Paul McCartney's 1972 Wings double-decker tour bus is being auctioned off after major restoration

Publish Date
Thursday, 12 October 2023, 3:58PM
Photo / Getty Images

Photo / Getty Images

The double-decker bus Paul McCartney and his late wife Linda used for travelling in during their Wings tour in 1972 is being auctioned off next month. 

Julien's Auctions is auctioning off the bus - a 1953 Bristol KSW bus called WNO 481 - with bids starting at $50K and the bus is expected to sell for around $200K-$300K.

The bus took the band through nine countries during their Wings Over Europe tour, spanning France, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

McCartney spoke about the famed vehicle and its colourful exterior design in the 2002 book Wingspan: Paul McCartney’s Band on the Run.

'We knew we were going to tour in Europe and that the weather would be nice,' he said, 'and the idea of being stuck in a bus all the time, going from city to city, hotel to hotel, wasn't too appealing so we decided to travel around in an open-top bus and got some sunshine as we travelled from one place to another.'

He added, 'We painted the outside psychedelic, like a magic bus. If you look at it very straight, very conventionally, it was quite a mad thing to do, to put a playpen on the top deck of the bus and put all the children in there while driving around Europe.

'It was not what you'd expect from a normal band. But we weren't a normal band.'

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At the time, the band consisted of the famed couple as well as Denny Seiwell, Denny Laine and the late Henry McCullough.

The bus will be auctioned off alongside 1,000 marquee items, including two of the most important guitars ever to be offered at auction: Eric Clapton’s 'The Fool' and Kurt Cobain’s 'Skystang I,' as well as items from Nirvana, Elvis Presley, Prince, The Beatles, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Eddie Van Halen, Frank Zappa, Dee Dee Ramone, Snoop Dogg, Albert King, Kirk Hammett, Pete Townshend, and more.

Photo / Julien's Auctions
Photo / Julien's Auctions

The original psychedelic artwork design seen on the sides of the bus was completed by renowned artist Geoffrey Cleghorn, who modelled its design after the styling of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine album cover.

Cleghorn was notable for his impressive work with bands such as The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, and others.

This artwork was later recreated during WNO 481's restoration process, bringing the iconic bus back to life.

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