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Mr. Bean's Mini


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#1 mattprinn1997

mattprinn1997

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 07:09 AM

Hi guys!

So, a brief outline to this topic before I start: 

There are plenty of Topics on TMF talking about Mr. Bean's Mini or asking general questions about the mini's used too, also having read through the vast majority of them on here and on the internet in general I became aware of quite a few rumours which seem to have popped up, some with zero truth behind them, some with a sort of 'Chinese whispers' truth behind them and some which are entirely true but with no evidence to back them up. 

 

So, what I thought I would do is create a sort of unofficial encyclopedia (including pictures, of course) on the cars used, their fates and whereabouts, replicas that some believe are the real deal and anything else relating.
Reading this you may be thinking "well, Matt, this is all very well and good, but why would you know anymore than me?" My answer to that is simple - I'm lucky enough to own one of the only surviving original Mr Bean Minis from the TV series and through restoring it, talking to stuntmen who worked on the show with the cars, TigerAspect (the production company for the show), Rowan Atkinson himself and a plethora of other people who have looked after, worked on, used and driven the minis used in the show I have an almost pathetic and uselessly large knowledge on them and as we all know the best thing to do with useless knowledge is to share it...

 

...so here we go:



The Unofficial Encyclopedia For Mr. Bean's Mini 

 

 

Firstly we will start with the (sadly) lesser loved mini; 

 

The Orange Mini (RNT 996H)

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Appearing in the very first episode of Mr. Bean (the pilot) this Mini is an odd one; an orange (BLVC478) car with black stripes running along the lower edges of each side between the wheel arches and a Sandglow passenger side wing.
Any mini enthusiast can look at this car and say it's MK2 due to later rear lights and external hinges on the doors. Further digging on a well known website for which you merely need insert a vehicle registration to find out all details about that particular car will reveal that this mini "is" a Beige 1969 Morris Mini. This is what anyone who mentions the 'Orange Mini' sticks by....however; while this car may indeed have a number plate from a MK2 Mini on it, the car itself is a MK1, not only this but in fact, a MK1 Austin mini, with a MK2 grille and rear lights most likely self tapped into place for filming to make it look like a newer vehicle. Notable giveaways are the way the bonnet sits on the front panel, a flashing indicator stalk and if you look very closely the steering wheel centre horn push is not the simple Morris 'M' but the Austin cars Shield/logo.
If you've seen the first episode you'll note how the car is abused on screen. With significant damage to the rear of the car (due to a certain blue Reliant)  this car sadly didn't survive long after filming, the only parts which did live on were...  After filming with the orange Mini, some parts were removed and put into what would become the green Mini, these parts were: the steering wheel cover, front seats, carpet and seat protector covers, all of which reappeared in later episodes, more of that later. 
Also, with this being the pilot episode of a show (and therefore not backed by buckets of money) there was only the one car. 
A small piece of trivia on this car is that it had a speedwell gear stick extender on top of a magic-wand gear stick, certainly must have been a handful! 

 

*IMPORTANT UPDATE, 15/08/2018*

I have to admit - I feel a massive fool; despite my best 'tracking down' efforts and with all the knowledge I had, I was 90% sure (and therefore hastily concluded) that the Orange Mini had disappeared long ago...However it has just re-surfaced. 
I have seen the car, I know where it is and luckily I know the person who owns it! It's condition is not brilliant, but it's not really, REALLY bad either; certainly manageable! It is a full restoration job, which I'm sure I will update this space on when I can! 
I have been advised to keep most of the details somewhat under wraps, but, I do have the go ahead to add certain things and little updates to this!
More soon!

 

 

 

The Green Mini With Matte Black Bonnet (SLW 287R)

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SLW 287R, one of the most famous Minis in the world? Basic facts; as a singular this Mini is a 1977, Leyland Cars Mini 1000, Austin Citron green (BLVC73) with a Matte Black bonnet as well as being painted matte black inside as well. Additional chrome wheel trims were added too.

This is the car you are probably here to read about, maybe some of you even bought a Mini because of this car?

There were 3 Minis painted green and black and used in the series as well as two others painted with the same colour scheme but with no engine that got crushed by the tank. One of the main cars was also crushed by the tank.

 

'SLW 287R' was Harvest Gold from the factory. 

The first time you see Mr Bean's green Mini is in 'The Curse of Mr Bean' (episode 3). This is the one with the 'Car Park' Sketch. At the time of filming at the Airport Bowl Car Park in Harlington, Hayes (of course this comes with locations too! Fancy, eh?!) the Mini wasn't entirely ready, there are a few small giveaways to this but the main thing is that the padbolt-latch had not yet been added. Later in the same episode in the 'Traffic Lights' Sketch the car is complete, all minor things (including badges etc) and the padbolt is present.

Another trivia moment - in the Traffic Lights segment the Mini bares 'SLW 287R' on the front number plate, but 'SLK 287R' on the rear. 'SLK 287R' is the real plate of the red Ford Cortina that Mr Bean parks next to in the 'Parking At The Park' Sketch. 

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Anyway, remember the steering wheel cover, seats and carpet from the orange Mini? They were transferred into the green mini, which can be seen in the Car Park Sketch and the Driving To The Dentist Sketch, amazingly the steering wheel cover is still on the steering wheel to this day. 

 

After 'The Curse of Mr Bean' you see the Mini at the very beginning of the next episode 'Mr Bean Goes To Town', crashing into some bins outside of Mr Bean's house (filming location at 43, The Avenue, Surbiton). Up to this point there had only been one Mini used in the Green and Black paint scheme, however that changed very quickly in 'The Trouble With Mr Bean' (coincidentally the most viewed episode of Mr Bean during its original broadcast).

 

This episode features one of the most famous sketches, namely; 'Driving To The Dentist'. Two Minis were used in the making of this sequence: 'SLW 287R' and another 'YAN 939T'. Both of course on 'SLW 287R' number plates.

 

'YAN 939T' is a 1978 Austin Morris Mini 1000 (now with an 850 unit installed) which was Pageant Blue from the factory.

 

I won't go all anorak on you and show you shot for shot which car is which but you can distinguish the two cars apart if you look closely. Everything that was filmed for this sequence was shot for real - using filming rigs, push me pull you type mounts, perspex and cleverly angled camera shots. Green screening and CGI wasn't a commonly used thing and certainly wasn't used in Mr Bean.

 

Trivia moment - when it came to filming the part where Mr Bean washes his mouth after brushing his teeth with the windscreen washer on the Mini it was found that the standard/factory location of the washer jet was too far away for Rowan Atkinson to reach so a new one was drilled in and plumbed to work. Weirdly both 'YAN 939T' and 'SLW 287R' had these put in. Also in a few shots the chrome wheel trims are missing.

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The Mini is included in the next episode as well 'Mr Bean Rides Again'. At the very beginning of the episode is a sketch called 'Car Keys' in which Mr Bean uses a number of keys hidden around and in the Mini to eventually get to the ignition key, in true Mr Bean fashion; once all this has been gone through, his Mini fails to start. After another scene where Mr Bean ends up electrocuting a man he is back with his Mini and has a pair of jump leads, fortuitously an ambulance passes him on the way to the man he electrocuted and while said ambulance is pulled over....'loading up' Mr Bean pushes his Mini up to the ambulance and jumps his car off of that and drives away. After this, of course, the ambulance fails to start. The next scene involves Mr Bean trying to post a letter and somehow getting stuck inside the post box. 

The Mini used in the 'Car Keys' sketch is 'YAN 939T' and after this it swaps to the original; 'SLW 287R'.

This is the last time 'YAN 939T' is seen.

Lot's of people who have spoken to me about the car have said how they've easily been able to tell apart each car used in the series, however it's actually a bit trickier than that...for some reason many parts were swapped from car to car throughout production, including bonnets, wheel trims, grilles, steering wheels, rear lights, occasionally the drivers door and the seat covers.

Trivia - the stripey cloth seat protector covers which are impossible to find these days (believe me, I've tried) were available from British Leyland dealers.

 

The Mini is included in the next episode too; 'Merry Christmas Mr Bean'. However the Mini used is neither "SLW 287R" or "YAN 939T". Another Mini had been built, however somewhat out of bits; this is the same car that's used in 'Mr Bean In Room 426' and 'Mind The Baby, Mr Bean' (All filmed on location in Southsea; both The Queens Hotel and Clarence Pier).
This car was a Late 78/early 79 Mini, which from factory was Russet Brown. Most of the Minis used in the series were in pretty awful shape when used for filming, but this one was certainly one of the worst - the body filler amount is pretty evident even though the picture quality of early 90s cameras isn't the greatest. In addition to this a large rectangle of metal had been removed from the rear seat upright in order to house Mr Bean's overly large suitcase which can be seen at the beginning of 'Mr Bean In room 426'.
The, lets call it 'Russet Mini' was seen in later episodes however I'll cross that bridge when we come to it...
 

It's important to remember that all these episodes were not filmed in the same order of their release, if that makes sense? The Southsea stuff was filmed first, then the bits for 'Merry Christmas Mr Bean' and shortly after this the shoot for the Minis most memorable appearance in the series. Trust me, it will make sense in a moment...

'Do-It-Yourself Mr Bean' includes the sketch where Mr Bean drives his mini from an armchair on the roof, two minis were used for this; 'SLW 287R' and the 'Russet Mini'.
Because this was quite an ambitious and potentially dangerous thing to film the Minis had to be somewhat done up. 'SLW 287R' was given a spruce up, and the 'Russet Mini' was given the secret/hidden driver compartment and roof strengthening for the bulk of the stunt work in this scene.

Don't worry - I will put you out of your misery; the way the Mini was seemingly driven by Mr Bean on the roof and no one else was with a hidden driver and heavily modified controls in order to make the car work. The Mini with the chair on the roof that was used at Goodwood and for the 25th Anniversary of Mr Bean is a different car (more on that car later) but was built in exactly the same way. 

To save time; here's an image of how the illusion is pulled off.
 

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Sorry if I'm shattering images of Mr Bean's technique actually working! 

Anyway, in 'Do-It-Yourself Mr Bean' you see Mr Bean arrive in his Mini and park badly, this is spruced up 'SLW 287R', then soon after you see the Mini with the chair on the roof, this is still 'SLW 287R'. However, the moment Mr Bean gets into the chair it is the 'Russet Mini' until the end of the scene. 

Trivia moment - not only did 'SLW 287R' get a spruce up, but also its original interior; sadly the orange minis seats and carpet were discarded of. The steering wheel with the cover on was removed and replaced also, but luckily kept. The stripey style seat protector covers had been replaced with a black and grey chequered pattern.

 

The next time we see the Mini is in the fateful episode 'Back To School Mr Bean'. 

 

In the opening to the episode we see Mr Bean arriving in his Mini 'SLW 287R' and looking for a parking space, to his happy surprise he finds a reserved space with a Mini identically matching his parked within. 

This Mini is registered 'ACW 497V'. It is a 1980 Austin Morris Mini 1000 which from factory was Flame Red.
Before being used in Mr Bean this Mini was used in the hit film 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'. In the film it had its roof and mirrors painted white and arches added to give it somewhat of a Cooper look. After Four Weddings it was used in Bean; a very basic paint job, so much so that even the roof guttering had been painted over and also the engine had been removed.

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In the episode Mr Bean pushes 'ACW 497V' out of its space and replaces that car with his. He then recruits some by standing army personnel to help give him a bump start with 'ACW'. Little did they know that Mr Bean isn't actually in the car and narratively they're probably still pushing the car to this day.

 

The truth is rather more sad, as I'm sure you know....at the end of the episode Mr Beans car gets crushed by a tank. 

There were three cars set up (painted and engines removed) and subsequently flattened: 'ACW 497V', the 'Russet Mini' (aka the armchair car) and another Red Mini that hadn't been seen before. 
The car we see squashed in the episode is red, however it does not have the brown stripey-type interior that 'ACW 497V' has, which concludes that it's the Mini that hadn't been on screen before:

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Some photos of the demise of 'ACW 497V' too:

 

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Obviously, in the scene in which the tank went over the cars, they all had 'SLW 287R' number plates, chrome mirrors and wheel trims added.

 

...So, you would think that's where the story of Mr Bean's Mini in the series ends. But no, one episode later and it's back in 'Goodnight, Mr Bean'. Still original (but spruced up) 'SLW 287R'. At the beginning of the episode we see an ambulance arriving at a hospital (Vezey Strong Wing, 112 Hampstead Road, which has recently been demolished) and as it turns to park outside the entrance Mr Bean in his Mini is about 2ft behind and parks at the same, if not less, distance behind the doors. This of course blocks the paramedics in the ambulance.

Then, in the final episode 'Hair By Mr Bean Of London' the same car is back again, this time ruining a sheep herding demonstration and since Mr Bean can't find a parking space he decides to park in the sheep pen.

Then as far as the series goes, that's it! From the word go, right up until the final full stop the Mini is present! However, that's far from the end of the story...

 

 

 

The Fates Of The Minis

What Happened After/Where Are They Now? 

 

So, the series had ended. The 'Russet Mini' had been crushed by a tank. But there was still 'SLW 287R' and 'YAN 939T' hanging around. Best thing to do? Sell them of course! 

 

Let's start with 'YAN 939T'. This was sold (minus its 998 engine) to a screen car hire company. An 850 unit was put in place of the missing engine. The car was immediately displayed at what is now the British Motor Museum (Gaydon). Before being put on display it had been given a new coat of paint, and various parts that were missing were replaced.

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After this the car was sold to Peter Nelson, the then owner of the 'Cars Of The Stars' Motor Museum in Keswick. During its time there it would occasionally be used for filming small things with Rowan Atkinson to promote Mr Bean videos etc. Two notable instances this Mini was used is on This Morning in 1995 and on the National Lottery Draws in 1997. After this the Mini stayed in the museum until 2014 when Mr Nelson sold the entire collection to a Museum in Florida, where the car now resides. 

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Keswick/Filming after the series.

 

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On Display In Florida.

 

But what about the other one? What about 'SLW 287R'?  
...Well, somehow this car also still survives.

To quickly stop a rumour I had heard from spreading any further - the number plate 'SLW 287R' has never been sold or bought at auction. This is not the Italian Job Minis ;D .

 

This car has a few problems surrounding it, I won't bore you with them but rest assured they are nothing massive or unmanageable. Tell me though - what Classic Mini does't have a few problems?
 

This is the only Mini from the Mr Bean series to have been restored. This car, I will be able to tell you a huge amount about because this is the car that by some amazing fortune, I own.

When the series ended this car was used once more in the opening for a Comic Relief sketch called 'Torvill & Bean' (pretty self explanatory). After this the car was sadly left outside to rot until 1997 when the makers of Mr Bean were planning the first Mr Bean movie. The Mini was to be used in a scene shot at the Harrods department store in London; Mr Bean is stuck in a traffic jam outside the shop but when he realises that his Mini would fit perfectly through the doors of the store he takes an inevitable detour much to the shock/horror of shoppers. 
'SLW 287R' was taken to Mini specialists/dealers and with less than a week until filming the production team asked for the car to be restored and another car built for stunt work. By this point 'SLW' was in a pretty sorry state; the drivers door along with various other parts were was missing, the engine wasn't working and all the paint had gone flat...so the production crew were told that restoring that car in under a week was an impossibility, but another car that was available (C607 EUW, more about that further down) was assembled and turned into the Mr Bean Mini for the movie. Some parts including the grille, steering wheel, rear lights and door mirrors were taken from 'SLW 287R' and put onto 'C607 EUW'. 

So, by this point the car was looking rather sorry for itself, cars of this condition which were used in tv shows and movies in that era are usually scrapped...however, this cars story changed dramatically. I won't bore you with the in depth story (I have just typed it all out and there are literally more words than in a Harry Potter book) but in a nut shell; this is where I come in...the car had made its way somehow to the south west of England, had been very badly painted Java green and had been owned by an elderly lady who didn't like driving. Sadly she had passed away and the car was for sale. At the time my under developed brain was going nutty about the idea of buying a late 70s Mini, just like Mr Beans. With nothing more than a bad picture and a phone number I had called the person selling the car and convinced my parents to take me to view it. The reason this particular Mini jumped out at me is because in the picture the number plate was broken, but from what I could see the plate (and I remember saying this to my mum at the time) "must be very very close to the number plate on Mr Bean's Mini". Anyway, fast forward four weeks and the car is mine, with no V5, parts made out of papier mache and an engine running on either one or three cylinders, but never four. By this time I knew exactly what the car was and could finally tell my parents - I was a young lad about to get his hands on his dream car, I wasn't going to tell anyone what I knew in case something happened which would prevent my getting hold of it. My parents were very happy for me, but It wasn't until the Certificate of Authenticity from the tv and movie car supplier came through the post with my name and the chassis number of the car I owned that was in the garage on it that it really hit home hard. 
The restoration then ensued, I could write paragraph after paragraph about every detail of it, however to keep you sane all I will say about the resto is that everything that could be kept was kept. I made sure that every detail is exactly as you see on screen and that anyone who worked on the car knew that originality was definitely the key to doing the job properly; repairing and renovating what already existed rather than replacing or changing bits for better bits was what I made sure happened because otherwise half the car wouldn't have been original. The only thing that I sadly couldn't get hold of were the stripey seat protector covers. I have some which are very very close, but they're not identical, the original set are in the car in Florida ('YAN 939T').
With the Mini came a big box of bits, as I latterly found out, bits that were swapped between the Minis on set and some pieces salvaged from the crushed wrecks. Again, to keep it as original as possible, any part which was found to be missing from the car was taken from the box, repaired if needed and installed. Obviously there were a few things that simply couldn't stay like the rear bins by the back seat being made out of papier mache, that has now been replaced with metal...and the completely useless dead and gone tires - remoulds of the original Camacs have been substituted.

Obviously and as you will know though - a Mini is never finished!
Since completing its restoration the car mostly lives a pampered life in storage at home, however it does come out for the occasional shows and film work. It's also been signed by Rowan Atkinson and Mr Bean. Mr Atkinson seemed to be very impressed when I took the car to show him in 2014, he was very interested about what had been done and was really kind about the quality of the work too! 
Of course the Minis image wouldn't be complete without Teddy, however Mr Atkinson owns the original Teddy that was used in Mr Bean, but I did manage to get the next best thing. He donated a Mr Bean Teddy (not the original) to the Teddy Bear Museum but when that shut down all the teddies were auctioned off, I managed to get hold of the Mr Bean Teddy and it now lives and gets displayed with the Mini!

Everything you have just read however is only words, the proof is in the pudding as they say so I think it's picture time!
The first picture is one of my favourites - the same car in the same place but one picture was taken in 1997 and the other in 2017!  
 

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2017, 1997

 

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The Classic Motor Show, 2014 (The car wasn't actually finished here, but shh, don't tell anyone!)

 

To answer one of the most common questions I get asked - Yes, the bonnet is painted...so please don't touch it because matte paint marks very easily if touched by skin and is very, VERY difficult to clean. It has already been resprayed once! >_<  :lol:  

 

 

 

The Movie Cars 

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There are three Minis that have been featured in the Mr Bean movies.

 

The first I briefly spoke about earlier. This cars registration is 'C607 EUW'. Originally this car was black.

Unfortunately everything that was filmed with the Mini for the first film was cut out. After filming, it was used at a press conference in which Mr Bean arrived in the press hall in his Mini and then almost immediately got taken to America and hung up inside Planet Hollywood at the Niagara Falls.
On the 8th of June 2018 this Mini was sold as part of the 'Icons and Legends of Hollywood' auction by Profiles In History for $70,000 + $19,600 buyers premium and fees ($89,600). 
The engine was with the car but not installed, the fuel tank similarly. Big holes had been cut in the front and rear inner wings to accommodate the joists which the high tension cord looped though to hold the Mini in the air. When the car was set up for filming the production asked for a removable section of the roof to be worked into the car to ease access for the cameras. This was disguised as a sunroof.

Another Trivia Moment - on a personal note; I was actually bidding on this car when it came up for sale. There were only two bidders. No, I didn't get it :lol:  

 

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'C607 EUW' Before And After Being Prepared For Filming

 

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At The Press Conference and Hanging In Planet Hollywood

 

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Profiles In History Auction, 2018

 

 

The next two Minis are from the movie 'Mr Bean's Holiday'. 
The first thing you see at the very beginning of the film is Mr Bean arriving at a church raffle on a June day in England...in the pouring rain. This Mini is only seen for about twenty seconds, its registration is 'YGL 572T' it was Sandglow from factory. Differently to all the Mr Bean Minis before the car is painted in 'Nissan Amarillo Yellow'. After the film Rowan Atkinson arrived in character of Mr Bean at the London premiere of the movie in the Mini and after that it was put on display at Universal Studios. With the pad bolt removed from the door, to begin with it was on the back lot tour with other famous cars, but after a while it was placed in the park where it's condition deteriorated considerably, due to guests climbing, jumping etc all over it. The condition got so bad that it was taken away for repair. One respray and a new interior later and it's current home is in the 'Upper Lot' next to a life size image of Mr Bean.

 

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'YGL 572T' Before And After Being Prepared For Filming

 

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At Universal Studios, Before And After Repair

 

 

The second Mini seen in 'Mr Bean's Holiday' is the french version of his car, owned by the lead female character 'Sabine' played my Emma De Caunes.

This Mini is a 1982 car, also painted 'Nissan Amarillo Yellow' but with a full length webasto type sunroof, a bright red interior and LHD. Its registration in the film is '207 UHO  75' and its real registration is '678 BRF 06'.

After filming ended the car was given to Emma De Caunes. Hardly used, the car sat outside rotting until in 2015 it was sold at auction for €3,600. It has since had a little work done to it and has been displayed at some car events.

Trivia Moment - Although she is seen driving in the film, at the time of filming Emma De Caunes didn't have a driving license, so a second car was set up and cut in half for internal shots of her driving which were green screened. 

Another Trivia Moment - In all the driving sequences which could be classed as 'Stunt Driving' with the Mini, such as the 360 spin on the motorway, the stunts were coordinated by Michel Julienne, Rémy Julienne's son. Rémy Julienne was the stunt coordinator for the original 1969 Italian Job. 

 

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Emma De Caunes And The Mini (Roughly 2010)

 

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Photos From The Auction House, 2015

 

 

 

Replicas

 

I wont stay too long on this topic because there is no need to, however there are a few cars which are claimed to be 'Original' Mr Bean cars and just aren't. Rather than lots of information in this section I will just put a picture with a few notes underneath it. This part is just for the cars people could get confused with the real deal/s.

 

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'STE 952R' - The Beaulieu Motor Museum.

Real Registration is 'DRW 221T', Originally Blaze Red. This car was built and is owned by TigerAspect to promote the animated series of Mr Bean in 2002. 'DRW 221T' is a replica of the car in the animated series, but was never featured in the original Mr Bean live action series.

 

 

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'A645 REP' - The Cyprus Motor Museum.

This is an odd one....Built in 1984 many do actually believe that this Mini was used for filming, but sadly not. A dead giveaway is the black door handles and rear windows fixed in place, also all the Minis used were built between 1977 and 1980.

 

 

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MK3 Mini Auto - The London Motor Museum.
I once knew the registration of this car but I can't for the life of me remember what it is! It's either a 1972 or a 1974 (I remember the number being even) MK3 Mini Automatic which from factory was white. Turned into a replica in early 2012. Often seen with a very used leather armchair on the roof and stickers on the side which read "This is one the original Mr Bean MINI's from the hit TV series". Nope, I typed that quote word for word, including the word that's missing  :lol: This car wasn't used in the series, it was badly replicated and not properly researched, like the rest of the replicas they have on display. Additionally, Mr Bean's Minis were only ever MK4s and none of them were automatic!

 

 

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'GKN 447N' BMW Germany,

BMW Germany used to claim that this was one of the original Mr Bean cars. There was a story about it being bought from someone who worked on production...something like that. It's a very lovely car, but sadly just a 1974 Mini 1000. Strangely this is the only car here to have been 'Citron' from factory! The car was taken to Germany in 2013, there is an export maker on the registration according to the DVLA and with only 30,275 miles before it went over, it has certainly kept the miles down! By the time BMW were releasing pictures of it with a black bonnet it was up to 32,439, so at least it's not sitting in a garage doing nothing! >_< The first and second pictures of this car are from the BMW Group Press Release, the third and fourth are it in London before it was exported and the same car again, this time with Cooper wheels on for a shoot with a Porsche. 

 

 

The Armchair Mini

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I had absolutely no idea what section to put this in, so it has one all for itself! 
'F885 RRY' is the real registration of this car. It was British Racing Green from factory.
In 2009, when the organisers for the Goodwood Revival knew they wanted to do something special with Mr Bean during the celebration of 50 Years Of The Classic Mini they came up with the idea of recreating the famous scene from the Mr Bean tv series in which Mr Bean drives from an armchair on the roof of his car. Obviously the original didn't survive so a new car had to be built. Using the "original blue prints" the car you see was constructed. Mr Bean was a huge success at the Revival, I was there that year and remember hearing laughter approach as Mr Bean approached.
After the three day event the car was stored and at one point was going to go to auction. In 2015, to celebrate 25 years of Mr Bean a short film was created that saw Mr Bean driving on the roof of his car through St. James's Park and up the Mall toward Buckingham Palace before stopping in front of a big pile of presents and talking to the press about his "birthday plans".
Since the 25th Birthday event in 2015 the car has been seen in Italy on the shores of Lake Como at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in 2018.

 

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Before And During Construction.

 

 

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At The Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, 2018.

 

 

 

 

The Reliant

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Mr. Bean's famous nemesis is the blue Reliant Supervan III. Not Mr Bean's Mini itself, but I thought worth a little section as it was key to a lot of the Mini's comedy moments. 

There were two Reliants used in the show. The first (LMM 59K, originally a browny beige) still survives to this day. The second was cut up almost immediately after filming and put in a skip. 
LMM 59K was used for the entirety of the first episode, 'Mr. Bean' and then latterly in 'The Curse Of Mr Bean' and 'The Trouble With Mr Bean'. After this it was to be used in 'Only Fools And Horses' in the episode 'Danger UXD'. In the original script the van was to be blown up, so rather than blowing up the main van that was used at the time (DHV 938D) they sourced another (LMM 59K), painted it in the trotter livery and it was ready. At the very last minute John Sullivan, the writer of Only Fools, decided that he didn't want to blow the van up, so it was never filmed. The van therefore survived; it was sold without an engine (which has since been replaced) and displayed at various shows and museums. It has been up for sale a few times since, but with a price sum gradually rising from £17,500 - £22,000.
The yellow Trotter paint has now started to flake off and the blue colour it was painted in Mr Bean has started to show though. 
Notable giveaways for this van is the damage to the rear end and two metal brackets on the front grille area, presumably for spotlights or something of that nature. 

 

Little is known about the second van, however it was a slightly more vibrant blue and the windows/windscreen were blacked out almost comprehensively. Definitively cut up, it's a shame both don't survive.

Trivia Moment - when the Reliant turns over in 'The Curse Of Mr Bean' a hydraulic cannon was used to turn the Reliant so it would topple in such a way that the roof was facing the camera rather than the underside. That cannon remains in the van to this day. 

Another Trivia Moment - Before they were used for filming both vans had the panel part of the sides removed and replaced with windows, this is evident as the panels do not sit flush or as they are supposed to in the show, but rather with the rubber holding the glass in and the glass painted over, this is obvious. After being used in Mr Bean, at some point LMM 59K has had original panels re-fitted.

 

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LMM 59K in 'The Trouble With Mr Bean'

 

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Both pictures of 'LMM 59K', to the left the damage to the rear and to the right the vehicle on its side in 'The Curse Of Mr Bean'.

 

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LMM 59K Today.

 

 

 

 

 

...And That's That!

Well, if you've just read through all that I commend you on being able to survive a badly worded and lengthy spew of facts and general stuff that you didn't know, you didn't need to know!  

If you have any stories or questions feel free to tell them or ask, certainly as time goes on I will keep updating this so it is as current and up to date as possible! 

 

Cheers Guys!

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*15/08/18* Update added to the Orange Mini section.

 

 


Edited by mattprinn1997, 15 August 2018 - 12:42 PM.


#2 minifreek1

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 07:24 AM

Wow....!!!

 

Didn't read it all the way through, not got time before I need to leave for work....



#3 Retroman

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 08:33 AM

Brilliant

 

Not had time to read it all yet, but will at leisure, there is clearly a mass of info

Its time it was done, real Mini history researched documented very well, and there may be more to add.

 

I remember seeing the one in Keswick

 

Have you any idea at all what the fate of the orange H reg was ? Do you know if it had discs on ?

 

Reason I ask is there was a similar coloured Mk1 sacrificed  in the name of art

 

It was butchered with a gas axe and welded back to resemble a Hippo, it was displayed outside Clitheroe station for months.

 

I ended up with the orange calipers off it, but don't know how. It was a young female artist, late 1980's ?



#4 hazpalmer14

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 02:05 PM

Had a quick skim through and that's a very thorough and detailed history of the mr bean mini. Hats off to you

#5 mab01uk

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 06:14 PM

Great story and information on a very famous Mini that you have saved, many thanks for sharing. I look forward to any further updates!



#6 mk1leg

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:42 PM

the Holiday mini Ms de caunes mini was sold to a frenchman for 3000 euros at auction My friend was bidding on it as well


Edited by mk1leg, 19 July 2018 - 09:43 PM.


#7 Kombi

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 04:50 AM

Thanks for compiling all this. I adopted a car that the previous owner attempted to pay homage to Mr. Bean's Mini. It is most certainly the wrong shade of green, but generally folks who know the character don't seem to mind.


Edited by Kombi, 20 July 2018 - 04:51 AM.


#8 cal844

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 10:33 AM

Wow, so interesting!

#9 mattprinn1997

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 08:16 PM

Brilliant

 

Not had time to read it all yet, but will at leisure, there is clearly a mass of info

Its time it was done, real Mini history researched documented very well, and there may be more to add.

 

I remember seeing the one in Keswick

 

Have you any idea at all what the fate of the orange H reg was ? Do you know if it had discs on ?

 

Reason I ask is there was a similar coloured Mk1 sacrificed  in the name of art

 

It was butchered with a gas axe and welded back to resemble a Hippo, it was displayed outside Clitheroe station for months.

 

I ended up with the orange calipers off it, but don't know how. It was a young female artist, late 1980's ?

 

Unfortunately, it probably wasn't the same car as parts were taken from the orange vehicle when it was disassembled immediately after filming.
Additionally; no, very much still on drums at the front, visibly, the wheels don't stick out far enough. 

Hope that sheds some light!



#10 matt615

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 08:38 PM

All very interesting. There are lots of pretenders around, but to me Mr Bean’s Mini will always be SLW 287R. I didn’t even know it had survived until now.

One mystery though, DVLA vehicle check says it’s not been taxed since 1991. Is that correct? Surely it was used for filming after 1991, and isn’t it in use now?

Was the Citron green and black bonnet colour scheme a deliberate choice? Or did they just buy any old Mini for the tv show, and it happened to be that colour?

#11 mattprinn1997

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 08:53 PM

All very interesting. There are lots of pretenders around, but to me Mr Bean’s Mini will always be SLW 287R. I didn’t even know it had survived until now.

One mystery though, DVLA vehicle check says it’s not been taxed since 1991. Is that correct? Surely it was used for filming after 1991, and isn’t it in use now?

Was the Citron green and black bonnet colour scheme a deliberate choice? Or did they just buy any old Mini for the tv show, and it happened to be that colour?

 

That's correct, yeah! Most of the scenes filmed with the car were on closed roads etc, before and even after 1991. The plate was obviously swapped from car to car though!
Sadly, it doesn't really come out too often, but if it is ever used for anything other than filming in similar conditions it has trade plates in/on it. 

It was a deliberate colour choice!



#12 MacGyver

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 08:28 PM

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Feel free to share anymore info you get hold of and some more pics of your car, including the rebuild if you have any?
On a different thread if you'd like?

Ben

Edited by MacGyver, 24 July 2018 - 08:29 PM.


#13 matt615

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 07:47 PM

Any idea what happened to Mr Bean’s nemesis - the blue reliant three wheeler? Is that still around?

#14 Lobo15

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 09:03 AM

For years I was looking for background information about the Mini's used in Mr. Bean.
In one post you give answerd to the questions I had for years and even provide more detailed information and a lot of great photos to.
 
Thank you very very much for sharing this information!
 
Still I have some questions :proud:
 
Did I understand correctly they crushed 3 Mini's in  'Back To School Mr Bean' ?
(I was always hoping they didn't crushed a Mini used in other episode too, but sadly they did)
 
And do you have some information about the Mini used in Mr. Bean: Funeral (2015)?


#15 matt615

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 01:59 PM

I believe the 2015 funeral Mini was STE 952R, presumably borrowed from Beaulieu for the occasion?




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