Ringo Starr's Facel Vega II up for auction

October 7, 2013 12:00 AM

True Beatles fans are eager to get their hands on any piece of memorabilia related to the legendary rock group. Now, they'll have the chance to own an item that's a lot more personal that an autographed album or concert T-shirt: a car. Ringo Starr put his Facel Vega II up for sale at Bonhams on New Bond Street in London. Starr purchased the French car at the 1964 Earl's Court Motor Show for $8,915 at the height of the band's success and owned it for four years. At the time, that was quite a hefty price? tag for an automobile, but only 182 models of the "world's fastest four-seater" were produced. Despite being in visually good condition, a car this old will likely still need a tune up.

Unparalleled distinction
After the Beatle bought the automobile, it was shipped to his home in Weybridge Surrey. The Facel II was marketed specifically toward those with a big budget that were looking for a rare breed of luxury car. In fact, according to The Telegraph, Pablo Picasso and Frank Sinatra are just two of the celebrities that drove this vehicle. The Facel II boasted not just style, but also impressive performance. Some of the most notable racing icons, like Rob Walker, Maurice Trintignant and Sir Stirling Moss, drove the Facel II. These cars featured an enormous Chrysler Typhoon V8 engine with 390 horsepower, a manual gearbox and sleek bodywork by Jean Daninos. According to AutoBlog, this car originally hit the road in 1961, but disappeared by 1964 when the maker went bankrupt. 

"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," said Sholto Gilbertson, a director in Bonhams Collectors Car department. "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."

The automobile was made to cruise. AutoBlog compared this model's power  to the Bentley Continental GT Speed, noting that it's capable of hitting 150 miles per hour. It's already a unique breed, but Starr's is especially extraordinary. It is one of 26 right-hand-drive Facel II coupes, and one of just two that have a 6.7-liter engine instead of the traditional 6.3-liter motor. 

It will be for sale starting Dec. 1, and is predicted to sell for approximately $484,770 to $565,565.

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