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Ex John Lennon Mercedes 230SL for nearly half a million $

I’ve never been a fan of celebrity cars, with the exception of race cars. You spend gobs of money on them and then park them in a museum or they turn into a Jon Voight’s LeBaron situation.

John Lennon’s 1965 Mercedes 230SL










There seems to always be a John Lennon car for sale somewhere. A few year’s ago his Mercedes 600 Pullman didn’t sell when it reached £190,000 (at the time $273,600) at an auction where it had a £200,000 ($287,600) reserve, tell me if that situation doesn’t sound like some bidding shenanigans. It later appeared for sale with an ask of £320,000.

Now we have an arguably much more mundane Lennon car in this 1965 230SL pagoda that has an ask price of a quite ridiculous $465,000, down from $495,000. The price discrepancy is from varying sites listing the car, the dealership page still has the higher price. The dealer lists the odometer as reading 19,127.

I’m not going to speak about the marketplace for Beatle’s collectibles, but these W113 Benzs continue to rise in value. The Pagodas so called because of their distinctive hardtops are quality cars that garnered a high end clientele when new.

The 230SL was the smallest, in terms of engine options, of the W113 SL. The 2.3 liter inline six puts out 150 horsepower. Ideally you want to find one with the 5 speed manual, but this one was special ordered by John with an automatic.

These are fine cars and in good shape can be seen as investment grade vehicles, particularly the later 280SL. However at this price you could literally corner the market on good driver 230SLs or buy 10 very top tier Pagodas.

Knowing our typical reader on this site, I suspect most of you will turn up your nose at this one, but don’t take it out on the Merc. These were some very quality cars that make for fun drivers. They also aren’t very complicated to work on and are light on a lot of the gadgetry that came in later Benzs. They also are significantly lighter than the R107 SL that replaced them and turned the SL into more of a boulevard cruiser than a twisty road driving car. Just save your money and find a non-celebrity owned one. As with any convertible keep an eye out for water leakage. The Euro models look a lot better with their headlights to me, but eitherway these cars have a great, unmistakably German and Mercedes look.


John Lennon’s 1965 Mercedes 230SL


  1. Wes
    Wes September 24, 2012

    Smart sellers. The majority of Beatles fans are now in their 60s so we’re hitting the height of Beatles collectability. It’s just like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe collectibles a decade ago and it won’t last forever.

  2. Larry
    Larry September 24, 2012

    Agree with Wes. It’s about timing. However much this car is really worth (not $465K obviously), it won’t be worth nearly as much in 10 years. Sell it now while they can still get ridiculous money for it.

  3. Harrison
    Harrison September 24, 2012

    5 years ago before the economy took a shat this car could have been worth much more money. You’d have to be a fool on the hill not to try and move this car now.

  4. KevinR
    KevinR September 24, 2012

    First, the car. Probably one of the least desirable Pagoda roof configurations, but alleged to be an ultra-low mile survivor. If everything checks out, it’s a reasonably good buy at normal prices.

    Now, on to the seller. Just for grins, let’s say I have a half-million to waste on an automotive museum piece (I don’t). Then, let’s say I’m either a big Beatles fan (I’m not) or a big John Lennon fan (even less). And finally, let’s say there is a premium associated with celebrity ownership (there isn’t).

    Where is the supporting documentation? Only 10 pictures, and those aren’t very good. Got any pictures of Lennon actually sitting in THIS car? How about the rest of the car’s history? The car is 47 years old and Lennon died 32 years ago. What has happened to it between then and today? C’mon guys… you’re asking for 10x the going rate for one of these cars. How about putting forth a little bit of effort?

    Found this via Google search. Apparently you may be able to pick up his Mercedes wagon too…

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