Comedy cars command big estimates at auction

A trio of cars with their roots steeped in the British comedy scene are set to head to auction next month. In among the hundred-plus lots on offer at Silverstone Auctions' NEC show sale will be a Jensen Interceptor formerly owned by Eric Morecambe, a Jimmy Tarbuck-owned Volvo P1800 and a genuine Only Fools and Horses Reliant Regal Supervan.

The most eye-catching and recognisable of the trio is undoubtedly the 1968 Reliant. Resplendent in the Trotters Independent Trading Co livery we all know and love, it's the genuine article, having appeared in the episode "If They Could See Us Now".

Comedy cars at Silverstone Auctions
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Comedy cars at Silverstone Auctions

Acquired by the present owner at auction in 2008, it's been fully reconditioned and a few extra features have been added on. This may be the only Reliant around with a DVD player and keyless ignition. Flick a switch on the tiger-print dash, meanwhile, and a smoke machine activates at the rear.

It's being sold without reserve, unlike Eric Morecambe's Jensen Interceptor. With an auction estimate of between £90,000 and £110,000, it's likely to command a significant premium over a regular Interceptor – prices for which are hovering around £72,000 for a model in top condition.

The Jensen is in fact the very car where Morecambe suffered his first heart attack – not the cheeriest of accolades!

It's been fully restored by Jensen specialists, having been discovered in 2014 by the owner of Silverstone Auctions, Nick Whale. He described the car as being in a "sad-looking" state, but is now in perfect, matching-numbers condition. It even rides on the original number plate.

On a tighter budget? You could also get your hands on Jimmy Tarbuck's old Volvo P1800. With an auction estimate of £15,000-£18,000, it's a relative bargain, though has nothing like the history or rarity of the Jensen.

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