Not seen in public for nearly 12 years, Arthur Daley’s 1981 Daimler Sovereign from hit ITV show Minder is going under the hammer at Silverstone Auctions’ classic car sale during the Restoration Show at the NEC in Birmingham on 12 April.
The car was driven extensively by both Arthur (George Cole) and Terry (Dennis Waterman) from Series Four through to Six of the show, as well as featuring in two Christmas specials ‘Around The Corner‘ in 1984 and ‘Minder on The Orient Express‘ in 1985. For anyone with a love of this programme, the sale of this car is something of an opportunity to own an important part of its history.
According to the seller, George Cole nearly bought the car himself back in 1985 but it was eventually decided to give the car away in a TV Times competition. However, this wasn’t exactly what George Cole wanted at the time.
He said in a Minder DVD commentary: ‘I was sitting in the Minder Jaguar and talking to the location manager and I said I must get myself a new car, because I was driving a rather battered Capri at the time.
‘He said, “Well why don’t you put an offer in for this Jag?” So I said, “Yes, I might do that.” So he got on to Jaguar and said would they give it a good service and make me an offer I couldn’t refuse. So they said “Yes” and that was that.
‘A couple of days later the phone rings, it was TV Times, they said “I understand you’re going to buy the Minder Jaguar?” and I said “Yes”. They said “Well, we want it, because we want to give it away as a prize in a competition”. So I said, “Well I’m sorry, I want it”.
‘So a few days later they ring up again, “If we get Jaguar to get you a very hefty discount on a new Jaguar, will you let us have the Minder Jaguar?”. So I sobbed a bit and said “Yes, alright”. So then I went down to present it someone who’d won in the raffle.’
After the TV Times giveaway, it remained in the same hands until 2003, when it was initially raffled, and then auctioned on eBay and bought by the current seller. The Portland beige paintwork is in superb order throughout and the car was subject to a restoration in 1986 and 1987. It is now being sold with a new MoT and six months’ tax.
The Daimler Sovereign is estimated at between £10,500 and £15,000 and presents the opportunity to own a piece of TV history.
The Managing Director of Silverstone Auctions, Nick Whale, said: ‘We’ve sold our fair share of famous vehicles in the past and it’s wonderful to be able to this lot to the list. This is a fantastic opportunity for collectors of television memorabilia as well as classic car fans.’
More at www.silverstoneauctions.com