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Rediscovered Range Rover could sell for over £150,000

A Range Rover which was the first ever one of its kind to be built back in 1969 has been rediscovered and, when it goes on sale on September 4th, could make well over £150,000 if the right buyer’s found.

The first ever Range Rover was developed in November and December 1969. It was officially registered on January 2nd, 1970, but the brand didn’t actually launch until five months later on June 17th. On September 26th, 1969, the initial order for the first six chassis was made. In order to disguise the vehicles whilst they were on the roads, they were given registration numbers tying them to Croydon; YVB ****H. This was because it was thought that using a Solihull registration would make it too obvious that the previously unseen vehicles were from Land Rover. A number badge of ‘VELAR’ was also given to the first 28 chassis to disguise them even further, until they were officially launched for sale to the general public.

The first and original Range Rover with the DVLA plates YBV 151H had largely been considered lost by many experts. However, in the early 90s, an enthusiast discovered the vehicle had been sprayed from its original Olive Green colour to Bahama Gold. In addition, its iconic original number plate had also been changed. But, despite the colour change, the vehicle was largely complete, with its matching engine, gearbox, chassis, aluminium bonnet, axles and original body shell all showing the correct and corresponding component numbers. After the transformation of the Range Rover was completed in 1997, the DVLA reissued the vehicle with its original number plate because of its historic significance.

On September 4th, the number 1 Range Rover will go on sale at Silverstone Auctions’ Salon Prive sale. Managing director of the sale, Nick Whale, said, “It is 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.”

Currently, there’s an estimated guide price on the vehicle of between £100,000 and £140,000. However, experts are suggesting there’ll be a lot of demand from enthusiasts for the first ever Range Rover that rolled off the production ramp. If this is true, many believe the vehicle will sell for over £150,000 as motorists clamour to get a piece of Land Rover history.

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