Queen singer Freddie Mercury's Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow fetched €326,325 at auction in London. The Superhumans organization plans to use the proceeds to build hospitals in Ukraine.
To some people, a 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow may have seemed like it was "made in heaven": A dream car that, given its new price of 140,000 marks, mostly remained a dream. Objectively, a Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9 could do practically everything better at the time, at the same time the outrageously expensive top model of the S-Class cost a fraction of the Silver Shadow, which is largely handcrafted in Crewe, England.
Criticism of approximate straight-line stability, unmotivated handling or rather average driving characteristics, Rolls-Royce countered by building cars for established people who didn't need to rush.
Freddie Mercury buys a Rolls-Royce in 1979
Freddie Mercury had achieved a lot with Queen when he bought his own Rolls-Royce in 1979: world hits like the 1975 single "Bohemian Rhapsody" had made the band rich and famous. Nobody performed as well on stage as Mercury, who produced further singles and world hits in the Munich Musicland studios between 1979 and 1985. The band went on tour in 1986, it was to be their last.
So Freddie Mercury can't have driven much with the Rolls-Royce. He probably wasn't behind the wheel because he didn't have a driver's license. Queen manager Jim Beach says Mercury showed up with the Silver Shadow for the filming of the promotional video for 'We Will Rock You' in the garden of Roger Taylor's Surrey mansion. The car with the registration number WLX 293M can be seen in the video. Some of the band's contracts are also said to have been signed in the car. The car was bought through the production company Goose Productions Ltd. Some shop invoices bear the name of Mercury's close friend, Mary Austin.
Auctioned for tenfold estimate
After Mercury's death in November 1991, his sister Kashmira Cook drove the car. She offered it on Ebay in 2005, the highest bid at the time was 11,000 euros. The current owner is also no stranger: Andrij Danylko performed as Verka Serduchka in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 and took second place for Ukraine. Danylko bought Mercury's Rolls-Royce at an auction from Coys in 2013, paying €82,000. On November 5, 2022, RM Sotheby's auctioned the car in London for a good cause. Instead of the estimated price of 25,000 British pounds, the highest bid was 250,000 British pounds, the equivalent of 285,000 euros. With premium, the selling price is 286,250 pounds, the equivalent of 326,325 euros. The estimated value was between £20,000 and £30,000. In the end, the highest bid was ten times the mean estimate. Proceeds go to Superhumans in Ukraine. The non-profit organization helps those injured in the war by building a hospital in the Lviv region, among other things.
RM Sotheby's has auctioned off Queen singer Freddie Mercury's Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow for a good cause. Proceeds from the prominently owned car will go to helping those injured in the war in Ukraine. With ten times the mean estimate, a handsome sum was raised.