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The chance to buy a classic car owned for more than 40 years by a genuine rock star doesn’t come up very often – but that’s exactly what’s on offer with this Rolls-Royce Corniche.
A ‘’wonderfully original” 1971 example, it was owned by Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues for 42 years and was driven regularly by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Now it’s being offered for sale by online auctioneers Collecting Cars – and you’ll be able to bid for it over the coming two weeks.
The car was first registered in 1972 and was acquired by Thomas four years later, soon after the release of his second solo album Hopes, Wishes and Dreams.
But it’s as a founding member of The Moody Blues that Thomas was best known: the Birmingham band’s second long-player Days of Future Passed is regarded as a defining prog-rock album, reaching number three in the US charts and spawning the hit single Nights in White Satin (complete with flute solo by Thomas).
The multi-instrumentalist clearly loved his Corniche, racking up around 15,000 miles in it from the late 1970s through to the 1990s, at which point declining health left him unable to drive it regularly.
Instead, after its last service under his ownership in February 1998, it was laid up in his garage, where it remained until his death in January 2018, shortly before he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The next stage of its journey began when classic car restorer Simon Browse heard about the Corniche and set about restoring it to its former glory.
And what a glory that is. As a desirable first-series Corniche it sports elegant chrome bumpers and is presented in its original – and rare – colour combination of Black Cherry with Beige interior in luxurious Connolly Vaumol leather.
The paintwork isn’t in pristine condition – no surprise given its age and the fact that it’s been laid up for the past two decades – but it is believed to be original and in general the car looks in excellent nick.
It certainly should run well: Browse has replaced the ignition, distributor cap, rotor arm, condenser and points, and cleaned the spark plugs, and the result is that it has now been fired up for the first time in 21 years. All of its fluids have also been changed, a new battery has been fitted and a set of Avon Radial tyres attached.
The crowning glory – for any fan of The Moody Blues, at least – is that the glovebox was found to contain a copy of Days of Future Passed on 8-track cassette – which is handy, as there’s a Radiomobile ‘Stereo 8’ tape player in the cabin.
With just 35,757 miles on the clock and with a fresh MoT having been granted last week, it’s now ready for its third owner.
If you think that could be you, head to Collecting Cars, where you’ll be able to bid on it very soon in an online auction that will last for two weeks.