The very first or last of any vehicle run will always garner some attention by hardcore collectors. But what if you had a vehicle that was both the first to be sold in a particular market and owned by a major celebrity. Well, this 1979 is not only the first 300TD estate to be sold in the US, but it was also known to be owned by John Lennon. We’ve seen W123 estates command strong money, but will this particular one bring a big premium given the provenance?
Engine: 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-5 diesel
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 13,000 mi
Price: Reserve auction
John Lennon’s 1979 Diesel Mercedes Benz Station Wagon. Custom designed for John and Yoko. Property of John Lennon at the time of his death. First Mercedes Benz Diesel wagon to be delivered in North America according to Mercedes Benz.
Mercedes Benz 300TD Turbo diesel station wagon has been authenticated by Mercedes Benz. Additional authentication by New York State records of automobile registrations via the VIN number 12319012003809. Originally shipped to the Apple offices 1 West 72nd Street in New York City. The Mercedes was mentioned numerous times in the book “The Last Days of John Lennon.” The memoir was written by Fredric Seaman, John Lennon’s personal assistant at the time of his death.
This Mercedes featured in a television special of ‘Lost and Found’, Episode 53 on December 18, 2000 on The History Channel. John Lennon used the wagon as his personal transportation as well as to transport his guitars and equipment to recording studios such as The Hit Factory and the Record Plant. The car is in excellent condition. The pale pea green original color was professionally repainted to a golden beige, the rims have also been upgraded.
The odometer was stopped at 13,000 when it was put on display at the Legends Museum in Nashville. The car remained on display until 1997 when it was transported to a classic car museum in Toronto, Canada. It is currently in Sarasota, Florida at the Classic Car Museum, where it has been exhibited since 2005.
On Sep-09-13 at 13:28:50 PDT, seller added the following information:
We verified with the Classic Car Museum that the vehicle has been properly maintained and is in good working order.
As we’ve seen with the last few W123 estates we’ve featured, they are typically ranging in the $10,000 to $15,000 range, for a clean one with 150,000 miles or under. Such is the respect these cars get for their durability and engineering crafted into them. The seller of this famous W123 has put the starting bid at $50,000. Ex-Lennon car or not, that is pipe dreaming. Also, if you are going to place an ad for such a significant car on eBay, a greater variety of pictures would certainly help market it to potential bidders.
I’d suspect at most this car might pull somewhere in the $20,000 to $30,000 range to the right collector, but even that figure seems reaching. It will be interesting to see whether someone bites at $50,000 at the last minute, as even at that level, the reserve isn’t met.