We reported the other day on the sale of Paul McCartney's 1964 Aston Martin but that's not the only recent Beatle car auction.
Also last week, a 1966 Mini Cooper formerly owned by Ringo Starr sold for £102,300
(US$ 137,241), reportedly to former Spice Girl Geri Horner.
Here are details on the car and pics from Bonhams auction house.
The Mini was the standout motoring icon of the 1960s, so it was only to
be expected that that era's defining popular music act – The Beatles –
would all own examples of Alec Issigonis' motoring masterpiece. But
while it is relatively easy to carry your guitar around in a Mini, a set
of drums is another matter entirely, and it is said that Ringo
stipulated that his must be able to accommodate a drum kit, making it
different from those purchased for the other members of the 'Fab Four'.
The solution to the lack-of-space/accessibility problem was a hatchback
conversion, which coachbuilder Harold Radford was offering as an option
on its up-market Mini de Ville GT, introduced in October 1965.
was not the only firm offering modified and upgraded Minis at this
time. Another was Hooper & Co, widely acknowledged as Britain's
finest coachbuilder until parent company BSA ended its body-building
activities at the end of 1959 and reconstituted it as Hooper (Motor
Services) Ltd, which acted as a sales and service company. Nevertheless,
Hooper seems to have 'kept its hand in' by modifying cars for a select
band of customers, including actor Peter Sellers who is known to have
commissioned a special Mini from them. 'LLO 836D' carries Radford and
Hooper badges, suggesting input from both companies.
Like all of The
Beatles' Minis, 'LLO 836D' was purchased new by band manager Brian
Epstein's company, to which it was first registered in May 1966. Its
registration number is in the same sequence as that of Paul McCartney's
Aston Martin DB6 ('LLO 840D'), which presumably was purchased at the
Registration passed to Richard Starkey (Ringo's actual name)
on 15th June 1967, and he kept the car until it was sold in December
1968. Nothing is known of its subsequent history until 1977, when the
ex-Starr Mini was purchased by the current owner's father.
the latter's ownership, 'LLO 836D' appeared on the BBC Television
programme '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. 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. In 1998, Ringo's Mini won the coveted
Cartier 'Style et Luxe' concours award at the Goodwood 'Festival of
Speed', and three years later – in 2001 – was featured in BBC TV's
flagship motoring show, 'Top Gear'.