An iconic vintage car from the Kent-based comedy-drama The Darling Buds of May is set to go under the hammer next month.

The yellow 20hp Rolls-Royce Park Ward Landaulette was made famous as the much-loved Pop Larkin engine, played by David Jason in the 1990’s ITV adaptation of the 1958 HE Bates novel.

The original Rolls-Royce used in the Darling Buds of May television series. Photo: Paul Mayhew / Snughorne Photography

A story of life in the Garden of England in the 1950s, the show was relaunched this year with Bradley Walsh stepping into Jason’s shoes to play the part of Pop.

Auctioneer H&H Classics describes the 1926 Roller – registration RA 333 – as “arguably one of the most beloved British TV car figures of all time”.

The car, which was last sold in 2019 for £ 100,000, will be auctioned on November 17 at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.

H&H Classics estimates that the iconic vehicle will sell for between £ 50,000 and £ 70,000.

Unveiled by the luxury automaker in 1922, the 20HP was a second Rolls-Royce bowstring – a shorter, more economical sister of the Silver Ghost which broadened the brand’s reach to cover both the very rich and the richest.

Pam Ferris and David Jason as the Larkins in The Darling Buds of May television series.  Image: ITV
Pam Ferris and David Jason as the Larkins in The Darling Buds of May television series. Image: ITV

The popular TV adaptation saw Jason, best known for his role as Del Trotter in Only Fools and Horses, playing alongside Pam Ferris as Ma Larkin and Catherine Zeta-Jones playing their eldest daughter Mariette.

Author HE Bates captured Kent in all its rural splendor perfect for his tales of the Larkin family.

A former journalist, he and his wife Madge moved to Little Chart, near Ashford, and lived in an old attic with an acre of garden, where he continued to write his books, and lived for over 40 years.

The latest ITV adaptation of the tale, which hit our screens on October 10, sees Joanna Scanlan playing Ma Larkin, with Bridgerton’s Sabrina Bartlet as Mariette.

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