As TV’s most-famous second-hand car dealer, Arthur Daley’s 1981 Daimler Sovereign will go under the hammer with H&H Classics at the Imperial War Museum, in Duxford, on April 20.
In the mid-1980s, the late George Cole — who played our Arfur for more than two decades — wanted to buy the car himself and came close to doing so before it was given away in a TV Times competition.
The small-screen’s best-known spiv, Daley became a national institution and 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-made cars driven by Daley, but this Series III-based luxury model is one viewers will most associate with him from the long-running series.
Arthur’s wish to maintain a classy image was at odds with his mildly criminal activities, and you suspect it did the image of Jaguar no great favours!
The Daimler has recently been refinished in its original livery as part of a bodywork restoration, and benefited from £5,000 of mechanical fettling at the hands of a specialist.
Its odometer displays just 43,990 miles, and it is estimated to sell for a sum somewhere between £35,000 and £45,000.
Alongside the Daimler is the two-litre white Ford Capri driven by Terry McCann.
The famous Ford was not only driven by Terry, played by Dennis Waterman, in the show’s opening sequence, but also appeared at various times during the series.
The Capri is believed to have come close to being crushed at one stage, but it “escaped” and, now fully rejuvenated, shows it has 88,700 miles on the clock and is in good working order.
Its estimate is a stonking £65,000 to £85,000 as Capris are increasingly desirable to car collectors.
The original Minder ran for 10 series between 1979 and 1994 and featured the adventures of an honest and likable bodyguard (or “minder”) and a highly-unscrupulous used-car salesman and purveyor of anything on which a quick buck was to be made — inside the law or not.
James McWilliam, H&H Motorcar Specialist, 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.
“For example, the 1976 Jaguar XJ12C we sold last October made a record-breaking £69,440 — despite needing total restoration — due to its New Avengers provenance.
“These cars are celebrities in their own right.”