After nine years fronting the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, car-mad Chris Evans has launched his new Virgin Radio show. “I say, this is very exciting,” Evans said as he greeted his new listeners.
Over the years, he has owned a tremendous collection of cars, with many of his multi-million-pound purchases ranking among the rarest cars in the world. Here, we look at some of the cars Chris Evans can list on his CV.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Evan’s most unusual acquisition was the only working car built for the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang film. It features a Ford Racing 3.0-litre V6, a dashboard plate from a first world war British fighter plane, a polished aluminium bonnet, a red and white cedar boat deck and brass fittings lifted from Edwardian motor vehicles.
Shortly after buying it, Evans explained how the purchase came about. “My pal had bought the car on his birthday before he went skiing, not realising she is over 17 feet long. Garage problem. No money lost or gained.
“Chitty is now officially part of the Berkshire Automotive Massive. She is indeed Truly Scrumptious. She’s also gone into the workshop for some much-needed road legalisation.”
Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider
Chris Evans clearly has no intention of scaling back his car collection. In 2014, he spent £2.27 million on a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder – believed to be a world-record price. It looks stunning in black – a marked contrast to the yellow paint worn by the 1969 Frankfurt Motor show car.
Mk1 Ford Escort Mexico
Chris may have a taste for rare and exotic Ferraris, but that doesn’t mean he can’t mix it with the rest of us. Here we see him about to set off from Radio 2 at the wheel of a Ford Escort Mexico. Values of good MK1 Escorts are on the rise, but there’s still a way to go before they catch up with expensive Fezzas.
And here’s Chris Evans leaving Radio 2 again, this time at the wheel of a Bentley. Looks a bit tight there, Chris. You may want to consider driving something a little smaller.
Daimler SP250 Dart
In 2014, Chris Evans had a run in with the law and paid a high price. He bought one of the very last Daimler SP250 ‘Dart’ police cars for a little over £50,000 at auction. The ex-Scotland Yard Dart came complete with all law-enforcing accoutrements, with Chris adding ‘the kids love it; the big kids love it even more.’ Well quite.
James Hunt’s Hesketh 308
£230,000 doesn’t seem like a lot of money for one of F1’s most famous cars. But that’s the price Chris Evans paid for the Works Hesketh 308, driven by James Hunt before his title winning season in 1976.
You have to be invited to purchase cars like the LaFerrari. Fortunately for this chap, he’s owned enough Ferraris in his time to be considered a key client. We’re talking about Chris Evans, not Pudsey Bear.
Ferrari 328 GTS
This Ferrari 328 GTS was formerly owned by Chris Evans. In 1985, the 308 GTB and GTS were updated with a new V8 engine, hence the new 328 GTB and GTS denominations. Over 6,000 GTS roadsters were built, far more than the 1,345 hardtops.
This is the 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia that, a few years ago, Chris Evans put up for sale at £189,950 via Auto Trader. It had covered only 5,559 miles since new.
Bentley Turbo R
Powered by a 6.75-litre turbocharged mill, a late-90s Turbo R like Evans’ British racing green model can be picked up for less than £20,000. In the past the Radio 2 presenter has also splashed out on a Bentley Brooklands for £102,000 (nearly wiping out his bank balance at the time of £103,000).
1972 Volkswagen Beetle
A somewhat impulsive buy, Evans saw this slightly beaten up 1972 sky blue VW Beetle with a for sale note stuck in its window on his way home from work. After a quick telephone conversation the owner met Evans at the car 10 minutes later and the deal was sealed.
Evans lusted after a Ferrari 250 GTO for years before he finally bought one similar to this for a staggering £12 million in 2010. One of only 36,250 GTOs ever manufactured, this Ferrari has been called the Leonardo da Vinci of motoring. Evans describes it as the beauty and the beast rolled into one.
Evans drove and was chauffeur-driven in his W220 S600 in equal measure. This was also the car he chose for his entrance at the Staines magistrates’ court in 2001, where Evans was banned from driving for 56 days for clocking 105mph in a 70mph zone with his Ferrari 550 Maranello.
1961 Ferrari California Spyder
In 2010 Evans made history when he bought the most expensive car sold in Britain – paying a cool £12 million for a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO. This 1961 California Spyder, once owned by Hollywood hard man James Coburn, is the convertible cousin of that car and set the DJ back a not insignificant £5.6 million in 2008.
1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL
Keen to capitalise on the massive success of the 1950s 300SL, Mercedes-Benz launched the more affordable but equally beautiful 190SL in 1955. Evans sold his classic 1965 Merc in 2004 and it went under the hammer again four years later, fetching its owner at the time a handsome £32,347.
1964 Daimler V8 Vicarage Convertible
This is Chris Evans’ 1964 Daimler V8 Vicarage Convertible. The car is rumoured to have cost Chris £135,000 but it sold for just £73,500 when he auctioned it at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in 2007.