Thursday, February 18, 2016

John Lennon's Rolls-Royce returns to the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, BC

John Lennon's Rolls-Royce at the Royal BC Museum in 2011.

John Lennon's "psychedelic" Rolls-Royce has returned to the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, BC. Conservators of the museum squeezed Lennon's massive 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Touring Limousine through the front doors of the museum into the main lobby. It will be parked on public display through April 28, 2016. 

The Beatles rode to Buckingham Palace in this Rolls-Royce to receive medals from the Queen in 1965. But back then, it sported its original color, matte black. 

Two years later, Lennon sent the Rolls to artist Steve Weaver, who designed custom paintwork in a Romany Gypsy style, with elements of the psychedelic era. The car was delivered to Lennon just before the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album was released. 

The paint that Weaver used was ordinary but very vulnerable latex house paint. The Royal BC Museum monitors the paint condition closely and has done conservation work on the paint over the years. 

BC entrepreneur and philanthropist Jim Pattison donated the vehicle to the Royal BC Museum in 1987 after its display at Expo '86 in Vancouver. Since then, it has been on display at various Royal BC Museum special events. It has also been exhibited across North American, most recently at exhibits in Montreal and in Vancouver at the 2015 PNE. The Rolls Royce was selected as one of the Royal BC Museum's 100 Objects of Interest in 2014 (click on to read more details about the Rolls). 

The Beatles arrive at Buckingham Palace in the 1965 Rolls-Royce. Photo courtesy Joe Johnson's Beatle Brunch Club.