The Roller

Dedicated to the 1965 Rolls Royce Phantom V psychedelic limousine of John Ono Lennon. The most unique piece of mobile art ever created - singular, solitary - an icon of the Swingin' Sixties!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The John Lennon 'Roller' - first look!

A French television spot about John's newly painted 'Roller'.

John Lennon Rolls Royce @ Yahoo! Video">

The John Lennon Psychedelic Rolls Royce

The site depicts the 1965 Rolls Royce Phantom V Limousine
ordered by John Lennon in 1965 and was delivered to him on June 3, 1965 painted "Valentine's Black". Rolls Royce Ltd. even issued a guarantee to Lennon that his car met his specifications of a nineteen foot wheelbase and a weight of three tons.

In 1966 while Lennon was filming "How I Won the War" in Spain, the entire carwas reportedly painted matte black, chrome and all. In April of 1967, while recording "SergeantPepper", Lennon was inspired to have the car repainted tomirror a gypsy caravan he had purchased for his gardens. After consulting with J.P. Fallon Ltd, a team of gypsy artisans, the Fool, was recruited to repaint the car
canary yellow with a psychedelic pattern of scrolls and

John's newly painted psychedelic car drew some public out-
rage when a old woman,in London's downtown, attacked the
car using her umbrella and yelling: "You swine, you swine!
How dare you do this to a Rolls-Royce." Obviously, the
Rolls Royce is passionately regarded in England as one
of the many symbols of British dignity!

"The Beatles" used the car exclusively in their heyday from
1966-1969. In 1970,John and Yoko had the Rolls shipped to
the U.S. where it was loaned out toseveral other rock stars,
Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and The Moody Blues among them.
When it was not on loan, Lennon rarely used the car and con-
sidered selling it to an American buyer, but the deal never

In 1977, the Lennon’s were having issues with the IRS and the
car was donated to the Smithsonian Institute for a tax credit
of $255,000 USD. From 1978 - 1979 the car was on display at
the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City, howeverthe museum
could not afford the insurance coverage for full time display,
and the car once again was withdrawn from public viewings.

On June 29, 1985 the Cooper-Hewitt Museum decided to auction
the car throughSotheby's. The estimated selling price was
between $200,00 - $300,000 USD. Whenthe car was sold, the
figure was an astounding $2,299,000 USD from Jim Pattison
of Ripley International Inc. and curator of the Ripley's
Believe it or Not Museum in South Carolina. This purchase
won the car the listing in Guinness ofthe most expensive
car in the world at that time.

In 1987 Jim Pattison donated the car as a gift to Her Majesty
in Right of the Province of British Columbia and displayed in
the Transportation Museum of British Columbia at Cloverdale.

Then, in 1993, the car was transferred from the Transportation
Museum and sent to the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria,
British Columbia. Here the car would be kept for secure storage,
displayed only for fund-raising and occasional use. The car was
serviced and maintained by Bristol Motors of Victoria.

From 9 March 1996 to 15 September 1996, John Lennon's Rolls-Royce
Phantom V was displayed at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa, with as passenger a sculpture of John by Joanne Sullivan.

J.P.Fallon - the painters

The Lennon Rolls-Royce, freshing painted leaves the garage at J.P. Fallon.

....and the owner seems quite pleased with it all!