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The Professionals 1980 Ford Capri 3.0 S - as driven by Bodie

Lot Number: 701

The Professionals 1980 Ford Capri 3.0 S - as driven by Bodie

The Professionals Capris were sold together as a pair. They sold for a total of £186,750.

  • Sold for: £186,750

LIVE AUCTION: This lot was auctioned on Saturday 26th August, 2023 at 11.00am BST at The Wing, Silverstone Circuit, NN12 8TN

  • Body Colour

    Stratos Silver

  • Drive


  • Registration Number

    OWC 827V

  • Odometer Reading

    53939 Miles


The Professionals Capris were sold together as a pair. They sold for a total of £186,750.


By the mid-1970s, most of the flamboyant British spy shows had been decommissioned in favour of grittier crime-action dramas filmed on location with live action car chases. The Sweeney’s debut in 1975 set the standard for real life action-dramas, pubs replaced casinos, gone were exaggerated karate chops and rep-mobile saloons screeched around grimy street corners. British police departments didn’t issue Aston Martins, and few blue-collar sports coupés were affordable or reliable enough to be featured regularly. The producer and screen writer, Brian Clemens, who was behind the definitive British spy series , The Avengers, back in 1961, had just seen his 1975 re-launch end after two years. Although The New Avengers had live action scenes to rival American imports, audiences failed to connect with the outlandish plots, but did appreciate the cars. The deal with British Leyland to supply the cars for the series was ground-breaking, a marketing masterstroke, but reliability issues caused problems and the continuity department had to deal with replacement cars, often in different colours.

Ever the innovator, Brian Clemens could see that audiences were tiring of the cops and robbers formula and, with the realities of domestic terrorism a daily threat and foreign atrocities widely reported, The Professionals was launched in 1977 against the backdrop of the Cold War. The two heroes, who were neither police officers or members of the security services, were instructed by the Home Secretary to use any means to deal with crimes of a serious nature. The fictional department, Criminal Intelligence-5, was headed by George Cowley, and our heroes, Ray Doyle and William Bodie, were his best operatives. Doyle, an ex-detective constable who worked the seedier parts of London, partnered with Bodie, a former member of the SAS.

Their regional accents and high-street style connected with audiences and, for the first time on British TV, there were heroes that were both relatable and inspirational. The conversation in the typing pool (this was 1980) discussed who was the sexiest out of the two, and lads in pubs admired the cars and the driving. Having learned the significance of a motor manufacturer as an important partner in supplying the cast with specific, character-oriented cars, Ford of Britain were approached and were happy to supply a Ford Granada for George Cowley and, later in the process, this pair of rather special Ford Capris.

Designed to be the Ford Mustang of Europe, the mind-boggling array of options meant that the Capri could be whatever you wanted it to be; just like the Mustang. The Capri was in fact a far more varied animal with engines ranging from 1,300cc to 3,100cc as well as a myriad of trim specifications. The most popular engine was the 1,600cc unit, but the object of most desire was the 3-litre version, which was available from the 1969 Mk 1 through to 1981 as the 3.0 S. Over time, the 3.0 S became synonymous with our action duo and undoubtedly inspired a generation of car enthusiasts whilst coincidentally giving a bit of a boost to Ford's performance car market.

We are therefore privileged to offer these fabulously-presented cars on behalf of our vendor from his 16-year ownership. Most people seem to agree that these two cars should always be garaged together and consequently they are to be offered as a pair and sold as one Lot with the auction estimate of £200,000 to £230,000.

1980 Ford Capri 3.0 S - as driven by Bodie.

First registered on 4th June 1980 to the Ford Motor Company, Essex as OWC 827V, it was loaned to Mark 1 Productions Ltd. for the filming of Series four. Ford stipulated that the car was to wear the false registration plate 'OWC 827W' on screen so that the vehicle appeared new on the first TV transmission date of Series four on 19th October 1980. So when the first episode 'Blackout' went out the W suffix had already been released by the DVLA on the 1st August 1980. Ford therefore received free advertising of a 'new' Ford Capri 3.0S on a W plate. Production notes and filming schedules confirm the car’s original “V” registration as does the definitive book of the TV series, The Professionals  by Bob Roca and Julian Vogt.

Supplied in Stratos Silver and fitted with roll-top head rests as opposed to Recaro fish-nets, it was allocated to Lewis Collins who played William Bodie and the car went on to feature in 10 episodes of the series: Black Out, The Gun, Wild Justice, Blood Sports, Hijack, You'll be All Right, Kickback, Discovered in a Graveyard, The Ojuka Situation, and The Untouchables.

OWC 827V has the distinction of appearing on screen more than all of the cars used in the five series of The Professionals between 1977 to 1981. Bought by our vendor on 1st October 2007, it was sympathetically restored in 2021 with meticulous attention to detail, retaining many original features, most notably the interior. The original engine and gearbox have been fully reconditioned and a stainless steel exhaust was fitted at the same time. The vehicle still features its original alloy wheels which are shod with period-correct Goodyear Grand Prix 185 x 70 x 13 tyres. The speedometer reading, at the time of cataloguing, was 53,939 miles and the car is presented to auction with a detailed history file, V5C, receipts and memorabilia.



Lot Number
Registration Number
OWC 827V
MOT Expiry
Chassis Number
Engine Number
Body Colour
Stratos Silver



For further information regarding this lot please contact Arwel.





All cars must be removed from the venue between 9am and 2pm on Monday 28th August. Full payment must be received before any item is available to be released.

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