Home » Paul McCartney’s Legendary 1972 Wings Tour Bus Is Heading to Auction Following a Major Revamp

Paul McCartney’s Legendary 1972 Wings Tour Bus Is Heading to Auction Following a Major Revamp

by multimill
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Maybe you’re amazed at the way the 1972 Wings tour bus defied time. Maybe you’re afraid of the way it could evade you. For whatever reason, you want it. And you can have it.

The legendary double-decker Paul McCartney and his Wings bandmates took across Europe in the ‘70s will go under the gavel at Julien’s Auctions next month, with bidding expected to reach between $200,000 and $300,000.  

Christened WNO 481, the converted 1953 Bristol KSW bus is distinguished by a psychedelic exterior that reflects the colorful hippie style and “free love” attitudes of the era. Indeed, Martin Nolan, executive director and co-founder of Julien’s, describes it as a “caravan of pure magic and love.” 

Paul McCartney 1972 Wings Tour Bus

The bus features a technicolor exterior inspired by a Beatles album cover.

Julien’s Auctions

Perhaps more importantly, the four-wheeler represents a pivotal moment in Sir Paul’s unparalleled career, as he moved on from arguably the world’s biggest band to begin Paul McCartney and Wings, also known as Wings. 

The former Beatle, his wife Linda McCartney, and bandmates Denny Laine, Henry McCullough, and Denny Seiwell embarked on their first tour in the summer of ‘72. The bus carried the band and their families more than 7,500 miles through nine European countries, including France, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The tour was a resounding success and saw the commercial explosion of Wings. 

The weathered vehicle was discovered a few years ago in Spain and brought back to the U.K. Over 16 months, it was meticulously restored at a workshop in Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex. The makeover was completed in 2022, after which the revamped ride was unveiled at the NEC Classic Motor Show in Birmingham. 

British singer and musician Paul McCartney, American photographer and musician Linda McCartney (1941-1998), American drummer Denny Seiwel, British musician Henry McCullough (1943-2016), and British singer and musician Denny Laine on the converted bus in which Wings are touring Europe, in Juan-les-Pins, France, 12th July 1972. (Photo by Reg Lancaster/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The members of Wings on the tour bus.

Reg Lancaster/Getty

The bus is steeped in more than 50 years of rock ‘n’ roll history but looks fresher than ever. The paint job, which was inspired by the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine album cover, remains in top-notch condition. The bus still features bunkbeds, as it did for the 1972 tour. It is also equipped with an original trunk that the Wings drummer donated. The upper deck, which was once home to beanbags, mattresses, and a playpen for the children, now folds down to become a mobile stage.

“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,” Nolan said in a statement.

The best part? Members of the public have the opportunity to jump aboard the bus for a Magical History Tour through London on Tuesday, October 17. To win the ride, like this post on Instagram, tag a friend who would like to join you, and follow both @juliens_auctions and @hardrockcafelondon. The contest closes today (Friday, October 13). The bus will then be auctioned off at Julien’s Played, Worn, and Torn: Rock ’n’ Roll Iconic Guitars and Memorabilia sale. The auction will take place at the Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville from November 16 to 18.

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