Thursday, 11 April 2013

Where is John Lennon's Mini?

Coachbuilt Minis of 1960s celebrities have a strange habit to seemingly disappear. Remember Enzo Ferrari's Mini Cooper, converted by an unknown coachbuilder? Or The Monkees Mike Nesmith's cool Radford? Or how about Mick Jagger's '67 Wood & Pickett? Footballer George Best's white Radford? Comedian Laurence Harvey's W&P? Anyone? Well, and then there's John Lennon's Mini, a black 1965 Austin Cooper 'S' equiped with black bumpers, wheels and pitch dark tinted windows by Harold Radford coachbuilders, too. It was registered LGF 696D not earlier then February 1966. Perhaps because Lennon was on tour in the USA for much of '65? Or because he wasn't a keen driver who only just had his driver's licence?

Anyway: after I wrote about it a few weeks ago (click here) I received a message from an anonymous reader. He wrote: "Hi. I've been into coachbuilt Minis for over 35 years and have followed up stories about this special breed of cars for years. As far as Lennon's Mini goes, when he moved to the USA he gave it to his then-butler, who in turn travelled the UK on his narrow boat and the car was carried around on this. But due to this it didnt last long thanks to rust, and it was scrapped. That's one story I heard. Then about 20 years ago I answered an ad about a half restored Radford Mini for sale in Holmfirth. The guy wanted 4,500 pounds for it. Once I was interested he told me if I gave him the asking price, he had the registration documents and logbook for Lennon's car. After that I never heard from him again." Strangely, the DVLA database says that LGF 696D is still on the road. Now who ever said something about Lennon's death and conspiracy theories..? The pictures below are screen grabs from 1966 footage that can be seen here.

UPDATE 7 April 2021: The car is shortly seen in 1968 film footage made by John and Yoko themselves when it was repainted green/cream. What's more: it was a hatchback! Click here


A black Radford Mini arrives in London. Pitch dark windows give no hint to who's inside
Picture courtesy imcdb.com

The car, registered in February 1966, is of 1965 vintage - the year Lennon got his driver's licence
Picture courtesy imcdb.com

It's him! Lennon steps out of chauffeur driven car. Where is his Radford Mini de Ville now?
Picture courtesy imcdb.com

26 comments:

  1. Hi Jeroen,

    not that it helps much, but here is a link =

    http://www.minispace.co.uk/beatles/john/index.htm

    Jens Christian / Denmark

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  2. Hi again, posted a question on FB regarding this Min, apparently it lives in Dublin now, and has been seen at some local car show, and so has the Mike Nesmith Raddie. I hope the guy will get some piccies from the friend who claim to have seen them.


    Jens Christian / Denmark

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    Replies
    1. Hi again, the Nesmith Min lives in UK, and not Dublin.

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    2. Oh no it doesn't ! ;- )

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  3. I it was for sale many years ago in motor sport for a what would be now silly price l nearly bought it damn ! advertised with his name on the log book double damn !! worth bit now I guess I wold have kept it !!!

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  4. The black radford was given to jo jo johns, Lennons assistant when he was at titenhurst park, the car was destroyed in an accident by her partner Jeremy sumner, so it looks like the mini ceased to exist a long time ago.

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  5. I believe I came across the car in Norfolk in 2005. I purchased a 1330 A Series engine from a seller via eBay and when I went to collect it, was taken round to a yard containing a number of Minis in various states of disrepair. The seller raced Minis and had one particular car under a tarpaulin separate from the other cars.

    He allowed me to pull back the tarp and have a good look, as well as taking a numver of photos. The car has changed colour several times throughout its life, but was fairly solid still although could have done with a light restoration. It was a burgandy colour, with square headlights, heavily tinted windows, quarterlights and although partly disassembled, the plushest interior I have ever seen in a Mini. I think it had filled in rear side windows too with pram rails running diagonally, but I would have to dig out the snaps to be certain.

    The doors were off the car, but the n/s window was cracked. The seller told me that Yoko broke it in a fit of rage when she found out about Johns affair. The seller said he wanted to preserve it as it was because of the history and how the damage occurred.

    This was eight years ago and I don't remember the sellers username (just looked through my history but nothing jumped out at me), so it might still be in Norfolk, or who knows where!

    I'll have to dig those snaps out . . . . . . timmytronic@hotmail.com

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  6. Lennon's car had the same Aston rear light clusters as Macca's, so that should be a giveaway !

    Pete

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  7. All these reply's can be taken with a pinch of salt until the 'photos arrive'... Timini You are explaining a Wood and Pickett Margrave ...not a Radford and as can be seen it the film stills there are no Pram bars or small windows on Lennon's black Radford ;) .... I have heard all sorts over the years ... one chap even told me he had the remains of Brit Eckland's WP .... and then never heard anything from him again :/ Richard (Dikki) Nener

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  8. Pete , Do you any pics to back that up ?

    Dikki

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  9. Yes indeed I do ! :-) And in fact if you look carefully enough at the well known footage of Lennon arriving at Abbey Rd in his car you can just make out the hideous Aston rear lamp cluster.

    Pete

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  10. The video mentioned above is on the Beatles Anthology DVD "mini-series" (pardon the pun, I couldn't resist). The video has John pulling up to the Abbey Road recording studio and immediately being accosted by probably the first recorded paparazzi ambush. If you haven't seen the Anthology series, you can pick it up fairly cheap on eBay or Amazon.

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  11. the mini exists i saw it yesterday its been modified yes its red with a soft top! the reg is right but without checking the vin !

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    Replies
    1. I've heard rumours of its survival ever since I heard of the car in the first place. But no one has ever been able to show any evidence, though. It would be great if you could!

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  12. so much bollocks about the car. if you dont know it make it up. and the mini cooper people an make things up.
    it lives in norfolk with me. jeremy sumner sent away for registration document in year 2000 and it was given to him. i had been advised this document could be for sale..but i already owned the car. so i got the dvla and police involved. they verified my vehicle.. went to see thee thief sumner who had advised the shell had been stolen but they left all the other bits. ffs. so dvla took the illegal document off him..it also had a digit mising on the vin. my car has the correct number. the dvla has so far advised i can have the title but not the registration due to the fraudster jerermy sumner. so this is still onjoing.. i also have a copy of the brydor sales ledger with all beatles cars and more.i sell the information for £39 online. its amazing info.
    the lennon mini was smashed very early on.was repaired 67-68 and painted rolls royce regal red..it still is..it was never black when new..only when it came back from coachbuilder was it black..it started another colour. mine is theat colour under current two colours.
    where is the photos or documents of mini on a canal boat or owned by jerermy sumner..NONE..its all bollocks folklore made up by mini cooper register people. i own the car. its here in my container.

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  13. i have the evidence. it lives in norfolk

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    Replies
    1. It's good to hear from you. A picture would do wonders. Could you please contact me on jeroen at jeroenbooij.com ?

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  14. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303287960567

    brydor sales ledger for all early beatles vehicle purchase. soooo many famous names .times prices..bought and sold. this is the holy grail. only £39 ukp

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  15. brydor sales ledger info for sale on ebay or me..the whole 9 yards...the full monty..so no lies or made up mini cooper register coachbuilt stuff like normal..nothing...facts..sales@v1twn.com will purchase all the pages..if you have a beatles car and its not on there...its not a beatles car. marvellous when one can type truth and not bollocks from a bloke pissed in a pub..

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  16. brydor sales ledger info for sale on ebay or me..the whole 9 yards...the full monty..so no lies or made up mini cooper register coachbuilt stuff like normal..nothing...facts..sales@v1twn.com will purchase all the pages..if you have a beatles car and its not on there...its not a beatles car. marvellous when one can type truth and not bollocks from a bloke pissed in a pub..

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  17. you think i am a norfolk numpty...i am now. however was brought in in wondsor great park.nex to titeness park..owned by ringo by then..pira autos did all the estate vehicles..i even had a saturday job there..petrol pump and cleaning..i loved it..the lennon mini NEVER EVER went to titeness park...by that time lennon was a heroin addict and born again chinky person..he never saw the car again after it was badly damaged. thats why...no more photo of him in it later on..just the few you have seen..i do have several of it in the garage next to the colourful phantom..so that can be dated too...but i will confirm..its never ever went to ascot..interestingly...i had an email from a bloke who purchased what i believe is the spare keys to the car..i do not dispute the keys however as they contain door security keys which my car had extra locks to stop entry..and another offering me correct number plates..which where nice..new correct ones...but all these people hide behind computers..the crazy thing is i know who they are ffs..

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  18. His assistant had the car in the mid 70s, she sold the keys and some other Lennon stuff at auction a few years ago, car was smashed and stolen apparently.

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  19. the truth and all the truth will come out soon..i am now 63 years of age and clearing lots of things. AND GOING TO GIVE THE LENNON CAR FUNDS TO A DONATION TO STRAWBERRY FIELD IN LIVERPOOL..AND A DONATION TO ANOTHER CHARITY..I AM NOT TAKING A PENNY...it is my legacy.
    and all the mini experts and knockers, with personal greed in mind..make comments on the current owner who dislikes owners clubs and owners club people..whose only credibility is a yearly subscription to an entity.
    when i have the time i must do this. the registration certificate was sent for by another person , called jeremy sumner who was going to make a replica..the registration document they gave him was 16 digit..because its all he could read off my car.,,as as you know..my car and your car if uk manufactured carries 17 digit. i have that digit on my car. and i have the only heritage certificate for this car. .stating both the lennon car and the harrison car where purchased the same day and they took a year to produce before registration. so they are a 1965 tweed grey cooper S and went straight to coachbuilder and registered in 1966..they are not 1996 motor cars. lennons car was ordered black from coachbuilders..it was in fact tweed grey when new.. my car has been painted tweed grey from factory..and tweed grey is still under the dash and several areas. you cannot re-produce this..not even mini cooper register people..and then it was painted black..my car has black over the tweed grey. and very early on it was smashed..the car was repaired to the latest designs and not simply pulled and fixed..it was fully repaired and built as it is now. all things are dated..like the sterio-amplifier..rear jaguar lights..and the interior still has the quality control stamps and body build number from the coach builder.
    by 1968 the owner john lennon was a heroin addict and had met yoko ono..moving to tittnes park sunginghill (now owned by the then ceo if the first big bank fraud to rock our world BCCI,,,he was 24 yrs old at the time) which was purchased to house all the beatles but yoko was not liked..the cars at titness park where all looked after by PIRA AUTOS..round the back of the estate..a customer of mine. .name on file and still alive had worked in london and titness at the time and i can confirm..the mini never ever went to titness..in fact it was never collected by its owner after damage rebuild. even now the new dash and speedo updated after the smash still has less than 1000 miles on since 1967-68. and i have done most of that.
    reported jeremy sumner to the DVLA many years ago and i was asked to produce my car in norwich sva centre for inspection. all good..after knocking on my sumners doors...oh no...he advised...and i have this on a letter copy to dvla..in file..the bodyshell has been stolen but they left all the parts in the garage.. i leave the rest to you..

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  20. PART TWO...THREAD WAS TOO LONG.
    i learnt a few years ago someone selling the spare keys to my car..i was late to purchase..i still would like them as i have the special door security locks still with my car..but they sold on ebay..with a very interesting story..from a blokes girlfriend who worked at apple and she had these keys for over 50 years..amazing..as she died in Switzerland very early on in her life..of course..she was a girlfriend of one jeremy sumner..who is on this site and replies to this thread often using like many a hidden internet name..not me..i am mark nolan , never hidden..and really dont need to make stories up if my intention is to give this mini away without ANY financial incliment to myself or my family what-so-ever...simply a legacy to help others..it could have been a very similar story to myself growing up in liverpool but i had lovely family. my father..his dad had cought something fighting in india..went to strawberry field school run by the nuns for poor catholic children in liverpool..and all nolan male are left handed and he was beaten to use his right hand..(catholics think satan is left handed or something) after two years he left..i guess to start work at 13-14 to bring money in..
    you cannot imagine these days the only breadwinner being 14 yrs old..
    and strawberry field today still looks after lads who have issues..and selling my mini at some point will help..and the white feather foundation run by julian lennon digs fresh water in africa for humans without. so knock me now you experts.. it will be on you tube eventually when i have the energy to fight DVLA.. oh my car confirmed all good by DVLA inspection..jeremy sumner not actually having a motor car was different story..and DVLA advised because fraud had taken place..i could be issued with a date plate..but i am not having this..so i will fight again..and probably sell the mini at auction in new york..lennon was a new yorker..not a scouse anymore. seems more fitting..

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  21. Please ignore the ramblings of the madman on this thread claiming to own the Lennon car. Totally deluded. His car is a 66 shell and has no hatchback conversion. He has literally NO evidence to connect it to any Beatle. Lennon’s car was written off in the 70s. FACT. The current logbook was applied for by deception and should be cancelled.

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