1. THE STORY SO FAR
There have been unexpected twists, revelations and red herrings in this collaborative search for the current owner of John & Yoko's famous white Rolls Royce and its whereabouts.
The trail began with Sam & Rebecca Umland's original research for their book, Donald Cammell: A Life on the Wild Side (FAB Press, 2006), in which they mentioned that it was John Lennon's white Rolls Royce (EUC 100C) used in the final sequence of Donald Cammell and Nic Roeg's Performance (filmed 1968; released 1970). After reading Sam's blog entry The Ballad of John & Yoko's Rolls, I was intrigued and immediately commenced digging for any relevant data.
Suspicion first fell on Phil Spector, due to a statement by Plastic Ono Band drummer, Alan White, that in 1970, Lennon handed Spector the keys to EUC 100C at the conclusion of the Imagine sessions. The fact that Lennon's friend and producer still owns a vintage white Rolls Royce added weight to White's recollections. However, Telegraph journalist Mick Brown cast doubt on this theory by commenting that Spector never indicated during the course of several interviews that his white Roller once belonged to John Lennon. On the contrary, Mick was specifically told that the limousine that ferried him from his hotel to Phil Spector's mansion in Los Angeles was a "1965 Silver Cloud III," not a Phantom V. On closer inspection, Spector's 1965 Rolls Royce appears smaller and less spacious than a top-of-the-range Phantom V.
|Phil Spector's 1965 Silver Cloud III|
|1965 Phantom V|
Moreover, EUC 100C has several features that distinguish it from Spector's Roller. As Sam has pointed out, early on, Lennon had a communications antenna installed on the roof above the windshield. Later, a pair of vents were added. These were not present when the car appeared in Performance, shot in 1968, but do appear in the Apple Records promotional video, "The Ballad of John & Yoko," released the following year. Also, if you look closely at the downshot below, you can just make out the outlines of what appears to be a sunroof. (Click on image to enlarge.)
These modifications are not apparent in the photo of the white Rolls Royce in Phil Spector's driveway. Likewise, they are lacking in shots of the white '65 Phantom V in the Tebo Auto Collection in Colorado which is unambiguously attributed to Lennon. So the question remains: Where is EUC 100C?
For a list of previous threads on this topic, click here.
PART ONE OF TWO PARTS