RAC Cars News


First Ever Range Rover For Sale

By raccars Published

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Range Rover fans will be watching with interest next month, as the first ever Range Rover to be produced goes to auction at the Silverstone Auctions Salon Prive sale on 4 September in London. Known as model #001, the car is expected to raise at least £150,000 in the sale.

The Range Rover was launched in 1970 and became the yardstick by which all other luxury 4x4s are measured. At the time it was described as the world's most versatile car, combining the road manners and comfort of a Rover saloon with the off-roading capabilities of the more utilitarian Land Rover. The modern Range Rover is found on farms, doing the school run or outside Premier League footballers' mansions.

The car that started it all off was this model, registered YVB 151H. Investors and enthusiasts alike are expected to be very keen to bag the landmark example, which is a green, two door model. Production on #001 began on 24 November 1969 and was completed on 17 December 1969, for a first registration date of 2 January 1970. Its first owner was one Michael Forlong, the producer of two short films promoting Range Rover.

A number of other owners are recorded before history becomes a little murky, but #001 was found by a Range Rover fan in the Nineties, who restored it over six years to immaculate condition and put it on display at West Yorkshire's Huddersfield Land Rover Centre. Interested parties at the auction are expected to include Jaguar Land Rover, as #001 would add nicely to the collection of classics the firm recently bought from Dr James Hull.

The guide price at auction is £100,000-£140,000, but experts are predicting the final price could go much higher. #001 boasts 'matching numbers,' which means that it still features the original engine, gearbox and chassis plus the bodyshell and aluminium bonnet. That engine is a 3.5 litre V8 producing about 135bhp and a top speed over 100mph.

While the Range Rover has been updated a number of times since launch, the basic shape has altered very little since the boxy original. That first generation ran for 26 years from 1970-1996 and was not initially a luxury vehicle. These are now defined as the Range Rover Classic, to differentiate from the succeeding models. Each successive generation has moved more upmarket and the standard model was joined by the Range Rover Sport in 2005 and the compact Range Rover Evoque in 2011.

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