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Screen-used Bedford van from The Lady in the Van up for auction

A piece of British film history is heading for auction next month, amongst a line-up of classic cars at the Practical Classics Restoration and Classic Car Show in Birmingham.
The sale, conducted by Silverstone Auctions, will include a 1957 Bedford CA van which featured in the awarding winning film ‘The Lady in the Van’, starring Dame Maggie Smith.

The 2015 film told the true story of  Miss Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman who spent 15 years living in a vintage Bedford van parked in the Camden driveway of celebrated writer Alan Bennett.

Bennett later discovered that the woman had previously been a talented pianist, before attempting to become a nun and later escaping from a mental institution to which her brother had committed her.

The van appears extensively throughout the film, and even bears the striking yellow paint work applied on-screen by Dame Maggie herself.

In addition to its allure as a piece of movie history, the now-rare Bedford van is highly collectible as a vehicle in its own right. The early split-screen example was restored prior to filming, including an engine rebuild, and remains in good working order.

“We’re excited to be offering a piece of British cinema history at our sale which, paired with the appeal of the Bedford van to classic collectors, makes for a very exciting and unique opportunity for our customer,,” said Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions.

The van is expected to sell for £9,000-£12,000 when it comes up for sale later this week.

The Silverstone Auctions Restoration Show sale takes place at Birmingham’s NEC on Sunday March 6.

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