Top Gear's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car Vauxhall Astra which was driven by Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Hugh Jackman now owned by Waterlooville man

It may have been driven by Hollywood celebrities in its previous life - but the Vauxhall Astra featured each week on the BBC’s Top Gear programme is now owned by a Waterlooville man who uses it for the school run and shopping.
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Stephen Sawdy now possesses the 2013 red Vauxhall Astra which featured in the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment on the popular BBC programme until it was sold in an auction in 2019 by mistake.

The car has been driven by celebrities including Will Smith, Olly Murs, Nicholas Hoult, Jimmy Carr, Margot Robbie and Benedict Cumberbatch all of whom completed a lap around the Top Gear test track in a bid to secure the fastest time. Pop star Olly Murs holds the record, completing the track in one minute and 44.6 seconds with actor Nicholas Hoult a close second with a time of one minute 44.7 seconds.

Stephen said: ‘It was an absolute steal.’

Stephen Sawdy bought a car three and a half years ago, but it is not like any other - it is the car used throughout Top Gear

Pictured: Signature from The Stig on the dash board 
Picture: Habibur RahmanStephen Sawdy bought a car three and a half years ago, but it is not like any other - it is the car used throughout Top Gear

Pictured: Signature from The Stig on the dash board 
Picture: Habibur Rahman
Stephen Sawdy bought a car three and a half years ago, but it is not like any other - it is the car used throughout Top Gear Pictured: Signature from The Stig on the dash board Picture: Habibur Rahman
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The Vauxhall Astra was the last car used during the Jeremy Clarkson era of Top Gear, which is when it was still being aired on the BBC, but it went up for auction in 2019 when the future of the show was unknown. The vehicle had been loaned to the show by Vauxhall and when Clarkson left the car was sold to Ashgood Porsche in London, which used the car for publicity events until 2019 when it decided to sell it.

The Astra was put into a Bonhams Car Auction, where Stephen managed to get his hands on the car. It had only done 5,600 miles, and was sold for a mere £8,000 despite the auction estimate being approximately £15,000.

Stephen added: ‘Vauxhall has contacted me asking to buy it back for £15,000 because it was a mistake selling it.

Stephen Sawdy bought a car three and a half years ago, but it is not like any other - it is the car used throughout Top Gear

Pictured: The famous Vauxhall Astra at their home in Waterlooville, Portsmouth on Wednesday 10th May 2023

Picture: Habibur RahmanStephen Sawdy bought a car three and a half years ago, but it is not like any other - it is the car used throughout Top Gear

Pictured: The famous Vauxhall Astra at their home in Waterlooville, Portsmouth on Wednesday 10th May 2023

Picture: Habibur Rahman
Stephen Sawdy bought a car three and a half years ago, but it is not like any other - it is the car used throughout Top Gear Pictured: The famous Vauxhall Astra at their home in Waterlooville, Portsmouth on Wednesday 10th May 2023 Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘I go to shows with it all the time. I am doing Goodwood’s 75th anniversary this year and I went to Mercedes-Benz World where I did the test track with the car.

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‘I did a publicity day for Vauxhall in Basingstoke with it and Ben Collins, The Stig drove it and signed the dashboard.

‘I take it to the school run, shopping and I go to the dump with it but I keep it in good condition – I have got about 22,000 miles on it now.’

The 1.6 litre car was featured in three seasons of the programme up until 2015 and since Stephen has owned the vehicle he has made sure that it is kept in pristine condition.

Stephen Sawdy bought a car three and a half years ago, but it is not like any other - it is the car used throughout Top Gear

Pictured: The famous Vauxhall Astra at their home in Waterlooville, Portsmouth on Wednesday 10th May 2023

Picture: Habibur RahmanStephen Sawdy bought a car three and a half years ago, but it is not like any other - it is the car used throughout Top Gear

Pictured: The famous Vauxhall Astra at their home in Waterlooville, Portsmouth on Wednesday 10th May 2023

Picture: Habibur Rahman
Stephen Sawdy bought a car three and a half years ago, but it is not like any other - it is the car used throughout Top Gear Pictured: The famous Vauxhall Astra at their home in Waterlooville, Portsmouth on Wednesday 10th May 2023 Picture: Habibur Rahman

On the bonnet are the names of everyone who has driven the car and the time that they completed the track in, as well as the Top Gear logo on one side.

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Stephen, who said that he has always been a petrolhead, has also got a red Ducati 916 in his living room and a Sinclair C5.

He added: ‘I won’t sell it but I don’t use it all of the time so I am trying to get it into a museum – my daughter wants to drive it when she is older.

‘Over 300 million people watched the show so it is quite a famous car.’