A 1965 Aston Martin DB5 once owned by Beatles guitarist George Harrison fetched some 350,000 GBP ($549,045) at a recent Coys of London Auction. The car sold for some 150,000 GBP ($235,305) over pre-auction estimates, thanks to a bidding war between several interested collectors.

As MSN Cars reports, the buyer was a Beatles fan in Houston, Texas, who will use the car to raise money for Christian charities. While Harrison, who died of lung cancer in 2001, was a Buddhist for most of his life, we have a feeling he’d still approve, as the guitarist once said, “All religions are branches of one big tree. It doesn’t matter what you call Him just as long as you call.

Harrison’s Aston Martin wasn’t the only car to sell for considerably more than pre-auction estimates, either. Bernie Ecclestone’s former Mercedes-Benz 540 K, expected to sell for 500,000 GBP ($784,350) actually bid up to a price of 864,000 GBP (nearly $1.4 million) by the time the hammer fell. A “barn find” Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster, stored for two decades, drew a selling price of 343,000 GBP ($538,064), some 100,000 GBP ($156,870) more than expected.

While the overall global economy may be suffering, those with money apparently aren't afraid to spend it. While one auction doesn't prove that collector car prices are (again) on the upswing, it could bode well for auction sales in the U.S. in 2012.