built into his cabin, although when he made it clear His passion for Formula 1 was when he bought the McLaren F1 racecar designed by Gordon Murray.
At the Earls Court Motor Show in 1964, the Beatles battery bought what was then the fastest four-seater car in the world: the Facel Vega Facel II, a racing car that reached 213 km / h thanks to Its Chrysler Typhoon turbine engineering.
Ringo, at that time, had just taken out his driving license and premiered the car accompanied by the usual driver of the group, Alf Bicknell, who remembered for the rest of his life (he died in 2004) that full-speed journey with the hyperexcited and famous rookie driver.
Ringo Starr also had his Mini © Getty Images
Arriving home, the car suffered a blowout and got out of the way, fortunately without major consequences, although it was the trigger for his groupmates to try to persuade him since then to sell the car. It currently belongs to Justin Banks, a company specializing in classic cars.
It was not the only scare that Ringo Starr had in a car. In 1980, his 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Coupé suffered an accident in Kingston Vale, when he was traveling with his girlfriend, actress Barbara Bach. He lost control of the vehicle, crashed into a curb and circled. Both were injured with small cuts and bruises. Some time later they ordered that the car be crushed forming a scrap bucket that they installed in their house.
How could it be otherwise, Ringo Starr also had its own custom Mini, a 1967 Mini Cooper Radford De Ville and its main peculiarity is that it was equipped with a trunk that had enough space to transport its battery. Of course, for preserving the Beatles' work, he deserved it well.
The four of Liverpool were seduced by cars © Cordon Press