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Lovely Jubbly: Grab a slice of TV historyBack

It’s one of the most recognisable classic cars of the small screen, transporting Del Boy and Rodney on their many riotious adventures.

Now the legendary yellow Reliant Regal three-wheeler  from BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses is up for auction.

The 1968 motor, with registration BWC 94F, was used in the 2001 Christmas Special , ‘If They Could See Us Now’, when Del Boy and Rodney drove it in Monaco. It also featured in the BBC DVD ‘The Story of Only Fools and Horses’ as well as in several issues of the fanzine ‘Hookie Street’.

Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions, which is auctioning the car, said: “Del Boy’s Reliant Regal is one of the most distinctive cars of BBC comedy history. Only Fools and Horses has a fan base spanning several generations and is something of a British treasure, so to have the van from the series for auction is a real treat which will no doubt draw the crowds.”

Today the van appears exactly as it did on screen, complete with tiger print plush interior and ‘Trotters Independent Trading Co’ sign. Accessories including a “Tax in Post” window notice, nodding tiger, roof rack with suitcase, set of furry dice, personalised rubber foot mats and a set of blow-up plastic dolls, which show up in the back window, as seen in the TV series.

It has a reconditioned engine, a full synchromesh gearbox, a remote control key start, a DVD player and cassette radio, and even a smoke machine which emits smoke from the exhaust.

The motor will be offered at the auction with ‘No Reserve’, which means it could sell for as little as £1, but insiders suggest the piece of British sitcom history is more likely to sell for in excess of £15,000.

It was one of a number of Regals (usually incorrectly referred to as Reliant Robins) used for filming the popular sitcom over its 20-year run.

This one appeared in one of the last ever episodes – where Del Boy loses his fortune. At the time it was the BBC’s most viewed television programme of the decade with 21.3million tuning in.

The Regal is fitted with a 600cc engine which develops just 30bhp. This gives it a 0-60mph time of 25 seconds and a top speed of 75mph.

Mr Whale added: “Disregarding its TV provenance, it’s probably that most reliable example of this ‘marque’ that you will find and has even participated in the London to Brighton rally in 2001 and 2004.”

It’s still in full working order passing it’s MOT without issue six years in a row – but it’s done just 30 miles in the past decade.

With 71,778 miles recorded, the van is supplied with its original owners handbook, an MOT until June 9, 2018, and letters in the history file from the BBC to the then owner, John Mansfield, which confirm its authenticity.

The car will be sold by Silverstone Auctions during its two-day classic car sale at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the Birmingham NEC on November 11 and 12.

Posted by Beth Rose on 27/10/2017