ROME – The history of the car and that of music meet with the auction, for charity, of Freddie Mercury’s 1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. The famous frontman of Queen, one of the greatest bands of the 21st century, bought the car for personal use in 1979 and used it until his untimely death in 1991 and then moved on to his sister, who kept it for many years . The sale of the car, offered at auction without reserve by the specialist RM Sotheby’s, represents a unique opportunity to acquire a piece of rock and roll history and, at the same time, to support the humanitarian association “Superhumans of Ukraine” which is raising funds to help build a new hospital in Lviv province, Ukraine.
Freddie Mercury needs no introduction, having been one of the greatest singers and showmen the music industry has ever known. By 1979, Queen had already been a big hit and were one of the biggest bands on the planet, and the group leader’s purchase of his beloved Rolls Royce was a perfect way to celebrate that success. The car came out of the factory finished in Silver Chalice with a blue interior and was bought by Mercury’s company, Goose Productions Ltd., in 1979, and was Mercury’s chauffeured personal transportation in Queen’s heyday. The car is accompanied by historical documentation showing Mercury’s name on several workshop invoices, although much of the paperwork is registered in the name of Mary Austin, former partner of Mercury, who assisted the singer in the maintenance of the Rolls-Royce.
A letter from Jim Beach, the band’s historic manager, confirms Mercury’s ownership of the car and in a documentary recalls a curious episode: “We shot the promotional video of We will rock you in the garden of Roger Taylor’s new villa in Surrey and Freddie surprised everyone by arriving with his new Rolls. Freddie insisted that we sign all the contracts, all together, in the back of the car, because it was the first Rolls he had ever owned ”. The license plate of the WLX 293M car is clearly visible in the footage with Mercury’s arrival at the shooting of the promotional video of that day. Beach added that after Mercury passed away in November 1991, Silver Shadow continued to be driven by the rock star’s sister, Kashmira Cook. “This car is simply fantastic,” said Nick Wiles, RM Sotheby’s auto specialist. “It’s hard to find a music fan who doesn’t love Freddie Mercury, who remains as famous today as he ever was. This car represents an important piece of history and the fact that the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Superhumans of Ukraine association is wonderful. We are pleased that the owner of the car has entrusted it to us to obtain the best possible result for the association ”. This Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, which is in excellent storage condition, was first registered on UK roads in June 1974 and was bought by the current owner in 2013 who decided to auction it for charity.