Belfast Telegraph

One Day my car's a film star, the next it's back in my drive

By Claire Weir

When Gabriel Carlin sat down to watch new hit film One Day last night, he wasn't interested in watching actress Anne Hathaway or her co-star Jim Sturgess.

Instead, the Co Down man was keeping an eagle eye out for his beloved 1966 Triumph Vitesse, which makes an appearance in the new movie based on the best-selling novel by David Nicholls.

Motoring enthusiast Gabriel bought the car three years ago as a present for his eight-year-old daughter, Sinead, but decided to put it on the market, and it was promptly snapped up by Reel Vehicles, based in Surrey.

The firm has supplied cars to films including Never Let Me Go, Batman: The Dark Knight and zombie flick 28 Weeks Later as well as for the hugely popular meerkat advertisements Compare The Market.

But after deciding that the old girl should go, Gabriel had a change of heart.

"I bought the car to fix it up and I had the idea I could drive Sinead to the ice cream shop in it," he said.

"In July 2010, I thought I wasn't really using it enough so I put it for sale on the internet.

"Almost immediately I was contacted by Reel Vehicles and I said that maybe I had made a mistake. I had been having a think about whether I was doing the right thing and if I really wanted to sell.

"The company then offered me first refusal to buy the car back when filming ended, so that's what I did. We were contacted in December to be told that they were finished with the car and we travelled over to London to collect it."

But the Carlins had a bit of a shock to discover that the Vitesse, which had previously been white, had been sprayed navy.

"It was a shock to see it as the blue did not suit the car at all. But we bought it back and drove right up to Fleetwood to sail back over here - that is a long journey when you can't do more than 50mph."

When the car came home, Gabriel then began restoring it.

"Sinead's First Holy Communion was in March this year, so from January to March, I worked on getting it back to white and looking great and I drove Sinead to her communion in it. She looked like a little princess."

And now there won't be much chance of Gabriel selling the car again.

"It costs £120 to insure, free to tax and Sinead loves it, so I don't think I will be selling it any time soon."


One Day is based on the third novel by David Nicholls which won the 2010 Galaxy Book of the Year prize. The film stars Jim Sturgess as Dexter and Anne Hathaway as Em. After spending the night together on the evening of their college graduation they are then shown each year on the same date for 20 years to see where they are in life. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day. Hathaway has since revealed she studied Emmerdale to perfect a Yorkshire accent.

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