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John Lennon's Rolls-Royce will help usher in Phantom VIII

It's a little slice of history, with a hell of a paint job to boot.

Rolls-Royce announced in June that it would roll out several historically significant Phantoms to help usher in the eighth-generation of the automaker's flagship ultra-luxe sedan. This week, it's all about John Lennon's wild Phantom V.

Lennon took possession of his Valentine Black Phantom V on June 3, 1965 -- the same day the first American walked in space. He customized it in some wild ways, replacing the rear seat with a double bed and adding a television and refrigerator. There's even a record player and a bespoke sound system.

I can't imagine it's exactly legal to replace seats with beds in the 21st century.


At that point, it was still black. But in 1967, Lennon approached JP Fallon, a coachbuilder from Surrey, about a new paint job. Days before "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was released, the Phantom appeared with a psychedelic paint job that's only rivaled by Janis Joplin's Porsche 356. It's about as flower power as a car can be.

Lennon brought the Phantom V with him to the US when he moved there in 1970. He loaned it out for other famous acts to use, including Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. It hung around in storage for a while, and in 1977, it was finally donated to the Royal British Columbia Museum in Canada.

We don't know much yet about the eighth-generation Phantom. It will debut later this month, and like every Phantom before it, it's bound to represent the absolute pinnacle of luxury -- with a price tag to match. Expect to see things that you might not think were possible in a luxury vehicle, or at least things you've never seen before. It'll be a good one, no doubt.