The ‘Lennon’ Beetle as displayed in the VW Autostadt, Wolfsburg Museum is a UK registered (10-04-68) 1968 ‘Lotus White’ 1500 model – the same car as seen parked in the famous 1969 ‘Abbey Road’ album cover.
The Museum plaque states ‘Starting in 1962 John Lennon and Paul McCartney conquered the world with the music of the Beatles. They unleashed enthusiasm that continues unabated to this day. In 1967, John Lennon ordered this 1300 Beetle, license number LMW 281F and used it for daily transportation. In 1969 this particular Beetle became world famous when it appeared on the cover of the Abbey Road album and gave rise to months of rumours of Paul McCartney’s death because of the license number 281F. It was acquired by VW at an auction in the summer of 1999’.
The car was in reality owned by a nearby resident of Abbey Road at the time of the photo-shoot (August 8, 1969) and never by John Lennon.
Pete Gent, proprietor of ‘The Music Department’ musical instrument shop in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, came across the very famous car standing in a car showroom forecourt one day during 1986. Pete promptly bought it – realising that the car salesman had no idea of the history of the car or the license plate.
The car also features heavily in Cirque du Soleil’s ‘The Beatles Love’ multimedia show.