Unmistakeable: Front-end still looks amazingly modern for a mid-60s design
It may have been the first production Range Rover ever completed, but compared with some of the first-run cars, chassis #001, was something of a recluse throughout its 45-year career.
One of the vehicles constructed just after it, a Turquoise Blue example, with the registration YVP 153H was the big star, finding itself featured in the company's promotional work and advertising having been extensively photographed in Snowdonia, North Wales.
Chassis #001 was a less photogenic Olive Green and as a result probably led an easier early life than the turquoise model, which itself was restored five years ago.
The first Range Rover will be going under the hammer in The Salon Privé Sale, hosted in partnership with Silverstone Auctions, in London on September 4.
This very special car is being estimated at worth between NZ$200,000 and NZ$275,000 and was the first example of the iconic British SUV to roll off the production line back in 1969.
The Range Rover story begins in the 1960s when Rover acknowledged the demand for a new, more luxurious and car-like recreational type of off-road vehicle, and development began in 1967 headed by Charles Spencer King.
As far as anyone knows, the original car was built between November 24 and December 17, 1969 before being registered on January 2, 1970, with the number plate: YVP 151H just six months before the official launch date of the Range Rover.
The first owner of it was Michael Furlong, the British film producer, who made two promotional films for the model.
In 1975 the vehicle, having been 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 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.
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 UK transport authorities reissued #001 with its original registration number YVB 151H.
Speaking on the sale of the historical car, Nick Whale, managing director, Silverstone Auctions, said: "It's wonderful to be able to offer this iconic British model for auction. These cars are incredibly popular and we expect a significant amount of interest when it goes under the hammer."
Full story:- http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/lifestyle-vehicles/10408301/Original-Range-Rover-relocated-and-restored