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1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL RHD Ex-John Lennon

$299,900

Details

  • $299,900
  • Body Type: Convertible
  • Year Built: 1965
  • Engine Size: 2.3L
  • Trans: Automatic
  • Fuel Type: Gas
  • Ext color: Dark Blue
  • Int color: Gray
CHASSIS NO: 11304222010632  – Documentation includes a copy of the original UK registration bearing John Lennons iconic signature, photo of the car sitting in front of John Lennon’s Kenwood Home in Weybridge, UK, a photo of Cynthia Lennon with the car, photo of the car at Abbey Road Studios with Ringo in the foreground, and photo by Pattie Boyd (George Harrison’s wife) of George Harrison on a motorbike with the 230SL in be foreground, and other notable memorabilia, Specially ordered by John Lennon RHD with automatic transmission, Offered from long-term museum ownership in Florida, Confirmed matching numbers mechanicals per factory Data Card, Wonderful artifact of rock ‘n’ roll, cultural, and automotive history. 2,308 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine, 170 HP (SAE rating), Bosch mechanical fuel injection, four-speed automatic transmission, fully independent suspension with front wishbones and coil springs, and anti-sway bar, rear low-pivot swing axle, trailing arms, coil springs, and compensating spring, and hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes; wheelbase: 94.5. 

CONDITION

Launched at the prestigious March 1963 Geneva Auto Show, the new 230SL Roadster succeeded both the 300SL and 190SL lines, marking a new single-platform policy for Mercedes-Benz sports cars. Internally coded  W113  and of monocoque construction, the new SL featured chiselled bodylines penned by noted and prolific designer Paul Bracq. The new SL went on to become an unqualified postwar icon and, given the instantly iconic styling, upscale cachet, and inherent excellence of the 230SL, it is only natural that it would captivate a fast-rising musician/songwriter from Liverpool who was finally enjoying the fruits of virtually endless writing, touring, and recording. That young man was John Winston Lennon and this is his 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL.
A thrilling find for anyone even remotely interested in the British musical invasion of the Swinging Sixties and sporting automobiles, this 230SL was the choice of a man who by the mid-1960s could choose any automobile. While he grew up in Liverpool, a favorite target of the German Luftwaffe during WWII, and the horrors of wartime were still fresh, John Lennon also knew postwar Germany on a personal level, having gained immense experience playing to occupation soldiers and German civilians alike on three tours in Hamburg bars during the early 1960s. In fact, since Lennon, his band mates in The Beatles, and all their German friends spent their formative years in Hamburg, his choice of an upscale German car made sense.
Delivered new to England, of course in right-hand drive configuration, John Lennon’s 230SL was registered  GCP 196C  there and it was later exported to the United States and registered in California. It was also originally equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission, making this car one of the earlier vehicles from Mercedes-Benz to be so equipped. Handsome in blue over grey upholstery, this 230SL is now offered from long-term museum ownership and comes with documentation including a copy of the original UK registration bearing John Lennon’s iconic signature and other notable memorabilia.
As offered, the car has been expertly reviewed and it is confirmed to retain the engine, chassis plate, transmission, and rear differential numbers matching those of the factory Data Card and it is confirmed as having been delivered new in its medium blue exterior color with grey interior, a grey soft top, and factory hardtop. Copies from the original logbook documents list John Winston Lennon, M.B.E. as the vehicle’s owner. The M.B.E. was the Queen’s Honorary Award and it was presented to The Beatles at Buckingham Palace in 1965. The address of 23 Albermarle, London was the mailing address for The Beatles, prior to their relocation to Savile Row under their Apple Records label name. The Mercedes is believed to have been sold by Lennon to a private couple in the Newmarket area and then to Mr. Howard Wise. It would then find its way to Peter Jarvis, the noted car dealer in Kent, who spotted the vehicle in the current museum display some time ago and recalled selling it to a gentleman in Cocoa Beach, Florida in the mid-1980s. Subsequently, the SL was sold to one Mr. Barnett in California who would later offer the car with it being acquired in 1999 by the current Florida museum owner.
Carrying wonderful early provenance, remaining faithful to its original specifications, and offered from long-term museum care, the John Lennon 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Roadster is a thrilling find and a wonderful piece of automotive and cultural history. As such, it is one of the most interesting examples of quite likely one of the most collectible classic Mercedes-Benz models offered in recent memory.
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