Cars driven by TV’s most famous second-hand car dealer, Arthur Daley, and his sidekick Terry McCann in the TV series Minderfetched £32,000 and £52,000 respectively at auction on April 20.
Daley’s 1981 Daimler Sovereign and McCann’s Ford Capri Mk2 were sold by H&H Classics at its sale at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.
The Daimler has recently been refinished in its original livery as part of a recent bodywork restoration and also received £5,000 worth of mechanical fettling by a marque specialist. Its odometer displays just 43,990 miles.
According to H&H Classics, actor George Cole who portrayed the loveable rogue Arthur Daley in the series, wanted to buy the car himself, and came close to doing so before it was given away in a TV Times competition.
It was estimated to sell for £35,000 to £45,000 so just scraped towards the lower end of its perceived value.
Alongside the Daimler was its automotive partner, a 2.0-litre Ford Capri Mk2 driven by the ‘minder’ of the show’s title, Terry McCann, played by Dennis Waterman.
The 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.
It was estimated at £65,000 to £85,000 and was potentially a new world record for a 2.0-litre Capri, a clear indication of the power of celebrity and provenance as well as solid values for Ford Capris in general.
A Mk3 3.0-litre Capri driven by Lewis Collins as Bodie in The Professionals fetched £55,000 at the same auction – a world record for the model – against an estimate of £35,000 to £45,000.
The original Minder show ran for 10 series between October 29, 1979 and March 10, 1994, and starred Dennis Waterman as Terry McCann, an honest and likable bodyguard (or minder) and George Cole as Arthur Daley, a roguish 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.”
TV’s most famous London car dealer and all-round spiv, “Arfur” Daley became a national institution and many of his catchphrases, such as “‘er indoors”, “nice little earner” and “nice little runner”, entered general usage. 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.