Money Can’t Buy you Love – But it Can Buy You Ringo’s Starr’s 1964 Facel Vega, Spark Plugs and All
Still reeling from missing your chance to drive home John Lennon’s blue 1965 Ferrari 330GT when it was auctioned off back in July? Well, don’t fret. All you need is love. And one more chance at a sleek, vintage Beatles ride. Lucky you!
If you’ve got an extra half-million or so to throw down, pack up and get ready to ship out to New Bond Street, London, where Bonhams will place bandmate Ringo Starr’s 1964 Facel Vega Facel II on the block on Sunday, December 1. The former Beatles drummer bought the sleek red ride straight from the stand at Earls Court Motor Show in 1964 and drove it for four years. Built by the short-lived French firm Facel, the Vega debuted priced in Rolls-Royce territory and was not only luxurious – it was crazy fast, with standard models boasting 6.3-liter Chrysler Typhoon V8 engines that turned out up to 390 horsepower and topped out at 150 miles per hour.
Of course, Starr’s Vega Facel II was a bit more souped up than the standard. It was the last of only 26 Right Hand Drive Facel II’s produced and one of just two built with the larger 6.7-liter engines and a manual gearbox. Models cost about £5,570 ($8,887) – a huge sum for a car at the time – and is expected to fetch upwards of $500,000 or more at auction. Other elite buyers included entertainers Tony Curtis, Danny Kaye, Joan Fontaine and Ava Gardner, along with racing greats Sir Stirling Moss, Maurice Trintignant and Rob Walker.
Says Sholto Gilbertson, a director in Bonhams Collectors Car department: “This car has to be one of the rarest and most collectable modern classic cars given its almost unique engineering and its place as part of pop music history. As Ringo drove this car he would have listened on the car radio to the Beatles total domination of the pop charts. The sale of this car represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for anyone who loves cars and the Beatles.”
After all, money can’t buy you love. But a whole lot of it can buy you a sweet vintage Beatles ride.