Who’s car on show?

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - beaulieu.co.uk

Doc­tor Who’s much-loved car, Bessie, is on show at the Na­tional Mo­tor Mu­seum, Beaulieu.

Bessie was fit­ted with space-age mod­i­fi­ca­tions fit for the Doc­tor’s ad­ven­tures, in­clud­ing re­mote con­trol and an anti-theft force-field.

The Siva Ed­war­dian first ap­peared in the Doc­tor Who and the Sil­uri­ans episode in 1970 when the Doc­tor – at the time played by Jon Per­twee – was stranded on Earth.

Tom Baker drove Bessie in his first episode in 1974, us­ing it to de­feat a gi­ant ro­bot. Af­ter a hia­tus, the car reap­peared in 1983 in The Five Doc­tors, when Peter Dav­i­son’s Doc­tor en­coun­tered four other ver­sions of him­self.

A spokesper­son for the mu­seum says: ‘Bessie may look like a vin­tage car but in re­al­ity, it’s a 1954 Ford Pop­u­lar 103E, fit­ted with a GRP tourer body made by Siva En­gi­neer­ing of Dorset. The four-seater Siva Ed­war­dian body was avail­able in kit form from 1969 un­til the mid-1970s, along with a two-seater Road­ster model.

‘ The orig­i­nal chas­sis, sus­pen­sion, en­gine and trans­mis­sion from the Ford were all re­tained in the build of the Siva Ed­war­dian. How­ever, the 1172cc side­valve en­gine was rather low-pow­ered and, to­gether with the widely-spaced ra­tios of the three-speed gear­box, meant that Bessie was not a fast ma­chine.

‘Later on in her film­ing life, Bessie was fit­ted with a slightly larger en­gine which re­quired the nose of the car to be length­ened.’

The Siva Ed­war­dian is built on the chas­sis of a 1954 Ford Pop­u­lar and orig­i­nally had a 1172cc side-valve en­gine.

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