Freddie Mercury’s classic Rolls-Royce sells for a whopping £286,250


This classic Rolls-Royce that was once owned by Queen frontman Freddie Mercury has sold for over 14 times its auction estimate, exceeding all expectations to reach a staggering £286,250 at the weekend.

RM Sotheby’s, which offered the classic Roller to the highest bidder at its Marlborough House sale in London on Saturday, had predicted it would go for just £20,000 to £30,000.

The 1974 Silver Shadow was cherished by the singer who owned the car for over a decade, purchasing it second hand in 1979 and keeping it in his collection until his death in 1991.

Don’t stop me bidding now! This 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, which was formerly owned by Freddie Mercury, has obliterated it’s pre-sale auction estimate of £30,000, selling for £286,250 at the weekend

While Rolls-Royces are widely considered among the most opulent of car brands, this seventies Silver Shadow is far from super-collectible.

In fact, the value of a model like this is less than what you’d pay for a new family hatchback today.

Hagerty, the classic car insurance provider, says a good condition example like this is worth £10,800 today. 

Even for one in exceptional, completely-original condition, bidding would normally go no higher than £28,200 to acquire one, Hagerty says, which explains the modest estimation the auction house had placed on the car ahead of the weekend’s sale.

While setting a price for a classic car is relatively straightforward, throwing an iconic previous owner into the mix can trigger huge interest from collectors and enthusiasts alike – as appears to be the case with the former Mercury motor.

The 1974 Silver Shadow was cherished by the singer who owned the car for over a decade, purchasing it second hand in 1979 and keeping it in his collection until his death in 1991

The 1974 Silver Shadow was cherished by the singer who owned the car for over a decade, purchasing it second hand in 1979 and keeping it in his collection until his death in 1991

RM Sotheby's, which offered the classic Roller to the highest bidder at its Marlborough House sale in London on Saturday, had predicted it would go for just £20,000 to £30,000

The winning bid was 14 times the lower estimate

RM Sotheby’s, which offered the classic Roller to the highest bidder at its Marlborough House sale in London on Saturday, had predicted it would go for just £20,000 to £30,000. The winning bid was 14 times the lower estimate

No average Roller: Hagerty, the classic car insurance provider and expert on collectible vehicle prices, says a good condition Silver Shadow from 1974 is worth just £10,800 today

No average Roller: Hagerty, the classic car insurance provider and expert on collectible vehicle prices, says a good condition Silver Shadow from 1974 is worth just £10,800 today

RM Sotheby’s says the vehicle pays testament to ‘Mercury’s enthusiasm for all things on four wheels’ and was retained by the singer for 12 years.

It left Rolls-Royce’s Crewe factory in 1974 in this classy combination of ‘Silver Chalice’ paint over a blue interior and was first registered for the road in June that year. 

Under the bonnet is a 6.75-litre V8 petrol engine producing 189 horsepower. 

The odometer reading shows it as covering just 62,373 miles in its 48-year lifetime, which is a mere average of 1,300 miles for every year since it came off the assembly line.

As you can see here, the dashboard shows the Roller has covered 62,373 miles in its 48-year lifetime, which is a mere average of 1,300 miles for every year since it left the assembly line

As you can see here, the dashboard shows the Roller has covered 62,373 miles in its 48-year lifetime, which is a mere average of 1,300 miles for every year since it left the assembly line

While setting a price for a classic car is relatively straightforward, throwing an iconic previous owner into the mix can trigger huge interest from collectors and enthusiasts alike - as appears to be the case with the former Mercury motor

While setting a price for a classic car is relatively straightforward, throwing an iconic previous owner into the mix can trigger huge interest from collectors and enthusiasts alike – as appears to be the case with the former Mercury motor

RM Sotheby's says the vehicle pays testament to 'Mercury¿s enthusiasm for all things on four wheels' and was retained by the singer for 12 years until he died in November 1991

RM Sotheby’s says the vehicle pays testament to ‘Mercury’s enthusiasm for all things on four wheels’ and was retained by the singer for 12 years until he died in November 1991

While the earliest years of the car’s life are not documented, there are plenty of records to show that the We Will Rock You singer had acquired it in 1979 via his company, Goose Productions Ltd.

The auction house says that while it is unlikely Mr Mercury drove the car – given that he reportedly never gaining a full driving licence – it would have been used as his personal chauffeur-driven transport for the duration of Queen’s smash hit heyday, at a time when the band would record much of its best-known music.

Mercury kept it as part of his collection until his passing in November 1991. His sister, Kashmira Cooke, continued to drive the Roller following his death and subsequently bought it from the Freddie Mercury Estate in 2003. 

‘The Rolls-Royce was enjoyed for many years by Ms Cooke and her partner until it was bought at auction by its consigning owner in 2013,’ RM Sotheby’s confirms.

The auction house says that while it is unlikely Mr Mercury drove the car, given that he reportedly never gaining a full driving licence

The auction house says that while it is unlikely Mr Mercury drove the car, given that he reportedly never gaining a full driving licence

Where Freddie would have sat: The auction house says the Rolls-Royce would likely have been used as Mercury's personal chauffeur-driven transport for the duration of Queen¿s smash hit heyday

Where Freddie would have sat: The auction house says the Rolls-Royce would likely have been used as Mercury’s personal chauffeur-driven transport for the duration of Queen’s smash hit heyday

Freddie's sister, Kashmira Cooke, continued to drive the Roller following his death and subsequently bought it from the Freddie Mercury Estate in 2003

Freddie’s sister, Kashmira Cooke, continued to drive the Roller following his death and subsequently bought it from the Freddie Mercury Estate in 2003

The car left Rolls-Royce's Crewe factory in 1974 in this classy combination of 'Silver Chalice' paint over a blue interior and was first registered for the road in June that year. Under the bonnet is a 6.75-litre V8 petrol engine producing 189 horsepower

The car left Rolls-Royce’s Crewe factory in 1974 in this classy combination of ‘Silver Chalice’ paint over a blue interior and was first registered for the road in June that year. Under the bonnet is a 6.75-litre V8 petrol engine producing 189 horsepower

The vendor is believed to be Andriy Danylko, a famous Ukrainian comedian, actor and singer who is best known as his drag persona Verka Serduchka who represented the country in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007, finishing in second place.

The artist, who has sold over 600,000 records, is a long-time fan of Queen and Freddie and is said to have bought the car with the intention of handing it to a museum.

However, following the invasion of Russian troops earlier this year, he decided to use the vehicle to raise money for his war-torn country.

All proceeds from its sale are to be donated to Superhumans Center, which is a charity established to provide aid in Ukraine.

The vendor is believed to be Andriy Danylko, a famous Ukrainian comedian, actor and singer who is best known as his drag persona Verka Serduchka (pictured), who has chosen to sell the motor to raise money for a charity supporting those affected by the war

The vendor is believed to be Andriy Danylko, a famous Ukrainian comedian, actor and singer who is best known as his drag persona Verka Serduchka (pictured), who has chosen to sell the motor to raise money for a charity supporting those affected by the war

The new owner also got their hands on a host of paperwork and documentation that verifies Freddie Mercury as the car's former keeper

The new owner also got their hands on a host of paperwork and documentation that verifies Freddie Mercury as the car’s former keeper

With the winning bidder paying a substantial premium on the estimated value – which likely makes this among the most expensive Silver Shadows of all time – they will get their hands on various garage invoices with Freddie’s name on them to verify that he was its one-time keeper.

There’s also a letter included within the paperwork penned by Jim Beach – the long-time band manager of Queen – that also rubberstamps the car’s famous former owner.

The auction house did include a warning with the lot saying that any potential buyer should be aware that the Silver Shadow has been kept in storage for an extended period of time, and would therefore ‘benefit from mechanical inspection prior to being driven’.

CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST

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