John Lennon’s 1969 Monkey Bike Expected to Fetch More Than $48,000
A 1969 Honda Monkey-Trail Bike once owned by John Lennon will soon be on the market. The onetime Beatle used it between 1969-71 to scoot around his Tittenhurst Park estate in the Surrey, England, countryside.
Auction house H&H Classics has acquired the 1969 Honda Z50A, and will put it up for sale on March 4 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull; their experts estimate the bike will fetch at least £30,000 (more than $48,000 in U.S. dollars). You can see photos of the bike below.
John Harrington purchased the bike from Henry Graham in 1971 for £250. Graham had acquired it from Lennon that same year, when the singer and songwriter moved to the U.S. Harrington, a yachtsman from Dorset, England, at first didn't believe the bike had belonged to Lennon, and for years used it for his own travels. But after seeing a photo of the legendary artist riding it with his young son Julian, Harrington conducted some research and confirmed its authenticity in 2011. He has held onto the bike, which he has often displayed, until now.
The Times reported in 2011 that Harrington rejected an offer of £90,000, saying at that time, "like a fine wine, it becomes more valuable with time.”
“Naturally we are thrilled to be entrusted with the marketing and sale of this bike, given its extraordinary provenance," said Mark Bryan, head of sales for the H&H Classics Motorcycle Department.
H&H Classics lists the bike as unrestored with largely original parts, and in running order.
Another so-called "monkey bike" that belonged to fellow former Beatle Ringo Starr -- and which was given to Starr's gardener as a thank-you gift in 1986 -- sold for £36,000 in 2008.