Wallace and Gromit van sells for £20k

Wallace and Gromit at the Trencherfield Engine Mill in Wigan
Wallace and Gromit at the Trencherfield Engine Mill in Wigan

A famous vehicle with more than one connection to Wigan has fetched a healthy price at auction.

The Austin A35 van that was used to promote the animated film Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit went under the hammer and sold for £20,350.

As everyone knows by now the much-loved plasticine duo hail from Wigan.

If proof were needed, the borough A-Z can be seen on the dashboard of the self-same van in the movie. And when brainy hound Gromit celebrates his birthday in The Wrong Trousers, the address on one of his cards clearly states West Wallaby Street, Wigan.

The “real” Anti-Pesto SWAT team van, along with its two owners, also paid Wigan a visit in 2013, dropping in on Wigan Pier and flying the flag for Latics on the eve of what was to be their stunning FA Cup Final win against Manchester City.

The vehicle was the star lot in the Charterhouse sale at the Great Western Classic Car Show in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, and carried an estimated price tag of between £15,000 and £20,000.

As bonus items, it came with Wallace and Gromit cut-out figures and also a selection of outsized vegetables!

To fulfil its promotional role for the film, the Austin A35 underwent 1,000 man hours of professional restoration in order to give it that well-used appearance.

The van appeared at the Leicester Square movie premiere 12 years ago and various charity events.

It went on to be displayed at the Wensleydale Cheese Museum and Cotswold Motor Museum and for the past two years it has been on show in the On-Screen Cars exhibition at at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire.

Its previous owner was, appropriately given Wallace’s favourite food, a Stilton cheese-maker who decided the time right for someone else to enjoy the unique van.