Columbo car

lookalike under

hammer

Peugeot 403 convertible, 1959

FOR fans of legendary TV cop Columbo, motoring heaven is not a superfast Aston Martin, just a battered old Peugeot.

Wearing his crumpled raincoat and smoking his famed cigar this scruffy sleuth would drive his trusty 1959 Peugeot 403 convertible to round up the bad guys in a way that would put Sherlock Holmes to shame.

Played by Peter Falk, Columbo became a cult figure so it is hardly surprising that there is a wave of excitement among his followers that a car just like his is up for auction.

Offered for sale on August 12, it is estimated to sell at between £22,000 to £26,000.

The original ‘Colombo' soft top was personally chosen by the actor and appeared as one of his major props on the screen in the famous American series for 35 years.

Peugeot was not best pleased with this shabby advertisement for the brand which showed a faded model with the hood patched up. But the company finally came round to the idea and published an advert to salute the memory of the actor at the time of his death.

The car that will be auctioned by Ivoire Nimes during a big summer sale actually belonged to another show business personality, Tony Canal, a native of Nimes.

Canal, a renowned trumpeter who accompanied Jean Ferrat and Rika Zaraï, toured the world with singer Joe Dassin as his first trumpet. For more than 40 years and until his death in 2016, he played and conducted orchestras around the world.

Today the 403 convertible is much sought after for its elegance and rarity - just 2,043 were produced by Peugeot up to 1961, whereas there were more than 1.2million versions of the saloon produced.

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