A CAR driven by Mr Toad in a film starring former Monty Python stars has gone on show after a major restoration project.

The replica Edwardian vehicle has been brought back to life by experts at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, where visitors can see it being driven around the grounds.

The eye-catching car appeared in The Wind in the Willows, a 1996 movie based on the classic story published by Kenneth Grahame in 1908.

Mr Toad was played by the director, Terry Jones, who was joined by fellow Pythons Eric Idle and Michael Palin. Other members of the star-studded cast included Steve Coogan, Stephen Fry and Victoria Wood.

A museum spokesman said: “The car may look like it dates from the early years of motoring but it was built at Shepperton Studios in 1995.

“After filming it was used for promotional events, when it’s thought the wings were deliberately damaged to make it look as if the car had been crashed by the reckless Mr Toad.

“The vehicle then spent many years suspended from the ceiling in a Planet Hollywood restaurant in Florida before being stored in a shipping container, which was so hot that many of the rubber parts melted.”

Last year the car was rediscovered by a movie vehicle expert Gordon Grant, who arranged for it to be shipped it back to the UK.

The spokesman listed some of the restoration tasks carried out by museum staff.

“These included getting the engine running again, curing severe oil leaks, rebuilding the brakes, fitting new tyres and bringing the car back into fully-functioning order. The rejuvenated vehicle is exactly as it would have been when Mr Toad first took it for a wild ride,” he said.

Wind in the Willows tells the story of Mr Toad’s obsession with cars, which has resulted in seven crashes and three trips to hospital.

His friends vow to protect Toad from himself but he steals a vehicle and is caught by the police. After being jailed for 20 years but manages to escape.