Beatles' Minis: Cars belonging to McCartney, Harrison and Ringo are on display in London

Modified Mini Coopers belonging to the Beatles' Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have gone on dispaly in London.

The Mini remains one of the most important motoring icons of the 1960s, so it's only natural that the band would want a piece of the action as Beatles mania took hold.

The Mini was designed by Alec Issigonis and remained in production by the British Motor Corporation and its successors from 1959 until 2000. A modern variant of the Mini still sells well to this day.

In the 1960s London was the hip place to be, and the Beatles needed a compact car to navigate the capital.

"I think it was the fact they were in London. You could drive around London in those days. You could go from one side of London to the other in half an hour. Can't now. So they were great city cars. They were luxurious. They were great to drive. And they were much more subtle than John Lennon's white Rolls-Royce, for example, or the almost psychedelic Phantom," Kieron Maughan, a blogger and auto-historian, said.

John Lennon's Mini was crashed and destroyed in the 1970s and has been lost.

AP Photo
A bathub in Jaina Davis' cottage painted with the Beatles in San Francisco. - AP Photo

The most striking car in the collection was owned by George Harrison, who was ironically considered the 'quiet' Beatle.

Originally, his Mini Cooper was painted black, but he commissioned a pair of Dutch artists to liven it up with a bright red scheme and motifs from the book: 'Tantra Art: Its Philosophy and Physics'.

Harrison lent the car to his close friend Eric Clapton who repainted it in a more sombre scheme, and then left it to rot on a farm.

When it was eventually returned, the car needed a full restoration and was repainted in its psychedelic scheme using the film 'Magical Mystery Tour' as a reference.

The car remains the property of George Harrison's family estate.

Ringo Starr's 1966 Mini Cooper was sold at a Bonhams auction for £102,000 [€115,000] in December 2017.

Coachbuilder Harold Radford specially converted Starr's Mini into a three-seater hatchback to enable the Beatles' drummer to fit a drum kit in the back.

Paul McCartney's Mini spent most of its life in the US but it returned to the UK in 2018 when it sold at auction for €206,000.