Robbie Coltrane and his American cars

Beloved actor Robbie Coltrane, who sadly passed last Friday, was perhaps best known for his role as Hagrid in the Harry Potter franchise – but he was also a familiar name in the American car scene.

Coltrane, born in Rutherglen, Scotland in 1950, began acting in his twenties. At first he worked in theatre and stand-up comedy, before appearing in television and finally film. Some of his early films include Flash Gordon (1980), Mona Lisa (1986), and Blackadder (1987).

However, Coltrane was also a lifelong car fan, and had a particular soft spot for American cars. Some readers may remember Coltrane in a Cadillac, which aired on ITV in 1993. The documentary saw Coltrane journey across North America, from Los Angeles to New York, in a 1951 Cadillac Series 62 coupe convertible. He completed the 3,765 mile journey in 32 days.

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Following on from his Cadillac adventure, Coltrane hosted the 1997 Coltrane’s Planes & Automobiles, where he shared the history of various different automobiles.

The Cadillac which appeared in the 1993 series was auctioned in the 90s. Then in 2000, Coltrane purchased a 1972 Buick Le Sabre Convertible. Coltrane restored the car himself, including repainting the black exterior in metallic green. Coltrane sold the Buick on eBay in 2012 for £4,375.

Another of Coltrane’s American autos was a 1988 Chrysler Jeep Grand Wagoneer. He went on to donate the Chrysler to the Riverside Museum in Glasgow in 2012.

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As for his favourite car, Coltrane could never choose. He told Daily Record: “It’s like your children, you can’t have favourites.”

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