Sir Paul McCartney’s 1972 Wings tour bus to take final trip before auction

Sir Paul McCartney’s restored double-decker 1972 Wings tour bus will take a final trip round London before being sold at auction in the US where it is estimated it will fetch between 200,000 and 300,000 US dollars (£163,000 to £245,000).

The WNO 481 double-decker was used by Linda McCartney and Sir Paul as their primary tour bus in 1972 when they were in the band Paul McCartney And Wings, also known as Wings.

Members of the public have the opportunity to win a ride on the bus on October 17, hosted by The Beatles secretary Freda Kelly, before the vehicle is sold at Hard Rock Cafe Nashville in an auction taking place between November 16 and 18.

Paul McCartney bus courtesy of Julien's Auctions
The bus has undergone years of renovation (Julien’s Auctions/PA)

The vehicle was discovered in Spain in a state of decay and after years of renovation, the transformation was finally completed in 2022 by a workshop in Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex.

The renovated vehicle was unveiled last year to visitors attending The Classic Motor Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham where saxophonist, Howie Casey, who had previously played with the band Wings, performed.

Speaking about the bus, Martin Nolan, executive director and co-founder of Julien’s Auctions, said: “Tour buses have been a part of rock and roll music lore for generations and there is no other one quite as famous and remarkable as Paul McCartney’s 1972 Wings Over Europe Tour bus.

“This caravan of pure magic and love carried Paul and Linda McCartney with their entire band, children, family members and loved ones during that magical summer of ’72 that witnessed the critical and commercial explosion of Wings.

Paul McCartney bus Julien's Auctions
The WNO 481 double-decker was used by Linda McCartney and Sir Paul as their primary tour bus in 1972 (Julien’s Auctions)

“We’re also excited to announce today our contest with our long-standing partner Hard Rock Cafe where some lucky fans will have a chance to win a seat on the ultimate Paul McCartney Wings Beatles Tour with the one and only, Freda Kelly, the Beatles’ beloved secretary.”

Starting on October 17 and ending on October 22, the bus forms part of the highlights being shown from upcoming music auction Played, Worn And Torn Rock N Roll Iconic Guitars And Memorabilia, which will be put on display at Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus before the exhibition heads to Hard Rock Cafe New York and Nashville.

Julien’s Auctions has sold other Beatles memorabilia in the past including John Lennon’s acoustic guitar for 2.4 million US dollars (£2 million) and Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drum kit which sold for 2.2 million US dollars (£1.8 million).

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