Pop Larkins (David Jason) beloved Rolls-Royce 20hp Park Ward Laundalette that starred in ITVs The Darling Buds of May comes to market with H&H Classics
on November 17th at the imperial War Museum in Duxford.
Arguably one of the most beloved UK film car characters ever, this 1926 vehicle of dreams for Mom and Pop Larkin was purchased by its current keeper 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 5th May 2022.
The Darling Buds of May was a television series produced for the ITV network by Yorkshire TV and first broadcast between 1991 and 1993. The first six episodes of Series 1 and the first two of Series 2 are adaptations of the 1958 novel of the same name by renowned author H.E. Bates. The remaining episodes are original storylines based on the same format.
Set in rural 1950s Kent, it follows the life of the Larkin family. It starred David Jason as "Pop" Larkin alongside Pam Ferris as "Ma" Larkin, with Catherine Zeta-Jones playing heir eldest daughter Mariette, who marries tax inspector Cedric "Charley" Charlton, played by Phillip Franks. A ratings success, it was Zeta-Jones's breakout role.
David Jason said the message of this show was the same as Only Fools and Horses (1981): that the most important thing is what happens at home and with the family.
This 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 marques 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 when some 2,885 examples had vacated the companys Derby factory. Lighter and more responsive than the Silver Ghost, the 20HP was capable of exceeding 60mph.
Supplied new on 20th August 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 Clayes 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, in which time, this Rolls-Royce 20hp Landaulette would gain the admiration it has to this day.
This Rolls-Royce retains its registration RA 333 and is arguably the most famous 20hp in existence; being the car used throughout ITVs adaptation of H.E Bates Darling Buds of May, instantly becoming an icon of the show, with die-cast models of this car 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.