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What a bombshell... Jezza's embarrassing mix-up with a Tranny!

JEREMY Clarkson played it for laughs when he drove the world''s smallest car, designed by Coventry University students, along busy trunk roads and through London''s West End.

But the joke would have been on the Top Gear presenter if his hair-raising journey had taken him past a police car - because he was driving with the wrong numberplate.

Due to a BBC cock-up, he could have found himself trying to explain why the plate on the micro car - dubbed the P45 - was registered to a yellow Ford Transit van.

Watching the 6ft 5ins presenter at the kerbside having his collar felt would have lifted the spirits of all the frustrated drivers he''d held up by crawling along a country road.

And for the accident-prone BBC it would have been an embarrassing first episode of the new series, broadcast on Sunday. Clarkson told viewers he had made the car himself, adding: While this might be completely legal, it''s also completely terrifying.

During the 20-minute sketch he was filmed holding up along line of traffic outside Guildford, pottering along the fearsome A3 and apparently crashing into tables outside a London restaurant. A BBC spokeswoman said:The vehicle itself passed the full Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) approval process in order to be driven on the road. Unfortunately, due to an administrative error, it did have an incorrect numberplate.

We have spoken to the DVLA about the matter who has accepted it was purely a mistake, and the car now displays the correct plate.

She confirmed that the car had been taxed and insured for the episode, which included a spoof Dragon''s Den interview on the car''s potential.

A police source said Clarkson would have been pulled over if a patrol car had been passing and checked his numberplate.

But in the circumstances it would be unlikely it would have been taken any further as it was an innocent error.

Despite Clarkson''s claims to have built the car, it was in fact commissioned for the show as a jokey but entirely roadworthy car, designed by automotive design students at Coventry University and constructed by a specialist bodywork firm.

The car has now been given its own P45 and retired to the Beaulieu Museum''s World of Top Gear collection - and fitted with the correct numberplate.

CAPTION(S):

WRONG GEAR: Jeremy Clarkson's mini-car's numberplate belongs to a yellow Ford Transit van

WHOOPS: Jeremy Clarkson in his Coventry Uni-designed P45 - with the wrong plate
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 1, 2013
Words:407
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