Sunday, 10 May 2015

Former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman to Sell Prized Cars at Festival of Speed Sale

Bill Wyman in front of the 1971 Citroën Maserati SM

Bonhams Festival of Speed Sale will feature two motor cars owned by former Rolling Stones bassist, Bill Wyman.

Wyman drove the 1971 Citroën Maserati SM (£35,000-40,000) and 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250 S (£20,000-25,000) to studios during the recording of several famous Rolling Stones albums, including the 1968 album Beggars Banquet, featuring the iconic track Sympathy for the Devil; the 1969 album Let it Bleed, featuring Gimme Shelter and You Can’t Always Get What You Want; the 1972 album Exile on Main St, featuring Rocks off, and the 1981 album Tattoo You, featuring Start Me Up.

Wyman said: “I had the very first Mercedes that featured blacked-out windows. Everyone was getting black windows – Mick Jagger and Brian Jones did in their Minis. Mercedes had never done black windows though, so I had to contribute to the research on how to make them. It cost me about £350. Then of course, I got stopped all the time. The police usually just wanted to see who was in it.” However, in 1997 the vehicle was subject to restoration, meaning the original tinted windows are no longer in place.

“From 1966 to 1969 I used the car to travel around London and to Olympic Studios where we were recording Beggars Banquet and Let it Bleed. When we weren’t in the studio or touring I drove it round England with my camera, taking photos.

Bill Wyman driving the 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250 S
“From 1971 to 1982, I was living in the South of France and I frequently drove the Maserati from my new home in Vence to Paris, where we recorded the albums Some Girls, Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You.

“The minute I saw the Maserati, I thought, this is it! It looked so beautiful. They showed me that incredible engine and the double headlights, and I thought, incredible! I fell in love with it.

“I’d drive it to Keith Richards’ place, miles away in Cap Ferrat, to record Exile on Main Street album, and I’d drive to Paris and back, an eight-hour journey each way.

“It was so easy to drive,” Wyman said of the Maserati, “I became great friends with Marc Chagall, Cesar, and James Baldwin over the years, and I’d drive over to their homes on the Côte d’Azur. I’d also drive to Monte Carlo to hang out with Ringo and Spiros and Philip Niarchos of the Greek shipping family.

Bill Wyman
“I drove it to Spain too. And to Marseilles, Portofino in Italy, and back to England a few times. Oh, and of course to Switzerland. I went there twice to play at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The first time was with Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Pinetop Perkins. Then three years later I again drove there to play with Muddy Waters again.”

“I am sorry to say goodbye to these two cars, but having enjoyed them so much over the years and having kept them both in pristine condition, I feel they should now go to people who will love and take care of them as much as I have.”

Bonhams Festival of Sale takes place on 26 June in Goodwood, Chichester. For more information visit

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