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Museum’s Rolls Royce, once owned by John Lennon, brought up to speed

The classic 1965 Rolls Royce Phantom V touring limousine formerly owned by John Lennon got a little tweaking this week.
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John Lennon’s Rolls Royce undergoes a tuneup at the automotive shop of the Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at Camosun College on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.

The classic 1965 Rolls Royce Phantom V touring limousine formerly owned by John Lennon got a little tweaking this week.

The celebrated vehicle, which once carried Lennon and the rest of the Beatles to Buckingham Palace to receive their Member of the British Empire medals, underwent diagnostic tests Thursday at Camosun College.

Technicians from Coachwerks Restoration at the school used a piece of specialized equipment that simulates running the car at highway speed — a rolling-road dynamometer.

Part of the plan was to get the car’s fluids circulating and determine any maintenance needs, said Patrick Jones, Camosun’s automotive service technician instructor. “It seems to be in fine shape,” Jones said. “Certainly it hasn’t had a lot of running.”

He said the Royal B.C. Museum — the car’s owner — has taken it to Western Speedway in the past to get it moving. The car has to be run at least once a year.

The car’s visit was a good chance for students to see a piece of history, Jones said. “It’s great to be able to expose our students to this iconic car.”

Jones said the car is priceless. “There’s only one and it can’t be replaced.”

The car has been part of the Royal B.C. Museum collection for more than 20 years and has been on display at a number of special events. It was exhibited at the 2015 PNE and was flown to Britain in 2017 for a Rolls Royce exhibition.

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