TV AND radio legend Chris Evans has just completed his ninth London Marathon – yet can also run the roads by choosing a set of wheels from his multi-million-pound luxury car collection.
The Virgin Radio host has boasted an array of prize motors including not only Ferrari supercars, but also vintage vehicles such as one which starred in Dick Van Dyke film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Former Big Breakfast and TFI Friday presenter Evans, 57, is known for his love of classic cars – having also fronted the BBC’s Top Gear reboot following the exits of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.
And the broadcaster has been open about adding to his own private haul – spending millions on cars in recent years, while also buying a £4m mansion in Marlow in Buckinghamshire four years ago.
Yet he has also kept the money rolling in by selling off some of his classics for hefty profits.
Evans broke the British record for most expensive car when paying £12m in 2010 for a 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO.
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He had previously laid out £5.6m, two years earlier, on a 1961 California Spyder previously in the possession of Hollywood actor and The Magnificent Seven star James Coburn.
Evans has also spent £2.27m on a black 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider – while he was also pictured, during his days as Sir Terry Wogan’s Radio 2 breakfast show successor after 2010, driving away from the BBC in a Ford Escort Mexico.
Other Ferraris he has snapped up include a Ferrari 328 GTS and a 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia which he later put up for sale via Auto Trader.
A Hesketh 308 driven by F1 legend James Hunt before his title-winning 1976 season was bought by Evans for £230,000 at a Monaco auction in May 2014.
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Hunt’s son Freddie revealed the sale – and said Evans had promised him a drive in the car used by his father to win the 1974 Silverstone International Trophy.
More quirkily, Evans paid almost £500,000 in 2012 for the only working car built for 1968 movie musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang starring Dick Van Dyke as Caractacus Potts and Sally Ann Howes as Truly Scrumptious.
The car with a Ford Racing 3.0-litre V6 engine also included a World War One fighter plane dashboard plate, brass fittings from Edwardian motor cars and a boat deck coloured red and white.
Evans, who was living in Ascot in Berkshire then, said at the time: “Chitty is now officially part of the Berkshire Automotive Massive.”
He said he bought it from a friend who found the car too long, at 17ft, to fit into his garage – and was also prompted by his young son Noah being a big fan of the film.
Royal badge of honour
Evans put up for auction in March this year, with profits in aid of Comic Relief, a 2009 Jaguar X-Type Estate previously owned and driven by Queen Elizabeth II.
The car's original vehicle handbook confirmed its registration as "PYN 1F" and as belonging to the late Queen – and Evans told BBC1's The One Show that when buying it himself, a toy Corgi was found inside.
It was reported in October 2020 that Evans had sold eight of his classic cars for a combined £6.3m – having previously made another £20m in car sales alongside third wife Natasha Shishmanian.
Evans took over from Sir Terry in 2010 – opening his first show with The Beatles’ All You Need Is Love – but left the BBC in December 2018 and began his Weekday Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio the following month.
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Keen runner Evans completed his ninth London Marathon last month.
Fellow keen car collectors including boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, football stars such as Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-Min, ex-England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, and members of the royal family including King Charles, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry.
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