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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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John Lennon 2600 Sprint

Hello all,

Though I do wish to retain some discretion involving the matter, I thought it necessary to "nip in the bud" rumor regarding the John Lennon 2600 Sprint.

Enclosed is a photo of the car, which I have owned for some time, in it's current, unrestored , psychedelic paint job, just as commissioned by Lennon in the early '70's. It is an original white Series 2 car. The car has been partially disassembled for restoration by previous owners but is relatively complete and solid. It is currently awaiting a sensitive restoration.

The car was purchased new in Rome and bought USED by Lennon in San Francisco in late 1971. The original owner is a little old lady who crashed the car on the Embarcadero (twice!) and when confronted with excessive repair bills, the insurance company totaled the car. The dealership bought the car back, fixed it (right front fender repair still visible), and had a low mileage, newly painted off-white 2600 to offer Lennon, a longtime Italian car fan. I have been fortunate enough to interview this wonderful lady while researching the history of this car.

The car was sold on in early 1973.The subsequent owner ended up with the car impounded in that same year, where it sat indoors for 13 years, accumulating storage fees. In 1986, Pat Braden bought the car and kept it as his home in Placentia, CA. The car has never left the country. I purchased the car, along with another 2600 Sprint (red), which was the car pictured in Pat's book, "The Alfa Romeo Owners Bible". That car has since been sold on Ebay a few years back.

I have not relayed anything that is not already documented public knowledge. A California DMV search was done on the car by the previous owner, showing Lennon's ownership with a Capitol Records mailing address in Los Angeles. Photos of the car and details of the story above appeared in Classic and Sports Car Magazine, June 1999. For his part, Pat Braden documented his involvement with the car in Sports Car Market Letter, April 2002.

While I had heard past mumblings about a non-Beatle "John Lennon" of Britain, I frankly paid them no mind as it was quickly debunked, and probably a play to confuse the provenance with that of this car.

The car was never advertised "for sale" in Hemmings that I am aware of, though a picture and a public plea for more information was made by myself some time ago in that magazine.

Regards, William Hall
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 04:23 PM
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Good luck with your restoration. I was just re-reading Braden's book that referenced this car and your post caught my eye. Nice to know a little more about the car.

Steven Leth
'66 Giulia Super / '86 Spider Graduate
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 04:29 PM
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Do you have any photos of it when the psychedelic paint was fresh and still causing flashbacks?

[FONT="Century Gothic"][B]Bob Farace[/B]
[COLOR="DarkGreen"]1971 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Veloce[/COLOR]
[I]Director, Connecticut branch, Scuderia Non Originale[/I][/FONT]
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 05:01 PM
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Thank you for sharing this information! I hope your plea for more information will eventually be answered.

-Ruedi
[SIZE="1"]'63 2600 Touring Spider (AR 191437, the car that started the 2000/2600 International Register, reassembly in progress)
ex-'65 2600 SZ (AR 856043, the car in my avatar, sold as resto project to Austria)
Maintainer of a private 2600 SZ register (not the one in the Netherlands).[/SIZE]
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 05:29 PM
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Dear William et al : Thank you for the info, what a find. There was a different car (I assume it is a different car as this one was in Pat's backyard at the time) a 2600 Sprint coupe was offered in Hemmings in the late '80's/early 90's and proported to be Beatle John Lennon's car. It's difficult to remember all (back then, used to find funny stuff under the seats of old Alfa's!) I believe it was white and came from England, between $15k&$20k. Maybe that was the car some have said was "John (*) Lennon, not "O" or "W", (depending on the time frame, Winston given, Ono taken). I have some old HMN, if I find the ad, I'll post. RK

Last edited by rogerspeed; 09-15-2005 at 05:32 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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A follow up:
To further confuse things, John Lennon was famously photographed fawning over a white Iso Rivolta coupe on the Earl's Court Motor Show stand back in the '60's. It was erroneously reported that he had bought the car off the stand. He did not. But he was clearly smitten with the design.

The 2600 and the Iso Rivolta are nearly identical to the uninitiated eye. Designer Giugiaro essentially sold the same design twice; once to Alfa, then to Iso. Thrice if you count the Gordon-Keeble.

Coupled with the many eyewitness accounts of him driving a white car in SFO(remember, the psychedelic car was originally white when he first bought it-'a blank canvas') and the subsequent long-term disappearance of the 2600, it's no wonder it has become a point of some speculation here and abroad.

No funny stuff found under the seats, or the ashtray for that matter. We checked.

Regards, William Hall
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 12:52 PM
 
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Alfa 2600 Sprint

Hi Bill, this is Quentin .. please get in touch ..
quentinslater(at)aol(dot)comedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67alloy View Post
Hello all,

Though I do wish to retain some discretion involving the matter, I thought it necessary to "nip in the bud" rumor regarding the John Lennon 2600 Sprint.

Enclosed is a photo of the car, which I have owned for some time, in it's current, unrestored , psychedelic paint job, just as commissioned by Lennon in the early '70's. It is an original white Series 2 car. The car has been partially disassembled for restoration by previous owners but is relatively complete and solid. It is currently awaiting a sensitive restoration.

The car was purchased new in Rome and bought USED by Lennon in San Francisco in late 1971. The original owner is a little old lady who crashed the car on the Embarcadero (twice!) and when confronted with excessive repair bills, the insurance company totaled the car. The dealership bought the car back, fixed it (right front fender repair still visible), and had a low mileage, newly painted off-white 2600 to offer Lennon, a longtime Italian car fan. I have been fortunate enough to interview this wonderful lady while researching the history of this car.

The car was sold on in early 1973.The subsequent owner ended up with the car impounded in that same year, where it sat indoors for 13 years, accumulating storage fees. In 1986, Pat Braden bought the car and kept it as his home in Placentia, CA. The car has never left the country. I purchased the car, along with another 2600 Sprint (red), which was the car pictured in Pat's book, "The Alfa Romeo Owners Bible". That car has since been sold on Ebay a few years back.

I have not relayed anything that is not already documented public knowledge. A California DMV search was done on the car by the previous owner, showing Lennon's ownership with a Capitol Records mailing address in Los Angeles. Photos of the car and details of the story above appeared in Classic and Sports Car Magazine, June 1999. For his part, Pat Braden documented his involvement with the car in Sports Car Market Letter, April 2002.

While I had heard past mumblings about a non-Beatle "John Lennon" of Britain, I frankly paid them no mind as it was quickly debunked, and probably a play to confuse the provenance with that of this car.

The car was never advertised "for sale" in Hemmings that I am aware of, though a picture and a public plea for more information was made by myself some time ago in that magazine.

Regards, William Hall
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 05:38 PM
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Bill, You Continue to Amaze Me with Your Cars!

I love the white 2600 coupe you have, and wasn't aware you had a Duetto shell until you e-mailed me. Now I learn you have a "John Lennon" 2600 as well! It boggles the mind. Keep it forever, as it can only appreciate in value.

What else is "lurking" in your garage?

Tom

(2) 1967 Duettos (currently being made into one decent driver)
1995 Nero & Tan 164Q as a second daily driver (at least in the summer) and 164LS repair project
99 Ford Taurus SHO (my daily driver, especially in the winter)
07 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Wife's DD and to haul the boat).
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 10:34 PM
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John Lennon 2600 Sprint

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Originally Posted by Farace View Post
Do you have any photos of it when the psychedelic paint was fresh and still causing flashbacks?
The paint was faded, crinkled in places, and flaking along with some body damage, when we paid the storage fees and relieved a long-time S.F. Alfa enthusiast of the car. But having said that, the paint job was still something to be appreciated as an intricate work of art, like doilies had been overlaid and very carefully and precisely sprayed through with various colors of paint. The paint spoke volumes as far as psychedelic leanings, drugs, and the San Francisco environment from which it had come in the late 60's and 70's. I'm sure we have some pictures around, but they would not be of the original pristine paint job. If I run across them as I'm sorting and organizing, I'll post them.

Pat and I had heard the rumors about John Lennon owning a 2600, the paint job fit the rumors etc. but initially neither of us was convinced of the rumor or that we owned the car. Actually, we dismissed it; Pat bought that car for parts to restore the red car that Bill spoke of that he sold, which we originally, purchased and had transported out of Lorain, Ohio. Another story in itself, about how cars are tracked and who knows what is traveling where at what time when something disastrous happens.

It was a local Alfa enthusiast who pressed Pat and actually did some of the initial research himself to spur Pat on to either prove or disprove the rumor that we owned the Lennon car.

Cheryl
(Not an authority nor SME on anything, just PATSYF)

Last edited by Pat Braden; 10-29-2008 at 10:36 PM.
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