Sunday, 28 February 2016

Legendary ‘Minder’ Cars Under The Hammer – “Two Nice Little Runners”

When TV’s most famous second hand car dealer, Arthur Daley’s famous 1981 Daimler Sovereign goes under the hammer with H&H Classics at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford on Wednesday 20th April, it will be a case of life imitating art.

There will doubtless be many who will want to own this “nice little runner” which comes with the glamour of a TV series that endeared itself to its British audience over two decades.

The Daimler has recently been re-finished in its original livery as part of a recent bodywork restoration and benefited from £5,000 worth of mechanical fettling at the hands of a marque specialist. Its odometer displays just 43,990 miles. In the mid-1980s George Cole wanted to buy the car himself, and came close to doing so before it was given away in a TV Times competition. It is estimated by H&H to sell for £35,000 to £45,000.

Alongside the Daimler will be its automotive partner, a two-litre white Ford Capri driven by Terry McCann played by Dennis Waterman. The famous Ford was not only driven by Terry in the opening sequence but also at various times during the series. The Capri is believed to have come close to being crushed, but escaped and now rejuvenated shows 88,700 miles on the clock. Its estimate is a stonking £65,000 to £85,000 as Ford Capris are on the up and up. At this figure it would potentially be a new world record for a two litre model, clear indication of the power of celebrity and provenance.

The original Minder show ran for ten series between 29 October 1979 and 10 March 1994, and starred Dennis Waterman as Terry McCann, an honest and likable bodyguard (or minder) and George Cole as Arthur Daley, a highly unscrupulous used-car salesman and purveyor of anything on which a pound was to be made, whether inside the law or not.

James McWilliam, H&H Motorcar Specialist, who consigned the pair says:
“Both cars have been sympathetically restored and estimated to make allowance for their small screen history. We know from past experience that playing a major role in a TV series can have a big impact on value as witnessed by the 1976 Jaguar XJ12C that we sold last October which made a record breaking £69,440 despite needing total restoration due to its ‘New Avengers’ TV provenance. These cars are celebrities in their own right.” H&H is one of only five classic car auction houses to have sold a car for over $10m“.
TV’s most famous London car dealer and all-round spiv, ‘Arfur’ Daley became a national institution. As a result of his link with the Daimler George Cole became a fan of the marque and went on to own at least eight Jaguars.

This buff yellow saloon - the colour is officially ‘Portland Beige’ - was one of a string of Jaguar-originated cars driven by Arthur Daley, played by George Cole, but this Series III-based luxury model was one viewers will most associate with Daley in long-running series that ran from the late-Seventies to the mid-Nineties.

Daley’s wish to maintain a classy image was at odds with his mildly criminal activities and did the image of Jaguar no great favours one suspects. But for the new owner of this car it will be a great talking point.

For more information about the auction visit

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