It's no secret that Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham loved sports cars. He's seen tooling about the countryside behind the wheel of one of his rides during a famous sequence in the 1976 movie, The Song Remains the Same.
Today, one of Bonham's most prized cars--a Jensen FF mk2--has hit the open market. The price: 148,000 British pounds, which is around $196,000 in US dollars. The seller, who is in Surrey, England, details the Bonham connection in the car listing:
"It also has superb provenance having originally been owned by the Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, I understand that after ownership of an Interceptor and an Interceptor convertible, he upgraded to this FF, the car transferring to his widow Pat Bonham when John passed away. Wearing the number plate JB II, it is believe Pat sold the car in 1985. The ownership history is well researched and documented."
According to the Jensen Museum, Bonham was a regular presence around the Jensen factory, buying parts and chatting with the workers about cars. Neil Freckleton, the son of former Jensen Motors manager, Ron Freckleton, shared this lovely story regarding his dad's interactions with the Led Zeppelin legend when it came time for him to pick up the car:
“On the appointed day, John Bonham came to collect the car, and walked into Joyce Bowen’s office, which was located next door to my father’s office. In a broad accent, he said To Joyce “I’ve come to pay for my car” and emptied a holdall, containing £2000 in cash, and handed over a cheque for the remainder.
Joyce was naturally quite shocked, and John (noticing her shock) offered a “You can count it if you want”, which Joyce said she would take his word for it, but went next door to check with my father it would be okay to accept the cash.
My father said it would be okay, and went with Joyce to see John, saying, “I bet that made a hole in your mattress”, to which John made a hunchback appearance and said “I’ll sleep like this tonight!”
John and my father starting chatting, and eventually my father mentioned that I had been trying to track down and buy Led Zeppelin’s latest album ‘In Through The Out Door’ on cassette, and it was costing me a small fortune in bus fares. John made a comment along the lines of the album was selling very well, but he would see what he could do. After a few more pleasantries, John left.
The next day, my father was working, when he got a call to say John Bonham was in reception to see him. My father thought there must be a problem with the Jensen as he walked to reception to meet him.
At reception, John was standing, clutching an LP and cassette of ‘In Through The Out Door’. He immediately handed them over to my father, saying, “pass these on to your son with my compliments”.
My father thanked him profusely, to which John replied “Anything for a fan” and with a huge grin on his face got back into his Jensen and drove off. It was only later that my father realised that John had signed both the cassette and LP. I still own both the cassette and album to this day – treasured possessions.”