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It depicts an Austin 20 drawing up outside a theatre. When illuminated, the wheels appear to rotate as one walks past. The rarity was pitched at £2500-4000 and sold at £4200 to a vintage car enthusiast.

“He told us he owns an actual Austin 20 of identical shape and age and just had to have it,” said Richard Edmonds.

It was beaten to the sale’s top spot by a double-sided, globe-shaped sign proclaiming BP Plus Sold Here. By the noted London sign makers Franco, the 20in x 2ft 8in (51 x 81cm) design was in excellent condition and sold accordingly. Against a £2500-4000 estimate, it took £4800.

Zebra van earns its stripes

A similar combination of a rare automobile lot and an ideal buyer came together when this c.1965 AA Austin Mini van, above, was offered at Bishop & Miller (18% buyer’s premium) at Stowmarket on June 17.

Numbered 60, it was part of a trial run for Bembros’ Zebra Toys range and was made by the vendor when he worked for Bembros before the firm was bought out and most of the trial runs destroyed.

Offered in its original box, it was probably always going to make more than the £200-300 estimate. After it sold at £1400, auctioneer Oliver Miller said: “The buyer was a collector who had the same model but not the boxed example, so had to buy it at all costs.”