After nearly 25 years in the care of a British farmer, the first-ever Land Rover Range Rover to roll off the production line will cross the auction block at the Salon Privé in London. The classic Land Rover is recognized as 1970 Range Rover chassis #001, which represents the beginning of a hugely successful production run of greater than 300,000 units that would not end until the end of 1996.
Land Rover registered the vehicle initially as YVN 151H, as one of six production vehicles intended as disguised development units. The SUV was completed on January 2, 1970, and it was soon after claimed by Range Rover promotional film producer Michael Forlong, but not before it was re-sprayed in a Bahama Gold color. Five years later, in 1975, the car was re-registered with a WGA 71 license plate, until it was eventually passed to its current owner in 1979 with registration code EGU 16H.
The YVN 151H Range Rover #001 eluded collectors and enthusiast further until the mid-1990s. From the time of its rediscovery, the first-ever Range Rover has undergone a full and comprehensive restoration, which includes a repainting in its original Olive Green color. Some parts are still original, bearing date stamps as early as April 1969.
This 1970 Range Rover, #001, exhibits the classic boxy styling that collectors and fans know and love. Many of the original Range Rover styling cues, including its squared-off front end and angled D-pillar, can still be found on modern Land Rover models including the Range Rover. The classic SUV will be sold with 86,950 miles on the odometer, its original hood, and a reissued YVB 151H registration code.
Silverstone Auctions is handling the sale of the 1970 Range Rover #001, and the company expects a final selling price between $168,000 and $235,000. For a 3.5-liter V-8-powered piece of automotive history, it might just be money well spent.