Rock ‘n’ Roll History At Auction

Picture of By Rob Harvey
By Rob Harvey

Marketing Manager - Bridge Classic Cars

Following the sale of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant’s Ferrari Dino GTS, Car & Classic has announced the auction of another legendary vehicle with a history full of rock’n’roll – Sir Paul and Linda McCartney’s 1972 Wings Over Europe tour bus.

The Bus

The vintage double-decker bus was the vehicle chosen for Sir Paul McCartney and Wings during their 1972 summer tour. It travelled over 7,500 miles across nine countries and 25 cities, grabbing huge amounts of attention wherever it went. The 1972 tour proved to be an important one for Wings, as it put the band in the world media and marked their rise after the glory days of The Beatles. There is also the possibility that songs were written on the bus. For example, “Live and Let Die”, as featured in James Bond, was recorded in 1972, after the tour.

Today, the bus still turns heads with its psychedelic paint job, reminiscent of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine album cover. It’s got all the original features, offering a glimpse back in time to the 1960s. Sir Paul’s idea to have an open-top upper deck for the European tour shows his vision and attitude towards life on the road. He said: “If we’re gonna be in Europe in the summer going to places like the south of France, it’s just silly to be in some little box all day gasping for air so we came up with this idea to have an open deck, upper deck kind of thing. We’ve got some mattresses up there so we can just cruise along, fantastic, it’s great, just lie around and get the sun.”

After the successful sale of ex-Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant’s 1973 Ferrari 246 Dino GTS back in February this year, head of editorial at Car & Classic, Dale Vinten, said: “These rock ‘n’ roll hall-of-fame vehicles just keep coming! It’s incredible to play a small part in their histories, and we believe this bus will be just as popular as the Dino was, not least because of how unique it is.”

“Just as John Lennon’s Rolls-Royce and the notable cars of other Beatles members carry the weight of history, tour buses tell a different story, and bear witness to the behind-the-scenes magic that fuels the onstage brilliance. This essence is perfectly encapsulated in the Wings tour bus, still adorned in its psychedelic colours, and restored to how it would’ve been when the McCartneys and the rest of the band toured Europe over the summer of ’72. Let’s also not forget that out of all the other Beatles cars, this vehicle is one that can actually be owned, driven and enjoyed, too! It’s easy to imagine this eye-catching bus drawing the crowds anywhere it went, whether it be a trip into “London Town” or to the “Heart of the Country”, its arrival with us at auction means it’s now time for the bus to find its next home – with a little luck ending up with a true fan who will appreciate the history and rarity of this incredibly special double-decker. We really do love all vehicles – big or small – here at Car & Classic!”

More Details

Today, the bus looks just like it did back in 1972 after being fully restored. Inside, they’ve paid close attention to every little detail to make it feel like you’ve stepped back in time. They’ve even put in wooden bunk beds like the ones the band’s kids used to sleep in. The bottom part of the bus has bright yellow curtains, standing out from the crazy colours outside. And up top, they’ve turned it into a stage for performances, calling it “The McCartney Stage,” inspired by The Beatles’ famous rooftop concert.

This bus still has plenty of miles left in it and is powered by a Gardner 5LW 7-litre diesel engine and manual transmission.

Having played a crucial role in the success of the Wings Over Europe Tour, the bus is now set to be auctioned, giving fans and collectors a rare opportunity to own a piece of music and automotive history. Presented for sale with extensive history, including documentation of the time it was used to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the pivotal 1972 Wings Over Europe Tour at The Classic Motor Show at the NEC, Birmingham, in November 2022, it will be sold with artefacts and memorabilia including the Wings tour trunk donated by Denny Seiwell, a founding member of the band. The bus is further accompanied by an official license that permits the display of artwork, logos, the names of Paul and Linda McCartney, family photos taken on the bus and more, with the license transferring to the new owner upon successful purchase.

The Auction

Car & Classic’s online auction will begin on 22 April and run until 29 April. The auction team estimates that it will sell for between £150,000 – £200,000 and invites all interested parties to register their pre-bids via the auction link here.

  • Famed psychedelic Wings tour bus that housed Sir Paul McCartney, his family and the band over the summer of 1972 will be auctioned next week on Car & Classic’s online platform
  • Travelling over 7,500 miles during the 1972 Wings Over Europe Tour, the open-top double-decker has been meticulously restored to reflect the heyday of Wings’ success and is styled to recall The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine album cover
  • Following the global success of The Beatles and their subsequent breakup in 1970, Sir Paul and his wife Linda McCartney formed Wings, which became a global chart-topping pop act
  • As this piece of pop history goes up for auction, music fans have the opportunity to own a unique piece of rock ‘n’ roll legacy as the bus is now open for pre-bids on Car & Classic’s online auction site

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