As Rolls-Royce gears up for the debut of the next-generation Phantom, it continues to roll out some of the most iconic and historically important Phantoms to ever wear the Spirit of Ecstasy. We’ve seen Fred Astaire’s Roller, delved into Field Marshal Montgomery’s ’36 Phantom III, and now, Rolls prepares to display a music icon’s ’64 Phantom V at the “Eight Great Phantom” display.
Quick – regardless of year or model, picture a Rolls-Royce in your mind. What color is it? We’d be willing to bet that long, stately Roller you imagined is done up in some shade of black, brown, silver, white, or blue, if you’re feeling adventurous. We’re not surprised, considering that was the de facto palette of Rolls for most of the 20th century. John Lennon apparently never got this memo, as he had his 1964 Phantom V slathered in thick psychedelic paint that was impossible to miss.
According to the Royal B.C. Museum, the current caretaker, the car was wore a traditional shade of black when it was delivered to Lennon in 1965. The car was used to shuttle The Beatles around the country, eventually becoming damaged when it was shipped to Spain when Lennon was there for a movie.
After repair was complete, Lennon commissioned local artist Steve Weaver to paint the car with the wild hippie-dippie gypsy scheme that it remains today. Inside, the limo was outfitted with a double bed in place of rear seats, a television, custom sound system, and refrigerator. When Lennon and Yoko moved to the U.S., the car continued to be used as a runabout for other stars, including the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.
Now, the car will worm its way back into the public eye when it goes on display with seven other historical Phantoms in the coming months.