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Clarkson-era Top Gear Astra up for grabs

Tests car for Star in a Reasonably Priced Car celebrities taking bids on eBay

Published: December 23, 2015, 9:30 PM
Updated: January 4, 2016, 6:03 PM

Vauxhall Astra on the Top Gear test track

With all the recent outrage over the new cast of the BBC’s Top Gear, we’re guessing people are going to want a memento of the former show, and they now have a change at the Clarkson-era’s “Reasonably Priced” Vauxhall Astra.

The Power Red 5-door Astra was powered by a 115-hp 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine and has just 2,908 miles on the odometer (4,680 km), but they’ve been hard miles — every week, the car was put in the hands of a celebrity driver in the show’s “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segment to try and drive the fastest lap around the show’s test track.

Among the drivers have been Hugh Jackman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ron Howard, Joss Stone and Brian Johnson. The fastest time in the car, which has now been retired with no indication as to whether the new crew will institute a similar segment, was posted by English pop singer Olly Murs.

The car has been put up for auction on eBay (www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/231786726259) by Vauxhall Motors, with all proceeds being donated to automotive charity BEN, which provides care, support and advice to those in the UK auto industries who need help in times of hardship or distress. Bids are being taken until Dec. 27, 2015, with the highest bid at £17,600.00 ($36, 267 Canadian), as of time of posting.

“We are reliant on the generosity of our supporters to enable us to continue our work helping people who work within the UK automotive industry,” said David Main, BEN Chief Executive. “We are very grateful to Vauxhall Motors for this kind donation of a piece of history for a great cause.”

Among the car’s equipment list are 17-inch alloy wheels, multi function trip computer with GPS and 7-inch colour monitor, leather covered sport steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity and 6-speaker audio system.

It also has Corbeau Sprint Racing seats with 5-point racing harness and a full roll cage, which unfortunately means the airbags had to be disabled, which means it isn’t road worthy. In order to bring it back up to safety standards, the airbags would have to be reactivated (which would involve significant investment and removal of the roll cage and seats.