BRITISH 4X4 GOES UNDER THE HAMMER: The first Range rover, chassis number #001, will go under the hammer at the The Salon Privé Sale in England on September 4 2014. Image: Silverstone Auctions
LONDON, England - The first Range Rover, chassis number #001, will be going under the hammer at The Salon Privé Sale, hosted in partnership with Silverstone Auctions, in London, England on September 4 2014.
The incredibly rare 4x4, estimated at the equivalent of R1.7 - R2.4-million, was the first example of the iconic British SUV to roll off the production line in 1969.
The Range Rover story started in the 1960s when Rover acknowledged the demand for a new, more recreational type of off-road vehicle and so development began in 1967 headed by Charles Spencer King.
HISTORY OF A 4X4 LEGEND
The car was built from November 4 to December 17 1969 and registered in January 1970, nearly six months before the official launch of the Range Rover. The first owner of the car was Michael Furlong, the producer of two promotional films for the model.
In 1975, by this time the car was re-sprayed in gold, it was passed onto a new owner.
IMAGE GALLERY: 1969 Range Rover #001
Changes to registrations as well as colour meant that chassis number 001 was "lost" for a number of years, changing owners, until discovery by the current vendor in the early 1990s.
What followed was a six-year restoration which included respraying the car back to its original olive-green colour.
'LANDMARK BRITISH ICON'
Unusually, the vehicle retains all its "matching numbers" components; chassis, engine, gearbox, and axles, as well as the original aluminium bonnet, and the original body shell. In 1997 the DVLA reissued #001 with its original registration number ‘YVB 151H'.
Managing director of Silverstone Auctions Nick Whale said: “It’s wonderful to be able to offer this iconic British model for auction at the UK’s finest concours event. These cars are incredibly popular and we expect a significant amount of interest when it goes under the hammer.”
Managing director of Salon Prive Andrew Bagley added: “The Range Rover is a truly landmark British icon and I’m delighted that chassis number 001 will be joining us at such an internationally recognised British event.”