Stars of the Big and Small Screen

Back in June we visited Beaulieu National Motor Museum. Back then we came to the conclusion that Beaulieu was much more than a Museum. And this post explains just one of the reasons why. Tucked away in the beautiful Beaulieu grounds is an small exhibition of On Screen Cars. This small space features true car stars in an exhibition of TV and film favourites.

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First cab off the rank is no other than Arthur Weasley’s ‘Flying’ Ford Anglia. Arthur’s son Ron borrowed the car twice, once to rescue Harry Potter from suburban captivity and again to transport both himself and Harry to Hogwart’s after the entrance to Platform 9 ¾ is close by Dobby the house-elf.

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This particular Anglia was used during the filming of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It was stolen from South West Studios in 2005 but was later recovered after being dumped by the thieves probably due to the high media interest.

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007 fans will quickly recognise this car as Zao’s Jagaur XKR from the finale sequence in Die Another Day. Villian Zao and Bond engage in a deadly duel on the ice with two evenly matched machines.

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007’s Aston Martin V12 Vanquish versus Zao’s lethal Jaguar XKR went head to head on a frozen lake while glaciers loomed behind.

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Non-standard hardware in the XKR includes, thermal imaging, gatling gun, heat seeking missiles and hydraulic battering ram. Bond and Zao’s chase ends at the ice palace, the Jaguar falls into a lake of freezing water.

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Del Boy Rodney’s Reliant Regal Supervan appeared in Only Fools and Horses. Three were used during the production of this long gone British sitcom, this one and two ‘Back-up” vans.

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Now, this looks familiar.

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This film star does not need an explanation. But we will give it one anyway. This Mini found itself alongside its rather interesting and amusing character. After making its television debut on 30 November 1990, the Mr Bean series was a global phenomenon. This particular car was featured in the character’s third series. The mini made its first television appearance on 1 January 1991. In this episode, Mr Bean discovers he does not have enough change for the multi-storey car park ticket machine and tries to outwit the exit barrier!

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Bealieu is also home to the very batted, modified and pretty much ruined cars that have appear in the World most popular automotive program. Love it or Loathe it…you have to agree Top Gear is pretty entertaining. If you are a Top Gear fan you will love the car sights that can be seen at the World of Top Gear.

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One of our favourite early episodes of Top Gear featured the Indestructible Hilux. Who could forget after crashing into trees, entering in the sea, driving through a shed and being crushed under the full weight of a caravan, the Indesctructible Hilux lived on.

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This camouflage wrapped Nova SRi was expertly driven by Richard Hammond and contested Jeremy’s Golf GTi and James’ XR2i to claim victory in the hot hatch challenge.

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The Kia Cee’d was the reasonably priced car from series 15 to series 19. It was retired in 2013 after being thrashed by Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Rowan Atkinson, Alice Cooper to name just a few.

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The 2010 Christmas Special saw Jeremy, Richard and James follow in the footsteps of the three wise men. Starting in Iraq and finishing in Bethlehem, the presenters cars of choice include a Mazda MX5 with its unique ‘car of many colours’ paint job, a malfunctioning BMW Z3 and Fiat Barchetta complete with desert applied to the front of the car.

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The future of mass transportation. We think not. This is the TGV12 ‘Sports Train’ driven by Jeremy during Top Gear’s attempt to reduce the cost of railway travel using innovative car-based trains instead.

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The Stretched MGF didn’t look quite as spectacular in real life as it did on TV.

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James May’s lightweight Lotus Motorhome.

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Now here’s a Top Gear experiment that kind of worked. From Top Gear’s 50 Years Of Bond Cars special, this is the underwater Lotus. Based on the unpopular Excel model (because Esprits were too expensive), this budget submarine features extendable rear dive planes, electrically-powered rear thrusters, a double skinned passenger compartment, a roof hatch for access and a cunning ballast system based around filling the tyres with concrete.

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Can you modify a car to cross a body of water? Jeremy’s Nissank, James’ Herald and Richard’s Dampervan were all collected from the deep as proof that amphibious commuting is not as easy as it looks.

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It doesn’t look like the Herald will ever see the road (or the sea) again!

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Sea water has taken its toll on the Nissank.

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We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of On Screen Cars and the World of Top Gear from Beaulieu. Stay tuned…there is much more on the way.

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