"Baby, you can drive my car," sang the Beatles all those years ago. But bidders hesitated to take up the invitation yesterday (March 27), as a limousine once owned by John Lennon failed to reach its r

"Baby, you can drive my car," sang the Beatles all those years ago. But bidders hesitated to take up the invitation yesterday (March 27), as a limousine once owned by John Lennon failed to reach its reserve price at auction. The 1970 Mercedes Benz 600 Pullman attracted a telephone bid of $270,000 -- $14,000 short of its reserve price -- during a sale at London's Hard Rock Cafe.

A Steinway piano that once sat in Lennon's New York home drew a top bid of $1.1 million -- $360,000 short of the anticipated price.

The owners of the items must now decide whether to sell them at the bid prices, said auctioneers Fleetwood Owen, a company owned by Fleetwood Mac principal Mick Fleetwood and his partner Tim Owen.

The Mercedes limo, complete with black velvet upholstery and a built-in record player, was made to order for Lennon in 1970. Lennon sold it to fellow Beatle George Harrison when he moved from Britain to the United States in 1973. It was subsequently owned by Mary Wilson of the Supremes.

Last year, singer George Michael paid $2.1 million for the piano on which Lennon composed ''Imagine.'' He has said he plans to give it to Liverpool's Beatles museum.

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