Rolls-Royce From ITVs Darling Buds of May

Rolls-Royce From ITVs Darling Buds of May

Available at Auction on 17th November

26/10/2021     Cars


Rolls-Royce From Darling Buds of May

1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp Landaulette by Park Ward

Pop Larkin’s (David Jason) Beloved Rolls-Royce 20hp Park Ward Landaulette that starred in ITV’s ‘The Darling Buds of May’ comes to market with H&H Classics on November 17th at the imperial War Museum, Duxford.

Arguably one of the most beloved UK TV 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.

Rolls-Royce 1922 20hp

The Darling Buds of May was a television series, produced for the ITV network by Yorkshire TV and first broadcast between 7th April 1991 and 4th April 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 and three of its four sequels, 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.

Featuring a total of 20 episodes, it was broadcast as three series of six double-episode story lines in the spring of 1991, 1992 and 1993, plus two single-episode Christmas specials aired in 1991 and 1992.

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 marque’s reach to span both the very rich and seriously wealthy.

Rear of 1922 Rolls-Royce 20HP

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.

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 company’s Derby factory. Lighter and more responsive than the Silver Ghost, the 20HP was capable of exceeding 60mph.

Interior of 1922 Rolls-Royce 20hp 

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 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, 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 ITV’s adaptation of H.E Bates’ ‘Darling Buds of May’, starring David Jason as Pop Larkin. Pop’s beloved Rolls-Royce instantly became an icon of the show, with die-cast models of the very car we have on offer here widely available.

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

Darling Buds Of May Rolls Royce Coach

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.

Find out more here