Anyone that says you can’t put a price on classic TV shows you feel fuzzy and nostalgic about is wrong – especially when it comes to auctioning what’s branded ‘memorabilia’ to collectors the world over.
Props often fetch tidy prices under the hammer, but when it comes to selling off famous cars from iconic British television, it seems there are no limits to what diehard fans will pay to own a part of their favourite show.
With Mr. Bean’s recognisible yellow Mini selling last week for an incredible amount (see below for the eye-watering winning bid), we take a look back at some of the memorable cars from British TV and how much they’ve gone for.
Only Fools and Horses – Reliant Robin – £42,000
Del Boy and Rodney are some of the most iconic characters in British television history, and their dirty yellow trading van is just as famous. The three-wheeler, sold at Silverstone Auctions of Warwickshire, was estimated to fetch around £15,000 for the old vehicle.
However, it ended up going for almost three times that amount, with the hammer falling at just over £37,000 but fees for the anonymous buyers took the total cost to £41, 625. Del Boy would’ve been proud of that sort of profit.
The Inbetweeners – Fiat Cinquencento – £21,100
The most recent series on the list is the old and on-its-last-legs car from The Inbetweeners that was popped up on eBay as part of Comic Relief’s 2011 campaign. 74 bids later, the old banger that, in the show at least, was literally falling apart, raised over £21,000.
In the show, Simon (Joe Thomas) was the rarely proud owner of the car that saw the boys embark on plenty of (mis)adventures.
Minder – Ford Capri – £52,000
Anyone familiar with this very British series will know that there were a few cars battling for attention – Arthur Daley’s Daimler Sovereign and sidekick Terry McCann’s Ford Capri – and both were sold in early 2016. While the Daimler went for £32,000, which was below its £35,000 to £45,000 estimate, the Capri made £52,000 at auction and was actually predicted to break a world record for the sale of a 2.0-litre Capri in the region of £65,000 to £85,000.
Inspector Morse – Mark II Jaguar – over £100,000
Inspector Morse, played by one of the country’s most beloved actors, the late John Thaw, was synonymous with his Jag, so when it went up for sale in 2005 there were a number of keen collectors to add it to their presumably very large garages.
In a sealed bid, meaning the final value was never disclosed, the classic car was sold by liquidators for on behalf of the company that had previously owned the vehicle and believed to have reached its estimate.
In 2004, the car was voted the UK’s all time famous and favourite car, fending off stiff competition from James Bond’s Aston Martin and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Ashes to Ashes – Audi Quattro – £38,598
This motor, used in the BBC One drama was offered to the general public and gained a staggering 160 bids when it was placed on eBay in conjunction with the BBC and Children in Need’s 2014 campaign.
The 1983 performance car was driven by DCI Gene Hunt (played by Philip Glenister), as the actor announcing, ‘If you want to fire up the quattro, first you have to fire up your wallets!’
Coincidentally, both BBC’s Children in Need and the Audi Quattro launched in 1980, with the Quattro’s four-wheel drive powering Audi to victory in the 1982 and 1984 world rally championships.
Bergerac – Triumph Roadster 2000 – £23,000
Jim Bergerac was quite possibly the coolest person on the road in Jersey circa 1985 (the series actually ran on the BBC from ’85 to 1991), so it was always bound to attract attention when it was sold in 2013.
This post-war classic car is, shall we say, distinguished in its appearance and was intended as that all-important upmarket purchase after the Second World War, as the economy, and indeed normality, found its feet again.
This shiny motor was also auctioned off in association with Children in Need and with Bonhams right after the show came to an end and sold for an impressive £23,000. While being an originally featured car in the show, the big different is the registration plate which remained in Jersey with its original owner as it was a location-specific plate. The reg was reversed so it could be driven in the UK and is MOT exempt.
Mr. Bean – British Leyland Mini 1000 – £52,300
And finally, the most recent famous car to sell is Mr. Bean’s famed Mini that’s been at the centre of countless adventures with Rowan Atkinson’s bemused character.
Selling for $70,000 (that’s roughly £52, 313), the car was actually located in America (which explains the bidding in dollars) as it was acquired from the Lord Mayor’s Appeal charity event in London in 1998, and valued between $60,000 and $80,000.
The car boasts its original (and familiar to fans) registration, as well as some Bean modifications such as the padlock on the drivers door.