The First Range Rover Ever Built Heads to Auction
Owning the first model year of a classic car becomes an envious title to bear, but owning the very first car to ever roll off the production line— well, that’s simply a league of its own. One lucky attendee at the upcoming Salon Privé Sale, held by Silverstone Auctions, will inherit that vaunted title when this remarkable 1970 Range Rover Classic – the car that spearheaded the Rangie love affair – crosses the auction block, chassis #001. RELATED: See Photos of the 1970 Land Rover Range Rover
The story of the very first Range Rover begins on November 24, 1969, when line workers at Land Rover’s Solihull production facility commenced work on #001. The 4x4 rolled off the line on December 17, and was registered on January 2, 1970. A year later, Michael Forlong, the producer of the original two Range Rover promotional films, became the first private owner of ‘No 1,’ after it had been re-sprayed Bahama Gold.
But like many noteworthy production models, the off-roader changed hands multiple times over the years and its identity was inadvertently masked during the flow of paperwork. It wasn’t until the early 1990’s when the current owner rediscovered the historic vehicle and began an extensive full-blown restoration.
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Amazingly, Range Rover #001 (Chassis number 33500001A) remains a numbers-matching example, retaining its original 3.5-liter V8 engine, chassis, gearbox, axles, as well as original body panels. And after 44 years of life, it still looks just as striking as it did back in ’70, showing only 86,950 miles on the clock.
We expect this Rangie will end up tucked away in a private collection, though, we’d love to see someone drive this 135-horsepower icon everyday. Auction estimates value this Range Rover Classic in the £100,000 to £140,000 region ($168,000 to $235,000), though bidding could certainly go higher.
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