Express & Star

Chance to buy the car in which Princess Anne was twice stopped for speeding

The first Middlebridge Scimitar, in which Princess Anne was stopped for speeding, will be up for auction this weekend

When Princess Anne was famously caught speeding twice in consecutive days, the green Scimitar she was driving briefly became the most famous car in the country.

That car will go under the hammer through a West Midland auction house this weekend – with a surprisingly modest reserve price.

The first Middlebridge Scimitar GTE, which was loaned to the Princess while she waited for her own personal car to be built, will go under the hammer at Silverstone race track on Saturday with a guide price of £20,000-£25,000.

The Princess's fondness for the Scimitar GTE, originally built by Tamworth-based Reliant, was portrayed in a memorable scene in Netflix drama The Crown, where she is seen singing Queen hit 'Don't Stop Me Now' as she bombs down the road in a car identical to the one on sale.

The sporting estate car had been the Princess's personal car of choice since the 1970s. After Reliant ceased production in 1986, the rights to the design were bought by Middlebridge Engineering, and production transferred to Beeston in Nottinghamshire.

The first Middlebridge Scimitar was built in 1989 and initially used as a press car, before being loaned to Her Royal Highness.

She first had the car for a week, and was so taken by it that she ordered one in an almost identical specification. However delays to the production of her own car led to the prototype being returned to her for another six weeks, during which time she was stopped twice for speeding.

The first time, the officer who pulled her over let her off with a warning, but the following day she was stopped again for the same offence, causing much mirth in the tabloid press.

While the incident was embarrassing for the Princess, it was a huge publicity coup for Middlebridge, bringing the car overnight fame.

However a high purchase price meant it was distinctly a niche product, with just 77 cars being built.

The car will be auctioned by West Midland based Iconic Auctioneers at its Silverstone sale on Saturday, starting 11am.