Page last updated at 18:48 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Corkscrew's car sells for 7,200

John Taylor with the carriage and daughters Rose and Rebecca
Mr Taylor said he would be turning the carriage into a garden feature

The front carriage of Alton Towers' Corkscrew rollercoaster has been sold in an online auction for 7,200.

John Taylor, from Hampshire, said it "meant the world" to own a piece of the 28-year-old theme park ride.

He said the carriage, taken from the rollercoaster which shut at the Staffordshire attraction in November, would become a garden feature.

The eBay charity auction attracted a total of 81 bids over the three weeks it was held.

Theme park bosses closed the rollercoaster because they want to replace it with something "bigger and better".

The carriage comes with four seats, harnesses and wheels.

The rest of the carriages were now being held in the park's archive, a spokeswoman said.

Most of the track has been scrapped, although the two loops have been saved and park officials hope to display them somewhere at Alton Towers in the future.

'Unique and iconic'

Mr Taylor said: "As avid Alton Towers fans we were devastated to hear the Corkscrew was being taken down.

"Now we actually own the most unique and iconic piece of Alton Towers history ever likely to become available - it really does mean the world."

The proceeds of the sale are being donated to Merlin's Magic Wand children's charity to help pay for holidays for seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged youngsters.

Morwenna Angove from the theme park said: "We know the Corkscrew was close to many people's hearts, so it's wonderful to be able to share a small part of such an iconic rollercoaster.

"We hope John and his family will enjoy the ride as much as the resort has over the past 28 years."

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