Ford Capri from Minder restored to former glory after it caught FIRE

Nice little BURNER! Legendary Ford Capri from 1980s show Minder is restored to former glory after it caught FIRE on way back from MOT test

  • An electric fault in the engine bay caused the 1977 white motor to catch ablaze near the M25, Surrey last year
  • Now a mechanic who specialises in classic car restorations has unveiled the famous Ford after fixing it up
  • The project was no bodge job worthy of an Arthur Daley fast one as it took six months and cost £12,000 

A legendary Ford Capri from 1980s show Minder has been restored to its former glory after catching fire on the way back from an MOT test. 

The 1977 white motor which appeared on the opening titles of the comedy-drama caught ablaze last year due to an electric fault in the engine bay. 

Now a mechanic who specialises in classic car restorations has unveiled the famous Ford after fixing it up.

The restoration project was no bodge job worthy of an Arthur Daley fast one as it took six months and cost £12,000.

Tony Collins, of Classic Car Restorations of Canterbury, Kent, said: ‘I started in lockdown so it was a good lockdown project.

A legendary Ford Capri from 1980s show Minder has been restored to its former glory after catching fire on the way back from an MOT test

George Cole as Arthur Daley with Dennis Waterman as Terry – shake hands over the Capri in classic TV show Minder

The 1977 white motor which appeared on the opening titles of the comedy-drama caught ablaze last year due to an electric fault in the engine bay

Now a mechanic who specialises in classic car restorations has unveiled the famous Ford after fixing it up

Tony Collins of Classic Car Restorations with the famous Ford Capri and a cutout of legendary character Arthur Daley

The two litre Capri – registration plate SLE 71R – features in the opening titles of Minder when Terry McCann – played by Dennis Waterman – meets George Cole’s unscrupulous car dealer character Arthur for the first time to run the rule over the second hand motor

The restoration project was no bodge job worthy of an Arthur Daley fast one as it took six months and cost £12,000

The incident happened near to the M25 in Surrey and the damage would have been more severe had a fire brigade crew not been close by

‘Obviously when it came in it was all burnt so we had it all sandblasted and painted and then there were bits we had to source.

‘It cost about £12,000 to restore it. There wasn’t any one thing that cost lots but you have to remember the whole car was burnt.

‘The upholstery and steering wheel weren’t too badly damaged so that made it an easier restoration.’

The two litre Capri – registration plate SLE 71R – features in the opening titles of Minder when Terry McCann – played by Dennis Waterman – meets George Cole’s unscrupulous car dealer character Arthur for the first time to run the rule over the second hand motor.

The theme tune of ‘I Could Be So Good for You’ that was sung by Waterman made the start of the programme one of the most famous opening sequences of a TV show.

In 2016 the Capri sold at auction for £50,000 and was bought by a private owner.

He took great care of the motor and took it to car shows and made it available for private photo shoots before the fire.

The incident happened near to the M25 in Surrey and the damage would have been more severe had a fire brigade crew not been close by.

Matt Richardson, from Classic Ford magazine, said: ‘I have featured several of Tony’s restorations on my YouTube channel Furious Driving and when the car was brought in he called me straight away saying ‘you won’t believe what I have’.

‘I’m a bit young for the show but my mum and dad used to watch it and I remember the actors and the car and the music.

The motor before the huge restoration project to return it to its former glory of nearly 40 years ago started

Minder ran for ten series between October 1979 and March 1994 and was one of ITV’s most popular programmes

The theme tune of ‘I Could Be So Good for You’ that was sung by Waterman made the start of the programme one of the most famous opening sequences of a TV show

In 2016 the Capri, well known for featuring in the show, sold at auction for £50,000 and was bought by a private owner

He took great care of the motor and took it to car shows and made it available for private photo shoots before the fire

Mr Collins said: ‘The upholstery and steering wheel weren’t too badly damaged so that made it an easier restoration’

Matt Richardson, from Classic Ford magazine, said: ‘It’s probably in a better condition than it was before, when you think how fast Ford was chucking these out in the seventies compared with the level of care taken here’

Waterman’s character was an honest and likable bodyguard, or minder, and the late George Cole played an unscrupulous used car salesman and small-time criminal

The 1977 white motor is best known for appearing on the opening titles of the comedy-drama Minder in the 1980s

‘It’s probably in a better condition than it was before, when you think how fast Ford was chucking these out in the seventies compared with the level of care taken here.

‘When I first saw it it was quite sad and horrifying really. There was melted plastic dripping off the car and hardening like stalactites. But I looked at it and could see the potential to bring it back.

‘Tony has done a fantastic job, a lot of the upholstery wasn’t damaged so they could still restore it with the seats and steering wheel used by Dennis Waterman. Otherwise it wouldn’t really be the same car.

‘They were so lucky that the fire brigade was literally in the next street finishing a job. They obviously take all car fires seriously but I think when they heard what it was and that it was a classic car that they went all out to make sure they protected it.’

Minder ran for ten series between October 1979 and March 1994 and was one of ITV’s most popular programmes.

Waterman’s character was an honest and likable bodyguard, or minder, and the late George Cole played an unscrupulous used car salesman and small-time criminal.

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