Blackpool Centenary car for sale… or is it!?

The future of Blackpool Centenary car 646 is looking decidely uncertain, following the appearance of a bizarre listing on the popular internet auction site eBay. At first glance, it appears that 646 is available for sale online, but a closer look at the item description indicates that the sale is in fact for a much smaller part of the tram, although its owner is prepared to consider selling the car in its complete form.

646 last ran in passenger service at Blackpool on Sunday 6th November 2011, after which time it was set aside for preservation by the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust, who ultimately intended to display it in a new museum at Copse Road, Fleetwood. The tram was actually bought by Paul Gaunt, the local businessman whose company had advertised on it using a number of different, mainly blue-based designs since 2001. With a need to remove the car from Rigby Road, it was duly placed in a car park at Paul Gaunt’s premises on the outskirts of Blackpool, but very sadly it was the victim of a ruthless vandal attack which resulted in numerous windows being smashed. Thankfully an attempt to set the tram on fire proved unsuccesful, but presumably this led to Paul Gaunt deciding to dispose of the tram. It would appear it is being listed for sale by a scrap dealer rather than Paul Gaunt or the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust, although oddly the auction listing goes on to say that 646 is destined for conversion for use in a new role once various parts have been removed from it.

As stated above, the eBay item listing for 646 is rather vague and it would appear that the succesful bidder will be purchasing a mere windscreen wiper blade, rather than a complete tram! The accompanying text indicates that other items, including doors, seats, pedals, cash counters and more, will also be put on sale. However, and confusingly, it is also stated that the seller may be willing to sell the complete tram, and offers are welcomed. Naturally, the more individual parts are removed and auctioned off, the less appealing the remains will become to any potential buyers and the sale is certainly being handled in a very strange manner. Amusingly, the tram is listed as a ‘used’ item and although this is obviously a standard eBay provision, it’s hard not to laugh at the link offered to ‘sell one like this’!

The auction listing is made all the more bizarre by some inaccuries in the description of the tram, which indicates it was built in 1986 (actually 1987), and most bizarrely of all, that it featured in an episode of Coronation Street where it ‘ran over a bad guy’. This claim to fame of course belongs instead to Balloon car 710, 646‘s only connection with the TV show being that it advertised the short-lived ‘World of Coronation Street’ attraction in Blackpool during the nineties.

Anyone wishing to view the item listing can do so by clicking on this link: The auction is due to finish on November 8th, but presumably further parts of the tram may be listed in the near future.

A recent, but historic view showing Centenary car 646 at Pleasure Beach in its final season of operation. Although sporting several broken windows and missing its pantograph tower, 646 remains largely unchanged from this picture although it remains to be seen if it will stay that way much longer! (Photo by Andrew Waddington)



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