48 years ago today, it was easy to tell the 5th Beatle. It was an old white VW B…

Written by on August 8, 2018


48 years ago today, it was easy to tell the 5th Beatle. It was an old white VW Bug, first registered on April 10th 1968, with the number plate LMW 28IF. It was the Volkswagen Beetle that was parked on the street when The Beatles were photographed for the cover of their “Abbey Road” album.

It’s appearance in the picture was a total accident, as it belonged to one of the people living in the apartment across from the recording studio, and couldn’t be moved out of the picture because the owner was away on holiday. Rumor has it that after the album came out the number plate was repeatedly stolen from the car.

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 car is currently on display at the Volkswagen museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.

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 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, proprieter 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 promply bought it – realising that the car salesman had no idea of the history of the car or the license plate.

So there is the story behind the 5th beetle….. well at least 49 years ago today.

Does this settle the ‘5th Beatle’ argument?




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