Keith Richards' classic Pontiac to sell for $35,200 at car auction

Rock stars and classic cars. For years it's been a perfect combination. A forthcoming Bonhams sale will give Rolling Stones fans the chance to own a very special piece of Stones memorabilia - a 1950 Pontiac Chieftain Silver Streak Convertible formerly owned by Keith Richards.

Richards regularly drove this classic American automobile in the early 1970s, during one of the band's most famous (or notorious) periods. In 1971 the band were advised by their accountants to leave the UK, and they promptly decamped to the Cote d'Azur in the south of France.

Richards, along with his partner Anita Pallenberg and their son Marlon, rented the Villa Nellcôte and were joined by the rest of the band (along with a lively entourage). Visitors - including luminaries such as Gram Parsons and the writer William Burroughs - would arrive for the weekend and stay for weeks, and the villa became well-known for its extravagant parties.

Keith Richards Pontiac
Brand New Car? Not quite, but its owner-history should ensure a strong sale

During this time the band retreated to the cellars, and recorded what many fans believe to be their finest album - Exile on Main Street.

The blue Pontiac appears in numerous photographs of the band taken during this period, and is offered in a fully-restored condition. It is expected to sell for £18,000-22,000 when it appears in the sale on April 30.

It's no surprise that the car is attracting serious attention. Vehicles once owned by members of music royalty have always been hugely popular with collectors, and have brought some exceptional prices at auction.

In December 2011 a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 once owned by George Harrison beat its estimate to sell for £350,000, and a black 1955 Cadillac Limousine owned by the King himself Elvis Presley brought $172,000 in November 2011.

The chance to own a car driven by their rock 'n' roll hero is simply too good for many collectors to pass up - and results show they're more than willing to smash estimates to get them.

For Stones fans with a little less spare room in their garage, we currently have some superb items for sale including a rare set of autographs, an original 1964 concert pass and an electric guitar signed by the band.

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