When John Lennon wanted to buy his first car he only had to stroll as far as his garden gate to choose one.
It was headline news in February 1965 when the 25-year-old Beatle had passed his driving test.
He was also in the money, with Eight Days a Week topping the US charts, and Ticket to Ride about to conquer the hit parade on both sides of the Atlantic soon after.
Car dealers took note. When Lennon emerged from his home in Weybridge, Surrey, where he was living with his first wife, Cynthia, and toddler son Julian, he found the narrow road outside the security gates jammed with luxury cars – including Maseratis, Aston Martins, Jaguars.
After inspecting the pop-up car mart, he chose a righthand drive sky blue Ferrari coupé, with a blue interior, one of only 500 of the model built.
The car cost Lennon £6,500, and many owners later, is now about to be auctioned again, by Bonhams at Goodwood, estimated at up to £220,000. Lennon kept the car for almost three years, in which he covered more than 20,000 miles.
He was an enthusiastic but reputedly rather poor driver, and in 1969 crashed his more modest white Austin Maxi into a ditch, while on holiday in the Scottish highlands with Yoko Ono, her daughter and Julian. All except Julian were treated for cuts and bruises and Lennon needed 17 stitches.
By the time the present owner acquired it, the vehicle had been painted red and lost its original number plate. It has now been restored to its original colour scheme, and its DUL 4C registration.
Sholto Gilbertson, a cars specialist at Bonhams, said: “It is a wonderful commentary on the early excitement generated by Beatlemania that John Lennon didn’t even have to leave his house to buy his first car.”