Rolls once owned by Ashby man and famous for appearance in TV series could fetch £70,000 at auction

  Posted: 29.10.21 at 17:51 by Ashby Nub News

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A vintage Rolls Royce which belonged to an Ashby man for almost 40 years - and featured in a classic 90s TV series - is up for auction next month.

The car, a 20hp Park Ward Larlette finished in yellow, was used in the Darling Buds of May which starred David Jason between 1991 and 1993, reports the intertainment.co.uk website.

But, in 1955, the car was sold to a Richard Edward Derington-Fenning of the Royal Hotel, in Ashby, and retained it for 38 years.

That would have been the owner when the registration ‘RA 333’ would become arguably the most famous 20hp in existence thanks to its role in the TV series.  

The Rolls has been put up for auction as the show’s revival begins as The Larkins, with Bradley Walsh playing Pop. 

Two years ago, the car last changed hands for £100,000, though the estimate placed by H&H Classics for its appearance at the Imperial War Museum auction on November 17 is far lower - between £50,000 and £70,000.

It had a starring role in the Darling Buds of May 30 years ago

But it means a piece of TV history, as well as a truly classic car, is on offer.

The auction house describes it as ‘arguably one of the most beloved UK TV car characters ever’, which is why the vehicle has changed hands for six-figure sums of £100,000 on its two most recent occasions.

It will be given an MOT certificate that is valid up to May 4, 2022 when it goes to the Duxford museum in Cambridgeshire.

The 20HP was introduced for the first time in 1922.

It was considered the second string to the Rolls-Royce bow at the time – a shorter, more economical sibling to the Silver Ghost which broadened the marque’s reach to span both the very rich and seriously wealthy.

The interior oozes class

It was built on a ladder-frame chassis with power coming from a 3,127cc straight-six-cylinder engine mated to a three-speed manual gearbox. 

The car has a leaf-spring suspension with brakes only on the rear wheels and ‘worm & nut’ steering. 

And the 1926 model is powered by a 3.1-litre six-cylinder motor mated to a 3-speed gearbox

This example was purchased new by a dealer in Nottingham on August 20, 1926. It was equipped with chassis GUK71 featuring Landaulette coachwork from Park Ward.

It was high varnished in Purple Blue and matched blue upholstery. 

The dashboard shows what driving was like in the 1920s

It remained in the original keeper’s possession for 10 years, before being purchased by a second owner, who kept it for nearly another 20 years.

The 20HP was introduced for the first time in 1922. Its horizontal radiator shutters instantly distinguish it from other models.

It has been stored in a “carcoon” – a dehumidified area – where it has been carefully maintained.

A comprehensive folder containing rare documents is included with the vehicle. It includes the original order confirmation letter and bill of sale, as well as the specification sheet from 1926. 

These include copies of pre-delivery inspections, the original logbook, the original guarantee, and an instruction manual.

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