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Bookmark and Share Bessie Comes to Beaulieu

9/22/2017 01:21:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

BessieBessie, the vintage car first used by the Third Doctor, has gone on show at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in Hampshire.

The car joins other exhibits in the On Screen Cars exhibition, alongside Mr Bean's Mini, Del Boy's Reliant Van, James Bond's Jaguar XKR, Harry Potter's Ford Anglia and Elvis Presley's Cadillac.

Bessie made her debut in the 1970 story Doctor Who And The Silurians. She became the main form of transport for the Third Doctor during his exile on Earth. At the start of Season 11 the Doctor replaced Bessie with a new creation, The Whomobile owned and designed by Jon Pertwee himself. However, she returned for the debut of Tom Baker in Robot at the end of 1974.

Bessie was back with the Third Doctor for the 20th Anniversary story, The Five Doctors in 1983, before making her last main appearance alongside the Seventh Doctor in Battlefield . A final appearance came in 1993 with the Children in Need episode Dimensions in Time.

Although she looks older, Bessie is actually a 1954 Ford Popular 103E. The car has been fitted with a fibreglass 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, allowing any keen DIY mechanic to transform their second-hand Ford 7Y 8hp, Anglia or Popular into a replica of a much older machine and re-live the good old days of motoring.

The National Motor Museum is based on the Beaulieu Estate, home of Montagu family, located in The New Forest National Park, situated on England's south coast. Entrance to On Screen Cars is included in a general admission ticket to Beaulieu, which also includes entry to the National Motor Museum with its collection of more than 250 vehicles, the new-look World of Top Gear, the ancestral Montagu home of Palace House, 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and the grounds and gardens.