IF that scruffy yellow Reliant three-wheeler was the most iconic vehicle in the history of TV comedy, Delboy’s other motorised co-star in Only Fools and Horses ran it a close second.
It was an extraordinary garish lime-green Ford Capri, famously dubbed the Pratmobile by Del’s brother Rodney, that cruised the streets of Peckham for a couple of episodes.
Delboy (actor David Jason) called it a Ghia – in fact, it was a 1980 2-litre ‘S’ model – and the car, complete with tiger fur interior, fluffy dice, a bevy of spotlights and pink aerials, went under the hammer when Coys auctioneers staged their Autosport International show at the NEC, Birmingham.
Or rather it didn’t. Despite all the advance hullabaloo, the Capri echoed Delboy’s spectacular under-achievements and failed to reach its reserve, although the auctioneers have since said there were hopes that a post-sale deal could be agreed.
The car came with a letter of authenticity and paperwork confirming its colourful history. It was bought by its current owner in 1998 for a reported £400 from MGM Cars of Elstree Studios, regular suppliers of vehicles for TV and film use.
For the past 15 years the Capri has been kept in store and brought out only occasionally for private or fund-raising publicity events.
So well-known was the Delboy car that Corgi even made a model of it, showing the same CCR 412W registration.
The sale’s other top-of-the-bill lot with a glamorous pedigree was a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow that had belonged to rock superstar Freddie Mercury. It had been bought for his personal use by his management company in 1979.
Freddie used the Shadow until his death in November 1991 and it has remained with his family ever since. It was last used for the premiere of the Queen musical ‘We Will Rock You’ in 2002, and has covered minimal mileage since.
The classic 62,000-mile limo has a 6.75-litre V8 engine and features include grey leather, wood trim, electric windows, automatic gearbox, a car phone and radio cassette player.
The Roller did find a buyer in the shape of an anonymous Russian businessman, who shelled out £74,000, way above its guide price of £9,000-£11,000.