Rowan Atkinson to sell two modern classics

Blackadder and Mr Bean actor’s Lancia Thema 8.32 and Mercedes 500E will be auctioned at the Silverstone Classics Race Retro sale in February

Two modern classics owned by comedian Rowan Atkinson CBE are to be offered by Silverstone Auctions at February’s Race Retro Classic Car Sale.

This follows the auction house’s recent handling of Rowan’s limited-edition 2015 Land Rover Defender 90 Heritage, which went for £10,000 above its pre-auction lower estimate.

Rowan’s Mercedes-Benz 500E and Lancia Thema 8.32 will both be offered at no reserve at the sale at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.

The 500E, which is hand-built and powered by a 5-litre V8, is the second such car owned by Rowan. He had been so impressed by the first model he bought new in the 1990s that, in 2015, he set about finding the best example possible.

This example is left-hand drive and has covered just 85,000km. It features grey cloth upholstery – reputedly preferred by Rowan to the standard leather finish – as well as walnut detailing and a leather-covered steering wheel. The exterior is said to be in ‘outstanding condition’ and the car comes complete with a comprehensive history file and original book pack.

The second of Rowan’s cars is a Lancia Thema 8.32 Series 1. This model is famous in collector circles for its rarity – there are fewer than 20 examples of the Series 1 currently registered and taxed in the UK, according to the DVLA – and its V8 32-valve engine from the Ferrari 328.

As with the Mercedes, it’s left-hand drive and said to be in excellent condition. Rowan has owned it for seven years, during which time a considerable sum has apparently been spent on maintaining and improving the car.

Nick Whale, managing director at Silverstone Auctions, said: ‘We’re honoured that Rowan is once again entrusting his cars to Silverstone Auctions, this time with two much-loved models.

‘Both are particularly fine examples of their marque, and built in low numbers in left-hand drive only, offering the opportunity to own a modern classic with a distinguished past – possibly for a bargain price.’

For more information about the Race Retro Classic Car Sale on February 24-25, visit Silverstone Auctions.

The highlight of the Silverstone Auctions Race Retro Competition Car Sale, on February 23, is a Prodrive Subaru Legacy, previously campaigned by both Ari Vatanen and Richard Burns.

Classic Cars for Sale