A classic Ferrari which was the first car owned by John Lennon is expected to fetch more than £200,000 at auction.
The Beatles icon passed his driving test in February 1965 at the age of 24 – the same month ‘Ticket to Ride’ stormed to number one.
Within hours of the news, car dealers offered Lennon the ultimate in VIP treatment by rolling up to his Weybridge home in a number Maseratis, Aston Martins and Jaguars.
Lennon went out to have a look at the temporary sports car forecourt which had appeared outside and opted for this 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Coupé.
The superstar paid £6,500 for the Azzuro blue Italian sports car, which is the equivalent of around £110,000 in today’s money.
Lennon drove more than 20,000 miles in the Ferrari, which he held onto until 1967.
The car was later painted red but its current owner, who bought it in the 1980s, had it restored to its original specification and bought back the ‘DUL 4C’ registration plate.
It will now be sold by Bonhams at the auction house’s Goodwood Festival of Speed sale on July 12.
The Ferrari has an estimate of between £180,000 and £220,000 but with Beatles memorabilia and classic Ferraris hugely sought after, bidding could go through the roof.
Tim Schofield, head of motoring at Bonhams, described the Ferrari as a “great opportunity”.
He said: “To have John Lennon’s first car which is in super condition with all its original features is fantastic.
“It is a great opportunity for a Ferrari or Beatles collector or a classic car enthusiast.”
The Ferrari is powered by a 4-litre V12 engine which gave it a 0-60mph time of 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 152mph.
This particular model is one of just 500 built by Ferrari and is offered with an extensive history file documenting its provenance, restoration and also includes correspondence with Lennon.
Sholto Gilbertson, a classic car specialist at Bonhams, added: “It is a wonderful commentary on the early excitement generated by ‘Beatlemania’ that John Lennon didn’t even have to leave his house to buy his first car.
“We are delighted to be offering a car associated with such an icon of contemporary popular culture at the first of our Goodwood series of auctions in 2013.
“Already our Festival of Speed Sale is shaping up to potentially eclipse last year’s record-breaking total.”
An Aston Martin DB5 owned by Sir Paul McCartney sold at auction last year for £344,000.