John Lennon Rolls Royce Phantom V 1964 MPW from Paragon Models

Posted by Srinivas Mothey on

John Lennon Rolls Royce Phantom V

John Lennon, as quoted by him in his official biography “…always wanted to be an eccentric millionaire.” And his custom painted Rolls Royce from Paragon Models is one great example of the eclectic style statements he, and the Beatles, set in the 1960s. The brand new 19-foot, three ton Phantom V delivered to him in 1965, FJB 111C, was to undergo a magical, and controversial (to die-hard Rolls Royce fans of the day) transformation after the Fab Four admired the circus decorations and gypsy caravans at a fairground they had driven to. Les Anthony, Lennon’s chauffeur, recalls Ringo Starr opining that the Rolls would look “cool” painted the same way. Lennon thought it was a great idea. And the Rolls, from its original Valentines Black limousine paintwork, became the iconic “Yellow Submarine”.

Paragon Models Rolls Royce John Lennon

This die-cast metal 1:18 scale model from Paragon Models is one of the most accurate replicas of the original car.

  • Opening doors, hood and truck
  • Comes with a certificate of Authenticity
  • Comes with a door opener, mirrors and spirt of escatasy packed separately within the package.
  • Highly precision model
  • Opening hood, trunk, and doors.
  • The interior is extremely detailed featuring realistic gauges, accurate paint on the switches, properly molded seats and carpeted interior
  • The exterior features many details including rubber tires, front wheels that turn with the steering wheel, accurate badges and logos, and realistic looking headlights, and tail lights.

John Lennon Rolls Royce

With the enormous wheelbase of 3,683 mm (145 inches) and a particularly rigid and strong chassis the Phantom V was perfectly suited to the coach builders' art. Rolls-Royce purchased Park Ward before WWII and later bought H.J. Mulliner in 1959, amalgamating them into Mulliner Park Ward in 1962. The independent coach builder James Young maintained themselves with 195 bodies based on elegant designs by A.F.McNeill.

This earned it a place in ceremonial occasions for heads of state. It was the official state car of Queen Elizabeth II, whilst another car saw service for the Governor of Hong Kong until the 1997 handover. Norway saw the Phantom V used as a state car for king Olav, whilst the Shah of Iran and Yugoslav president Tito privately owned a Phantom V. Most of these cars still survive  either in Museums or with private owners, including Elton John and the John Lennon.

Rolls Royce Phantom V 1964

On June 3, 1965, the Phantom V was delivered to John Lennon in its original "Valentine's Black" paintwork bearing the plate FJB111C. Measuring over 5.5m long and weighing three tons, it brought the Beatles to Buckingham Palace to receive their MBEs. To much controversy at the time. John Lennon then repainted the car in the style of his ""Gypsy Wagon" caravan, using the artwork from artist Steve Weaver's pattern of scroll and flowers. He entrusted J.P Fallon Limited coach works to transform his Rolls Royce.

In 1970, Lennon Rolls Royce was transported to the USA. There it spent time with  numerous other musical acts but seldom with Lennon himself. The Beatle found himself in trouble with the IRS, so in 1977 he agreed to donate the limousine to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for a $225,000 tax credit. The car was auctioned in 1985 through Sotheby's expecting to fetch a similar sum it was sold for a surprising $2299,000 to Canadian Jim Pattison for exhibition in his "Ripley's Believe It Or Not!" museum. The Sotheby's auction resulted in the car being listed as the most expensive car in the world.
Ownership was transferred from Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. in Canada presented in 1987 car as a gift to Her Majesty in Right of the Province of British Columbia and displayed in the Transportation Museum of British Columbia. The car was again transferred in 1993 to the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, B.C where the car would be stored, and displayed only during distinguished occasions.
Of all the various landaulette, limousine and touring limousine bodies to be built on the Phantom Vchassis, the Mulliner Park Ward 1964 design 2003 presented within this products box best captures the essence of this model. It is essentially the same as the MPW design 980 with a modified boot, a design which with minor modification was used right to the end of Phantom VI production in the early 1990's.



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