The rare Land Rover is slated to cross the Silverstone Auctions' block on September 4, where it's expected to fetch anywhere from 100,000 to 140,000 pounds ($167,000 to $235,000 at today's rates).
Built in late 1969, this particular example was registered some six months before the Range Rover's official launch date. It was considered "lost" until the 1990s, according to Silverstone, thanks in large part to a new Bahama Gold paint job and registration changes. Since its rediscovery, this numbers-matching SUV underwent a six-year, ground-up restoration.
Take a look up top at our fully gallery of images of this rarity, and then scroll down for the press release. And if you happen to be in London in early September and have about $230,000 burning a hole in your pocket, pick this classic. Then head to Starbucks and show up the self-indulgent wieners of the world.
The first ever Range Rover, chassis number #001, will be going under the hammer in The Salon Privé Sale, hosted in partnership with Silverstone Auctions, in London on September 4th. This incredibly special car, estimated at between £100,000 and £140,000, was the first example of the iconic British SUV to roll of the production line back in 1969.
The Range Rover story begins 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.
This car was built between 24th November and 17th December 1969 before being registered on 2nd January 1970, nearly six months before the official launch date of the Range Rover. The first owner of the car was Michael Furlong, the producer of two promotional films for the model.
In 1975 the car, by this time re-sprayed in Bahama Gold, passed onto a new owner. Changes to registrations as well as colour meant that chassis number 001 was 'lost' for a number of years, passing through another owner, until discovery by the current vendor in the early 1990s. What followed was a professional, six year ground up restoration, both bodily and mechanically executed to an exceptional standard as well as taking it back to its original Olive Green colour.
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'.
Speaking on the sale of this historical car, Nick Whale, Managing Director, Silverstone Auctions, 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 Privé, 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."
For more information on the car please visit http://www.silverstoneauctions.com/1970-range-rover-chassis-no-1.