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Ringo Starr’s converted Mini Cooper to sell at Bonhams


A Mini Cooper owned by Ringo Starr is heading to auction at Bonhams in December.
The unique 1966 Mini Cooper ‘S’ Radford Conversion is expected to sell for £90,000 – £120,000 ($120,000 – $160,000).

All four Beatles owned Minis, many of which were acquired for them by manager Brian Epstein through his friend Terry Doran.

Doran owned a car dealership in Hounslow called Brydor Cars, and appears in a Beatles song as the “man from the motor trade” mentioned in ‘She’s Leaving Home’.

These basic Mini Coopers were then sent off to the coachbuilders Radford for luxury modifications.

Harold Radford ran the coachbuilding company in Hammersmith, London, which was known primarily for its Bentleys and Rolls Royce conversions.

Ringo's Mini was converted to fit his drum-kit in the trunk
However, in the midst of the swinging 1960s the Mini suddenly became a style icon, and everyone from rock stars to royalty was seen driving them around London.

John Lennon’s Radford Mini Cooper De Ville came with tinted windows, and all-black wheels, bumpers and seats; Paul McCartney’s included several components from an Aston Martin; and George Harrison’s included a full-length sunroof, Volkswagen taillights, hood-mounted rally fog lamps, and a custom paint-job featuring images from the book ‘Tantra Art: Its Philosophy and Physics’.

Ringo Starr’s Radford Mini – the car offered at Bonhams – was fitted with a host of additional features, such as electric tinted windows, racing seats, twin petrol tanks, sunroof, a walnut dashboard and alloy wheels.

But Starr’s main request was that he needed a car that would accommodate his drum-kit – so Radford fitted a folding rear seat and a tailgate, making it one of the earliest three door hatchbacks.

Starr is believed to have owned the car for around two years, and it has remained in the same family ownership for the past four decades.

It will now go up for sale in London as part of the Bond Street sale on December 2.


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