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Rolling Stones’ Bentley sells for £750,000 at Bonhams' Revival auction

Published 14 September 2015

Following its five-year restoration, the ex-Keith Richards’ S3 Continental Flying Spur known as Blue Lena was snapped up for £160,000 more than anticipated, finally being hammered away for £750,000

Bonhams offered more than 80 classic cars at the 2015 Goodwood Revival auction, many of them with famous connections. One car with a truly glamorous past was Blue Lena, the Bentley S3 Continental Flying Spur that was famously driven on a road trip to Marrakech by Rolling Stone Keith Richards in 1965.

Richards bought the Bentley, which was one of a limited edition of 87, from HR Owen in London in 1965. He nicknamed the car Blue Lena after the legendary jazz musician Lena Horne. It was apparently later modified at his request to have a secret compartment fitted where he and the band could hide their drugs.

Among other hedonistic road trips, Blue Lena is the car that was driven to Marrakech by Richards and Anita Pallenberg in 1967 prior to Richards’ court appearance for possession of drugs. The journey was the start of the pair’s 23-year relationship.

James Knight, Bonhams Group motoring director, said: ‘Richards sold Blue Lena in 1978, and it has since changed hands just three times.’

Following a five-year restoration, Blue Lena was sold for £763,100 at the Revival sale.

Other high achievers at the annual September sale included a highly original early Jaguar E-type that had been stored in Australia for 30 years and was showing 66,000 miles on its odometer. The restoration project sold for £96,700 – £36,000 more than expected.

An ultra-low-mileage Ford GT also seriously outstripped its estimate. The 2005 car with just 800 miles from new sold for £326,300 – around £125,000 more than its upper estimate and £50,000 more than we’ve seen this model achieve at auction before.

More proof of how highly enthusiasts and collectors value originality – a 1966 Fiat 600 Multipla only used as a holiday car in Spain, with a believed genuine 24,000 miles, went for £22,137. That’s nearly double its £12,000 estimate.

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