By Ronan Glon
Sunday, Jul 14th, 2013 @ 7:05 am
 
A right-hand drive 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Coupé purchased new by John Lennon was auctioned off by Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The V12-powered four-seater was sold to an unidentified buyer for £359,900 (roughly $543,000), shattering Bonhams' estimate of anywhere between £180,000 and £220,000 (about $276,000 and $337,000).

The 330GT occupies a special spot in Lennon's life because it was the first car he purchased after obtaining his driver's license in February of 1965. Lennon didn't have to leave his house to purchase the car as dealers representing luxury automakers such as Maserati, Aston Martin and Ferrari lined up on his street in an effort to secure a high-profile client.

Acquired for the princely sum of £6,500, which represents about $168,000 today, the Azzuro blue Ferrari served as Lennon's daily driver until he sold it with about 20,000 miles in October of 1967.

What happened to the car over the course of the following two decades is an enigma but it was painted red and wound up at the Modena Ferrari dealership in the late 1980s. It was purchased by the previous owner who had it fully restored to its original blue-on-blue configuration and reunited it with its 1965-issue DUL 4C registration number.

Other highlights from the Bonhams auction included a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R driven to victory in several Grand Prix events by famed pilot Juan Manuel Fangio. The car traded hands for $29.6 million including buyer's premium, an astronomical sum that makes the W196R the most valuable car ever sold at an auction.