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Rare Sports Car Once Belonging to Ringo Starr to Be Auctioned in London in December

Image courtesy of Courtesy of Bonhams (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Courtesy of Bonhams (via ABC News Radio)

Beatles fans soon will have the chance to buy a rare French sports car owned by Ringo Starr during the 1960s, but it won't come easy.  The 1964 Facel Vega Facel II model is expected to fetch between 300,000 and 350,000 pounds, or about $483,000 and $563,000, when it goes up for bid at a Bonhams auction in London on December 1.

The hand-built automobile, which was one of only two of its kind produced by the now-defunct Facel company, was purchased new by the Fab Four drummer at London's Earls Court Motor Show for the then-hefty price of 5,570 pounds.  Starr owned the car for four years.  The powerful vehicle, which was known as "the world's fastest four-seater," features a 6.7-liter V8 engine, right-hand drive and a manual gearbox.

Only 182 Facel II's were produced in total between 1961 and 1964, when an unsuccessful attempt to get into the engine-manufacturing business apparently bankrupted the Facel company.

"This car has to be one of the rarest and most collectable modern classic cars given its almost unique engineering and its place as part of pop music history," says Bonhams exec Sholto Gilbertson in a statement.  "As Ringo drove this car he would have listened on the car radio to the Beatles total domination of the pop charts.  The sale of this car represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for anyone who loves cars and the Beatles."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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