A Fiat 500 that was delivered to Eaton Hall in Cheshire in 1939 will go under the hammer - after being driven just 1,593 miles in 77 years.

The Fiat 500 Topolino - which translates as 'Little Mouse' - was bought by the second Duke of Westminster, one of the wealthiest men in the world at the time, before the outbreak of World War One.

However, after clocking up just 1,593 miles in its entire history, it is now expected to fetch a price of between £12,000 and £15,000 when it goes up for auction.

Despite being registered at the Duke's ancestral residence in Cheshire's Eaton Hall estate, the car was shipped to Dublin at the outbreak of the war and only returned to Cheshire a few years later. It was then kept in storage before being bought in 1986 and restored.

The car was originally ordered in September 1939 and has silver paintwork and a blue leather interior. At the time it was one of the smallest cars in the world and was an unusual purchase for a man who could afford the most luxurious Bentley and Rolls Royce cars of the time.

Guy Lees-Milne, general manager of Classic Car Auction, which will sell the car, says: “This is a remarkable little car with a fascinating past. Not only does it have ducal provenance, it has an extremely low mileage for a car of its age, making it a very rare find indeed.

“It’s amazing that one of the world’s wealthiest men would order such a modest little vehicle and a car of the people. With its amazing story, and just two owners from new, we’re bound to have plenty of interest in its sale.”

The Topoline will be sold at auction on Saturday 19 March by Classic Car Auctions (CCA).