A 1973 Range Rover that took part in a five-month, 14,000-mile expedition from Johannesburg to Somerset and was first owned by ex-Formula One star Duncan Hamilton is being offered for sale by JD Classics.
The car became the star of Across the Limpopo, a book written by its then owner, ex-ITN Chief Foreign Correspondent Michael Nicholson (who sadly passed away in December), about his return journey from a four-year posting in South Africa.
The Range Rover had been used daily by the newsman during his time in Africa when, struggling to imagine himself simply waking up in the UK after leaving Africa, decided to skip the 16-hour flight in favour of an epic expedition and five-month drive back to Somerset.
Nicholson and his family headed through Zambia to the Nyika Plateau of Malawi, through Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area with its wild rhinoceroses, and Dar es Salaam, where the group had a dangerous encounter with bull elephants.
The unstoppable Range Rover overcame many other obstacles during the journey home, including the Weiwei Drift in Kenya, a series of boggy washed-away bridges where their average speed slowed to just 2.5mph. The final leg of the journey led the family through Egypt, Sudan, Greece and the rest of Europe before reaching the UK, where the car would be dry-stored for many years.
The car was eventually treated to a comprehensive bare-shell restoration at the hands of Range Rover specialist Bishops 4x4 prior to being offered for sale.
“The classic Range Rover market is hugely popular at the moment, and this is a wonderful opportunity to own a very special part of it,” said JD Classics’ Derek Hood. “From its Le Mans-winning racing owner to its incredible journey through Africa – chronicled in a book and many photographs accompanying the car – this Range Rover has perfect provenance. Add to that the recent impeccable restoration, and it’s easy to see why this Range Rover is perhaps the most desirable on the market today.”