Who’s car on show?
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.