Unreliant Robin goes up in flames - Only Fools and Horses fan’s beloved car catches fire

rossparry.co.uk/syndication'RPYTROTTERS. 'Devoted Only Fools and Horses fan Michael Waterson could only watch as his beloved yellow Reliant Robin burst into flames in Harrogate North Yorkshire
rossparry.co.uk/syndication'RPYTROTTERS. 'Devoted Only Fools and Horses fan Michael Waterson could only watch as his beloved yellow Reliant Robin burst into flames in Harrogate North Yorkshire
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A Del Boy van went up in flames as it was being driven by an Only Fools and Horses fan.

Michael Waterson had owned a replica of the famous yellow three-wheeler for 20 years and used it to promote his ‘Trotters’ bar.

But the temperamental Reliant Robin caught fire in a drama that could have come straight from the comedy classic.

Michael, 65, smelled petrol as he was driving along and the car spluttered to a halt, stopping traffic.

He got out - just as smoke started billowing from the engine and he watched helplessly as his beloved van went up in flames.

Fire crews dashed to put out the blaze in Harrogate, leaving the sorry remains of the chassis and two seats.

Michael, who paid £700 for the van and spent hundreds more doing it up, said: “It is very sad - it was a genuine supervan. I had it for 20 years but only ever took it out on special occasions to promote the pub. It only ever did 200 miles a year max.

“It wasn’t the nicest van to drive, and they had an awful image with reliability. I had spent hundreds of pounds renovating it.

“I won’t be able to get another one. They are so hard to get hold of, that’s why I kept it for so long. My hobby has always been with cars and I love Only Fools.”

Michael’s van was a familiar sight outside the Harrogate bar which he has owned for 23 years and which is full of other Only Fools and Horses memorabilia.

He added: “A lot of people have asked me what’s happened to it and when I’ve told them they have all been devastated.

“There’s absolutely nothing left at all except the chassis and two seats. The whole thing happened so quickly and I knew straight away that something was not right.

“I’m absolutely distraught and now I’m desperately looking to find another one, it was my baby.”

The British-built Reliant Robin was produced from 1973 to 2002.

The model also appeared in Mr Bean and its notorious instability was the subject of a Top Gear feature in 2010.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The circumstances around the fire are currently being investigated.”