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Stones’ Bentley from Moroccan drug trip is about to get hammered

At its Goodwood Revival sale, Bonhams will offer ‘Blue Lena’, the Bentley S3 Continental Flying Spur that famously took Rolling Stone Keith Richards and his friends on a drug-fuelled trip to Marrakech…

A few years after purchasing the Bentley brand new in 1965, Richards became embroiled in a drug scandal following a police raid on a party at his country home. In order to escape the resulting media attention, he decided to take the car he affectionately christened ‘Blue Lena’ – complete with a retro-fitted secret compartment for the band’s stash – on an 1,800-mile road trip to Marrakech. Drugs were more readily available (and less frowned-upon) in the Moroccan city so, as you might imagine, plenty of wild stories from the trip would later emerge.

The acid express

Now, with only three more owners since Richards sold the car in 1978, the recently restored car is heading to auction at Bonhams’ Goodwood Revival sale – which, incidentally, is just a stone(r)’s throw away from the Richards house that was famously raided. The Bentley is estimated to fetch £400,000-600,000 but, considering the premium some will pay for ‘a car with a story’ (and ‘Blue Lena’ obviously has those in abundance), it wouldn’t surprise us if bidding went as high as the Stones in their heyday. Just be aware, that secret compartment isn’t so much of a ‘secret’ any more.

To be joined by musical Mercs...

Blue Lena isn’t the only luxury car with ‘sound’ provenance being sent to auction in the coming months: at its inaugural Chantilly sale in September, Bonhams will offer the 1977 Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9 in which French pop star Claude François survived an assassination attempt. Meanwhile, Silverstone Auctions will sell a Mercedes S600L formerly owned by Sir Elton John at the Silverstone Classic sale on 25 July.

Photos: Bonhams