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Eric Morecambe’s Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow classic car – with his ‘EM 100’ number plate – to be sold at auction

Looking for a ‘wise’ classic car investment? Then look no further.

Not only is this 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow a certified collector’s item but it also has an extremely valuable number plate.

The walnut brown car’s first owner was none other than legendary comedian, Eric Morecambe and the motor still sports his personalised number plate ‘EM 100’.

It will be offered to the highest bidder at auction in its original condition, having never been restored and retained by his wife for years after his death.

But the Roller won’t be going cheap. In fact, auctioneers believe it will smash the typical value of a Silver Shadow of this generation when the hammer drops. 

A 'wise' classic car investment: Not only is this ex-Eric Morecambe Rolls-Royce a certified collector's item, the private number plate is also worth a small fortune on its own A 'wise' classic car investment: Not only is this ex-Eric Morecambe Rolls-Royce a certified collector's item, the private number plate is also worth a small fortune on its own

A ‘wise’ classic car investment: Not only is this ex-Eric Morecambe Rolls-Royce a certified collector’s item, the private number plate is also worth a small fortune on its own

The comedy legend took delivery of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow on 11 October 1974. He cherished the British motor so much that his family kept hold of it for two decades after his death in 1984. Pictured: Eric Morecambe with the Rolls-Royce The comedy legend took delivery of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow on 11 October 1974. He cherished the British motor so much that his family kept hold of it for two decades after his death in 1984. Pictured: Eric Morecambe with the Rolls-Royce

The comedy legend took delivery of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow on 11 October 1974. He cherished the British motor so much that his family kept hold of it for two decades after his death in 1984. Pictured: Eric Morecambe with the Rolls-Royce

Silverstone Auctions will sell Eric Morecambe’s Rolls-Royce at its Silverstone Festival event held over the last weekend of August.

The auction house estimates it will go for between £35,000 and £40,000, which is well above market value for one of these motors.

Hagerty, the classic car insurer and expert on vehicle values, says a pristine, low mileage, example of a 1974 Silver Shadow today is worth £37,200.

However, Morecambe’s car, while totally original, has covered just over 77,000 miles and would typically be worth quite a lot less without its celebrity first owner.

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It was supplied new with the ‘EM 100’ number plate, which is the only registration the car has ever had.

And Eric’s private registration number is worth a small fortune by itself.

CaReg.co.uk, which specialises in valuing and selling personalised number plates, told This is Money that the current market value of this plate is £11,950.

However, CarReg told us it expects the value to be closer to £15,000 if the plate was offered to the open market separate from the motor. 

RegTransfers.co.uk also estimated the plate to be worth £15k.

Despite its huge value alone, the number plate is generously included in the lot with the car as the vendor recognises its historical importance and connecting to the late comedy superstar. 

That said, CarReg told us the vendor requested a valuation on the number plate just last year. 

The 'EM 100' private plate, which has been on the car since Eric Morecambe purchased it almost 50 years ago, is worth a small fortune The 'EM 100' private plate, which has been on the car since Eric Morecambe purchased it almost 50 years ago, is worth a small fortune Experts at CarReg value it at around £15,000 Experts at CarReg value it at around £15,000

The ‘EM 100’ private plate, which has been on the car since Eric Morecambe purchased it almost 50 years ago, is worth a small fortune. Experts value it at around £15,000

The Roller was delivered new to the comedian on 11 October 1974.

At the time, it was almost compulsory for celebs to be snapped in a serious pose alongside their Rolls-Royces as a gong proving their success.

Yet Eric Morecambe – who, alongside comedy partner Eric Wise, was at the very top of his game when he took ownership of the Roller – still couldn’t take himself or the trappings of his success seriously in front of the camera, as a photograph included in the sale lot shows, which Silverstone Auction says ‘defines the late Eric Morecambe in one image’. 

The auction house adds: ‘Although a household name, he still looked, and importantly behaved, like everyone’s favourite uncle, he just wanted to get a laugh.’

The lot includes this wonderful photo of the comedian stood in front of his much-loved Roller, which was one of two Silver Shadows he bought The lot includes this wonderful photo of the comedian stood in front of his much-loved Roller, which was one of two Silver Shadows he bought

The lot includes this wonderful photo of the comedian stood in front of his much-loved Roller, which was one of two Silver Shadows he bought

Silverstone Auctions will sell Eric Morecambe's Rolls-Royce at its Silverstone Festival event held over the last weekend of August Silverstone Auctions will sell Eric Morecambe's Rolls-Royce at its Silverstone Festival event held over the last weekend of August

Silverstone Auctions will sell Eric Morecambe’s Rolls-Royce at its Silverstone Festival event held over the last weekend of August

The auction house estimates it will go for between £35,000 and £40,000, which is well above market value for one of these motors The auction house estimates it will go for between £35,000 and £40,000, which is well above market value for one of these motors

The auction house estimates it will go for between £35,000 and £40,000, which is well above market value for one of these motors

And this wasn’t his first Silver Shadow. 

READ MORE: These Ford Capris starred in a 70s hit TV series and are predicted to smash price records when sold together – but do you recognise them? 

In 1971, his ambition of owning a Rolls-Royce was fulfilled when he bought his first Silver Shadows. 

As confirmed by his long-term chauffeur, the late Mike Fountain, Eric would usually sit up front and only used the back seat when he wanted to stretch out for a nap.

But this second model is arguably the most notable Morecambe Roller, finished in Walnut Brown paint with a complementing Beige leather interior.

The Silver Shadow was so treasured by Morecambe that it was retained by his wife, Joan, for decades after he passed away, at the age of 58, on 28 May 1984. 

The family kept the car for a further 20 years in a Hertfordshire garage until they sold it at auction in December 2004 for £31,000.

It was bought by Lancashire business partners Lionel Snowden, Bernadette Keegan and Ann Kershaw, who snapped up the car at a Kensington sale after Joan had decided to part ways with the much-loved motor.

Eric's wife Joan sold the car in 2004 at auction. She had kept it for 20 years after his death knowing it was a cherished motor in her husband's collection. Pictured: Joan with the car before it went to auction in December '04 Eric's wife Joan sold the car in 2004 at auction. She had kept it for 20 years after his death knowing it was a cherished motor in her husband's collection. Pictured: Joan with the car before it went to auction in December '04

Eric’s wife Joan sold the car in 2004 at auction. She had kept it for 20 years after his death knowing it was a cherished motor in her husband’s collection. Pictured: Joan with the car before it went to auction in December ’04

This second Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow in Morecambe's collection is arguably the most notable, finished in Walnut Brown paint with a complementing Beige leather interior This second Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow in Morecambe's collection is arguably the most notable, finished in Walnut Brown paint with a complementing Beige leather interior

This second Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow in Morecambe’s collection is arguably the most notable, finished in Walnut Brown paint with a complementing Beige leather interior

The lot description says the beige leather has 'aged well'. Here, you can see it's still in very good condition The lot description says the beige leather has 'aged well'. Here, you can see it's still in very good condition

The lot description says the beige leather has ‘aged well’. Here, you can see it’s still in very good condition

The lot at the time also reportedly included 60 cassettes of Eric’s all-time favourite musical hits.

It had been used by the business partners for a new venture called Legend Cars, offering the vehicle’s service for events such as weddings but also appearances at charity fundraisers.

Yet the car, sold almost 20 years ago, was used sparingly, having accrued just over 3,000 miles since it last appeared at auction in 2004 with 74,000 miles on the clock.

Today, the odometer reads 77,452 at the time of cataloguing.

After the comedian's death in 1984, the Morecambe family kept the car for a further 20 years in a Hertfordshire garage until they sold it at auction in December 2004 for £31,000 After the comedian's death in 1984, the Morecambe family kept the car for a further 20 years in a Hertfordshire garage until they sold it at auction in December 2004 for £31,000

After the comedian’s death in 1984, the Morecambe family kept the car for a further 20 years in a Hertfordshire garage until they sold it at auction in December 2004 for £31,000

As you can see in this image, the odometer reads 77,452 at the time of cataloguing As you can see in this image, the odometer reads 77,452 at the time of cataloguing

As you can see in this image, the odometer reads 77,452 at the time of cataloguing

Where the comedy legend once sat: The motor is expected to generate plenty of interest among Morecambe and Wise fans as well as classic car collectors Where the comedy legend once sat: The motor is expected to generate plenty of interest among Morecambe and Wise fans as well as classic car collectors

Where the comedy legend once sat: The motor is expected to generate plenty of interest among Morecambe and Wise fans as well as classic car collectors

While the celebrity keeper’s name as the original owner in the log book will be the biggest attraction, the Roller is one of the best examples you will find in Britain today.

Having never been restored or resprayed, the bodywork and chrome bumpers are in totally original condition.

The lot description says the beige leather has ‘aged well’ and the lambswool rugs are ‘pleasingly still in place although the walnut veneers show the usual bloom of old lacquer’. 

The documented history includes maintenance bills to the value of over £15,000 for the last ten years, showing it has been kept the the highest mechanical order possible in its recent times.

Silverstone Auctions said: ‘We conclude that few celebrity cars are available at this estimate and, with a number plate worth a significant sum on its own, this fabulous Rolls-Royce will surely ‘bring you sunshine’ wherever it goes.’

The hammer will drop on the car on Saturday 26 August with bidding commencing from midday.

Even the original lambswool rugs are 'pleasingly still in place', says Silverstone Auction. However, the walnut veneers are 'showing the usual bloom of old lacquer' Even the original lambswool rugs are 'pleasingly still in place', says Silverstone Auction. However, the walnut veneers are 'showing the usual bloom of old lacquer'

Even the original lambswool rugs are ‘pleasingly still in place’, says Silverstone Auction. However, the walnut veneers are ‘showing the usual bloom of old lacquer’

The documented history includes maintenance bills to the value of over £15,000 for the last ten years, showing it has been kept the the highest mechanical order possible in its recent time The documented history includes maintenance bills to the value of over £15,000 for the last ten years, showing it has been kept the the highest mechanical order possible in its recent time

The documented history includes maintenance bills to the value of over £15,000 for the last ten years, showing it has been kept the the highest mechanical order possible in its recent time

As well as its full documented history, the car comes with the original tool kit and a number of plaque-mounted badges from its appearances at motoring events in its half-century lifetime As well as its full documented history, the car comes with the original tool kit and a number of plaque-mounted badges from its appearances at motoring events in its half-century lifetime

As well as its full documented history, the car comes with the original tool kit and a number of plaque-mounted badges from its appearances at motoring events in its half-century lifetime

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