John Lennon’s 1965 Rolls Royce Phantom V Touring Limousine rolled into the Camosun College auto shop on Thursday for its annual checkup.
The Royal B.C. Museum (RBCM) owns and maintains the car. It teamed up with Carriageworks Restoration and Camosun College’s Automotive Shop to do maintenance and run diagnostic tests on the colorful car from this year forward.
Carriageworks provides the mechanics to service and do maintenance on the car, and Camosun provides the rolling road dynamometer, which reads and displays data from the car in real time. Camosun Automotive Service Technician Instructor Patrick Jones runs the equipment.
Coachworks Manager Dave Hargraves and Jones both said the last time they had seen the car in person was at Expo 86, a world fair held in Vancouver in October, 1986. Jones was 21 at the time, and Hargraves was eight. Both said they’re really excited to have the opportunity to work on the car and maintain it for years to come.
“It’s so historically significant,” Hargraves said about the Rolls Royce. “As British Columbians we’re all really lucky to have it reside here.”
Jones said it wasn’t just John Lennon and The Beatles who rode in the car. The Rolling Stones rode in the car in the 70s, and Bob Dylan has also ridden in the car. “It’s great to have the opportunity to make sure the car is maintained as it should be,” Jones said.
Collections Manager at the RBCM, Paul Ferguson, said the car was given to the RBCM in 1987. He said it needs annual maintenance to ensure its safety because it’s not just a work of art, it’s also a car.
“It’s not possible to do regular road tests on this vehicle, so it’s great to partner with Patrick [Jones], Camosun, and the students. So many more people get to experience this,” Hargraves said.
Jones said the big thing for him is being able to share the experience with the students. He said crowds of excited students gathered at the window to the shop to look at the car.
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