First Range Rover heads bumper London sale

| 24 Oct 2016

The first production Range Rover is set to cross the block at Coy’s Classic & Sports Car Show sale on 29 October with an estimate of £80,000-100,000.

Chassis number 35500026A is the 26th Range Rover manufactured, and is thought to be the first car Land-Rover registered as a Range Rover on 27 May 1970. The car belongs to a batch of 20 press launch cars built to near final production standard, though fitted with aluminium bonnets which weren’t carried over to production. 

The 20 Range Rovers were transported to the Meudon Hotel in Falmouth on 28 May and were used to launch the groundbreaking new model on a test route that included off-road trials in the Blue Hills Mountains and a high-speed demonstration on the runway at RAF St Eval. 

With its press duties completed, 0026A was returned to the factory where it was retained by Land-Rover until 30 April 1973. It was eventually sold to Herbert Lomas Ltd – a specialist in converting Range Rovers to ambulances – but escaped a similar fate, instead being bought by an engineering consultant who extensively toured with the car. 

Also poised to stir a great deal of interest is a 1964 Aston Martin DB5. Remarkably, the car spent no fewer than 52 years with its original owner, John Garbutt, who kept the car until this year. The DB5 stayed largely original throughout that period, with the greatest departure being a change of colour from its factory-specified Sierra Blue to California Sage Green – a nod to its DB4GT Zagato sister car ‘2 VEV’. 

The rest of the Aston Martin has remained largely untouched, including its interior, which is described as being a little worn in areas. It is expected to fetch between £525,000 and £625,000. 

Ardent Tifosi will be drawn to a 1974 Ferrari 246GT, which is estimated at £280-325,000. The car is one of just 498 right-hand-drive examples delivered to the UK and is in fine condition having been extensively rebuilt in the early 1990s. Among the receipts for work completed are a £6044.40 bill for its Rosso 300 paintwork and a £3750 note to re-trim its interior. 

Considerably rarer is a 1958 Jensen 541 Deluxe, which is expected to fetch more than £60,000. Just 53 examples of the Deluxe model were built between 1957 and 1959, with considerably fewer thought to have survived. This particular car spent 20 years in storage before being restored in 2012. 

Away from the high-profile lots, a number of more affordable classics will also be crossing the block, such as a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC, which is offered with no reserve. Offered with full service history and described as being in excellent condition throughout, the 150,000-mile example could be one of the bargains of the sale. 

A 1973 Wolseley Six is also offered with no reserve and will be one to watch. The Tulip Black example has had just two owners in its 43 years and boasts an impressive history file. 

A very original 1975 Mercedes-Benz 200D has avoided life as a taxi, instead being cosseted by two Italian owners since new. The 108,000km Maple Yellow classic is rust-free with good paintwork, excellent chrome and a well-maintained interior. Complete with MoT, it looks good value at £5-6000. 

It’s even possible to pick up a genuine piece of celebrity history for less than the cost of a new BMW: a 1978 Bentley T2 once owned by DJ Chris Evans and mentioned affectionately in his autobiography could be yours for as little as £13,000. 

Click here to order tickets to The Classic & Sports Car Show