John Lennon’s personal signed Rolls-Royce cigarette lighter
- A cigarette lighter from John Lennon’s celebrated white Rolls-Royce Phantom 5
- Signed handsomely by Lennon on the attached tag
- Gifted by Lennon to a mechanic friend in the late 1960s
A silver car lighter from John Lennon’s celebrated white Rolls-Royce (licence plate: EUC 100C). Signed handsomely by Lennon on the attached tag.
John Lennon gifted the lighter to a local mechanic friend. Lennon no longer required the lighter as coachbuilders Mulliner had exchanged it for a gold one during major renovations of the car for the Beatle in 1966/1967.
Lennon has handsomely signed the attached red tag, the reverse of which reads '(Mulliner) C54 699'. Mulliner were a firm of Rolls-Royce coachbuilders based in Chiswick, West London.
The lighter is sold with a letter of provenance from the original owner's daughter-in-law reading (in part): "My father in law was head mechanic at a garage in Ascot, Berkshire... this lighter was taken from a car that was being customised for John Lennon. He offered it to my father in law as they had formed an excellent relationship. To show its authenticity John Lennon signed the tag on the lighter".
An exquisitely made piece from Rolls-Royce, with real class and weight.
A unique item, connecting you to arguably the greatest songwriter of our times, and arguably music’s most well-connected car. John and Yoko used the car during their “Bed-In” honeymoon in Amsterdam and it appears in an April 1969 Beatles photo shoot.
In November 1966, John Lennon attended an art exhibition by Yoko Ono, which was themed in white.
Inspired by this, he became infatuated with Yoko and the colour white. Lennon wore a white suit on the cover of Abbey Road, and composed Imagine on a white piano. Lennon also gave his blessing to the band’s White Album.
Already having a Rolls-Royce Phantom V painted in psychedelic colours, Lennon decided he wanted one in white. He bought a 1965 Phantom V (painted two-toned black and dark green) with reg no. EUC 100C in late 1966. The car had previously been a rental vehicle and had appeared in the 1966 film Georgy Girl.
Lennon took his new purchase to coachbuilders Mulliner to have it repainted white, with all white carpeting and upholstery - much to Mulliner's dismay. Also adding a music system, TV and telephone.
Silver parts such as the cigar lighter were changed to gold to match the desired theme.
The car featured in the BBC documentary “24 hours: the World of John and Yoko” and a Yoko inspired art film “Apothiosis2”. View here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_9NdeIattY
In March 1969, the car was used by John and Yoko during their “Bed-In” honeymoon in Amsterdam. On its return to England, it was the backdrop for the Beatles' second last photo-shoot, on April 9 by the Thames.
Lennon gave this lighter to a mechanic friend who worked in a garage in Ascot, just 5 minutes' drive from Lennon’s then home at Tittenhurst Park.
Prior to relocating to the US in 1971, Lennon sold the car to the Beatles’ manager Alan Klein for £50,000. It appeared in the 1971 Klein-produced film “The Greek Tycoon” starring Anthony Quinn and Jacqueline Bisset.
Today the car has undergone a full restoration, funded by Alan Klein’s son, Jodie Klein. In 2016 the car appeared at Burleigh’s Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club Rally, achieving “best in class”. It remains in Jodie Klein’s private garage.
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