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He described Lexus as “the Japanese Mercedes”, used a Top Gear review of the Renault Megane to insult his ex-wife Carol and repeatedly refused to drive a Mini Metro, but we suspect Alan Partridge would feel right at home in an Aston Martin DBS V8.
After all, the gaffe-prone chat-show host is famously patriotic about his choice of car, driving a succession of Rovers and Vauxhalls (plus the odd Japanese saloon) across a near-30-year career on TV and radio.
To the best of our knowledge the Norfolk icon has never driven an Aston, but Steve Coogan, the actor who plays him, certainly has, having owned one since 2011 – and now his car is up for sale with Silverstone Auctions.
Nor is it any old DBS V8: Coogan’s runabout is a famous factory press car which was used to launch the model and which has since been beautifully restored to spectacular condition; don’t worry, Alan, there’s certainly no rude graffiti daubed on its side.
The William Towns-designed DBS arrived in 1967, with the V8 model following two years later. This particular example, SKX 11J, was produced in 1970 and played a notable role in publicising the new, more powerful variant.
In 1971, Motor magazine tested it on the then-unfinished M4 motorway and pushed it to 160mph – at the time a record for a four-seater.
It left Aston Martin in 1973 and subsequently disappeared from view only to resurface in less-than-pristine shape in Scotland. Maybe it had been driven to Dundee by someone in bare feet eating Toblerone…
After initially being restored by specialists Chapman and Spooner it received a further fine-tuning of the chassis by John Armitage, before also having its injection system tweaked by marque specialists.
Coogan is every bit as big a car nut as Partridge, albeit one with considerably better taste (and more money). A regular on Top Gear, his collection has included multiple Ferraris and Porsches, a Jaguar E-type, Mazda MX-5 and BMW X5, among others.
The actor, who as well as playing Partridge has starred in dozens of other critically acclaimed TV shows and films and who was nominated for an Oscar for 2014’s Philomena, bought the DBS V8 in 2011 and has kept it in superb condition since.
Its Dark Blue paint would doubtless go well with Partridge's badge-and-blazer set, while the black leather interior would perfectly offset the broadcaster's beloved driving gloves.
Inside there's an original Becker-Mexico radio but with the addition of iPod connectivity – useful for the playing back of Roachford albums and voice memos to long-suffering personal assistants – while the manual gearbox will surely delight anyone who worries about its ability to pass National Express coaches at speed.
The car will be sold at Silverstone Auctions’ sale at the Silverstone Classic on 26-28 July, and is being offered with an estimate of £145,000 to £165,000. “Cashback!”, as Partridge might say.
Nick Whale, Managing Director of Silverstone Auctions says, “We are delighted to have been asked by Steve Coogan to sell this magnificent and historically important car which is in outstanding and concours condition. He is obviously famous for his acting and comedy but is also a distinguished car collector and has really looked after this DBS V8.”