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Reliant Motor Company.

Reliant Robin 65.

The Sun Newspaper. Wednesday February 15th 2001 (Pg 14/15).

Article reproduced with permission from The Sun Newspaper. Photos: Steve Copley.

I've got last Del-Boy car.

Sun winner John drives off in final Reliant Robin.

SUN reader John Leigh has had a luvvly jubbly bit of luck - winning the last-ever Reliant Robin. The ex-builder scooped the motor - made famous by Del-Boy in Only Fools and Horses - thanks to a bit of cushty wheeler-dealing by The Sun.

We offered the 10,000 limited edition Robin in a fun contest in September after makers Reliant announced the end of the model's amazing 65-year production run.  John's name came up trumps after he gave the right answer - yellow - to our quiz question, what colour was Del-Boys motor?  Yesterday John of Weaverham, Cheshire, said: "Its luvvly jubbly. Im over the moon.  Im a big fan of Only Fools and Horses and about 25 years ago I had a second-hand Reliant Robin just like the one used on the programme. When I was a builder I had my name on the side of the white van just like Del Boy and Rodders - but mine just said Weaverham not Peckham and Paris". John, 53, added, "I know this Robin is a collectors item but I'm going to keep it and drive it around. "I read about Manchester United's Dwight Yorke wanting one, so I might swop mine for his Ferrari one day."

FREE WHEELS ... our delighted winner John Leigh with his prize motor.

 John who also owns an E-reg Ford Escort, added: "Until this, the most I'd ever won was a tenner on the Lottery. I always buy The Sun and save the Books for Schools tokens for the grandkids.  Both my daughters have been on the 39.50 Sun holidays but I never imagined I'd win a prize this big from the paper. "Its fantastic. I've only ever had one other brand new car and that was a Hillman Avenger in 1970 but it was a boneshaker compared to this. I really can't believe I've got it -thank you, my Sun". John and his wife Ivy visited the Reliant factory in Burntwood, Staffs, to collect the prize. They took it for a spin after swopping the showroom licence plates for the street legal variety which Del Boy would have loved - X241 UOK.

DEL-IGHTED ...John and wife Ivy try out their prize.

Ivy, 50, said: "He never got me a Valentine's Day card - but he is forgiven.  How many women can say their husband got them the last Reliant Robin for Valentine's Day. Its romantic - last time we had one we were struggling to raise our daughters and it was the only car we could afford. This one is the top of the range - its amazing".

The limited-edition Robin 65 - named after the number of years the car was in production - has been luxuriously fitted out with read and grey leather upholstery, wood trim and a high specification sound system.  It has alloy wheels and distinctive gold paintwork and the dashboard bears a plaque with John's name on.  The car's 850cc engine may sound small but it has a top speed of 80mph and does up to 90 miles per gallon.  And as a three-wheeler it is classified as a motorbike - so you pay only half the normal rate of car tax. 

LYIN,CHEATIN,ROBIN...telly rogues Uncle Albert, Del-Boy and Rodney with their trusty Reliant.

Stars of Only Fools and Horses added their own congratulations to John yesterday. David Jason who played Del-Boy, said: "There goes a piece of British comic history."  And Roger Lloyd Pack, alias Trigger said: "No income tax, no VAT - John's got a right bargain here.  Its a sad day for Reliant Robin lovers, knowing the last one has rolled off the production line, but I hope John has many happy years driving it.!  And he joked about the car's fibreglass body: "One things for sure - it wont rust".

A Reliant spokesman said: "Its a sad day for the nations comedians but a great day for John - he has just driven into the history books." Comedian Bernard Manning said: "Its a great day for road safety in Britain.  Lets hope the wind's not to strong on John's drive home."

My thanks for to Lorna Carmichael at The Sun for allowing me to reproduce this article.

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