Keith Richards’ Blue Bentley, With Secret Drug Compartment, Heads to Auction
You’ll soon get the chance to take a trip back to the swinging ’60s in Keith Richards’ vintage Bentley S3 Continental ‘Flying Spur’ for £400,000–600,000 (approximately $621,290–931,935). The blue statement car, which was nicknamed “Blue Lena” in tribute to jazz musician Lena Horne, will hit the auction block at Bonhams in West Sussex on September 12.
Purchased in 1965, the car was also famously modified with a special hidden compartment where the band could store drugs.
“It was a car meant to be driven fast at night,” Richards wrote in his 2010 memoir. “My dark blue Bentley, my S3 Continental Flying Spur—an automobile of some rarity, one of a limited edition of 87. Having this car was already heading for trouble, breaking the rules of the establishment, driving a car I was definitely not born into. ‘Blue Lena’ had carried us on many an acid-fueled journey.”
The car also played a special role in the romance between Richards and model Anita Pallenberg.
In 1967, after the police famously raided Richards’s country home in Sussex and charged him with the possession of illegal substances, the gang embarked on a trip to Marrakech to escape the media frenzy.
Richards, Pallenberg, friend Deborah Dixon, and Pallenberg’s then-boyfriend Brian Jones decided to drive, but early on in the journey, Jones and Dixon were both hospitalized for pneumonia, leaving Richards and Pallenberg alone in Blue Lena. A relationship spawned, which would last 23 years and produce three children.
Blue Lena was sold by Richards in 1978, and it has changed hands only three times since then.
“Following a five-year restoration, Blue Lena has been returned to its former glory, and will be offered at Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale,” noted Bonhams motoring director James Knight in a press release, “very near to the scene of that famous 1967 raid.”
Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale will take place on September 12, 2015 at Bonhams in Chichester, West Sussex.
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