Every so often, a car turns up that, for some reason, has never really seen the light of day. The 82-miles-from-new Triumph Dolomite, which we featured on here earlier this month, is one such example of that.
However, this one is something sensational – a workaday commercial vehicle that has never carried a load, nor done a hard day’s work in its entire life. A Bedford Astravan, with a meagre 72 miles on the dial…
The van was bought new in 1989 by a builder in Bedfordshire, who picked it up from Vauxhall/Bedford main dealer Stevenage Car and Commercial and drove it home. According to the vendor, he then went through a sudden downturn in business and quickly changed career, without ever using the van for work.
The condition is truly incredible – the front seats still have their original plastic covers and the load bay is completely free of dings, dents or marks.
Not only is this truly a one-off, but it’s also a uniquely British vehicle. Conceived, designed and built here, the Astravan was created in Luton and built in Ellesmere Port to suit a market very specific to the UK. The model was the country’s most popular car-derived van right up until its demise in 2011, and found fame on BBC’s Top Gear for being named as the ‘fastest vehicle on British roads’, as a nod to the way in which many ‘Ashtrayvans’ were driven.
One thing’s for sure – you’ll not find another. Seven grand might seem steep for a 16-year old Astravan, but it’s bloomin’ cheap for a new one…