Pop Larkin's Rolls-Royce from The Darling Buds of May to go on sale at Duxford

The 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp Landaulette by Park Ward from The Darling Buds of May.

The 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp Landaulette by Park Ward from The Darling Buds of May. - Credit: Supplied by H&H Classics

As a new generation of fans watch Bradley Walsh as Pop Larkin in The Larkins, David Jason's 'perfick' car from the original 1990s ITV series is about to go under the hammer at Duxford.

Pop Larkin's beloved canary yellow Rolls-Royce from The Darling Buds of May will go on sale with specialist auction house H&H Classics at the Imperial War Museum Duxford on November 17.

Described by H&H Classics as "arguably one of the most beloved UK film car characters ever", the vintage 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp Landaulette is expected to fetch between £50,000 to £70,000.

This iconic 1926 vehicle of dreams for Ma and Pop Larkin was purchased by its current owner in 2019 for £100,000, and its previous keeper beforehand for the same sum.

It is now offered for sale with an MOT certificate valid until May 5, 2022.

The 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp Landaulette by Park Ward from The Darling Buds of May.

The yellow 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp Landaulette from The Darling Buds of May is about to go on sale at Duxford. - Credit: Supplied by H&H Classics

The Darling Buds of May was a television comedy-drama series produced for ITV by Yorkshire TV and first broadcast between 1991 and 1993.

The classic series was based on the 1958 novella of the same name by renowned author H.E. Bates and its sequels.

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Set in rural 1950s Kent, the series followed the idyllic life of the Larkin family.

The 1990s series starred Only Fools and Horses favourite David Jason as 'Pop' Larkin alongside Pam Ferris as 'Ma' Larkin.

Catherine Zeta-Jones played their eldest daughter Mariette in her breakout role.

In the series, Mariette marries tax inspector Cedric 'Charley' Charlton, played by Phillip Franks.

David Jason said the message of this show was the same as Only Fools and Horses: that the most important thing is what happens at home and with the family.

The steering wheel and dashboard of the 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp from The Darling Buds of May.

The steering wheel and dashboard of the 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp from The Darling Buds of May. - Credit: Supplied by H&H Classics

This particular Rolls-Royce model was unveiled in 1922.

The 20HP was a second string to the Rolls-Royce bow – a shorter, more economical sibling to the Silver Ghost which broadened the marque’s reach to span both the very rich and seriously wealthy.

Progressively updated to feature a four-speed gearbox and servo-assisted all-wheel braking, the ‘baby’ Rolls remained in production until 1929, by which time some 2,885 examples had left the company’s Derby factory.

The interior of the 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp from The Darling Buds of May.

The interior of the 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp from The Darling Buds of May. - Credit: Supplied by H&H Classics

Lighter and more responsive than the Silver Ghost, the 20HP was capable of exceeding 60mph.

Supplied new on August 20, 1926 via Huskinson & Ashwell Ltd of Nottingham to F.R Claye Esq, chassis GUK-71 featured Landaulette coachwork by Park Ward and was finished high varnished in purple blue with fine white line and matching blue upholstery.

GUK-71 remained in F.R Claye’s ownership for 10 years, before being passed on to a Mrs Hannah Claye for a further 19 years.

In 1955, the car was then sold to a Richard Edward Derington Fenning of the Royal Hotel, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, who owned the car for 38 years.

During this time the Rolls-Royce 20hp Landaulette would gain the admiration it has to this day.

The rear of the 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp from The Darling Buds of May.

The rear of the 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp from The Darling Buds of May. - Credit: Supplied by H&H Classics

The Rolls-Royce up for sale retains its registration ‘RA 333’ and is arguably the most famous 20hp in existence.

The car was used throughout ITV’s adaptation of H.E Bates’ The Darling Buds of May, instantly becoming an icon of the show, with die-cast models of the motor widely available.

The vehicle is currently stored in a Carcoon within a dehumidified unit and has been maintained accordingly.

Included with the vehicle is a comprehensive folder featuring rarely seen documents, including the original order confirmation letter, bill of sale, and specification sheet from 1926.

As well as this, copies of pre-delivery inspections are also included, as well as the original logbook, a copy of the original guarantee and instruction manual.

In addition, further documents include previous MOTs and invoices, including a printed summary of maintenance post-1992, and, of course, photographs and press relating to The Darling Buds of May series.

You can see The Darling Buds of May remake The Larkins, starring The Chase host Bradley Walsh and Bridgerton's Sabrina Bartlett, on ITV on Sunday nights.


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