Since they first launched themselves upon the hills and plains of Britain in 1970, Range Rovers have changed somewhat - namely the clientèle who drive it. But farms, rappers and footballers alike will all be wanting to find room some room on their drives - the original Range Rover, chassis number #001, is set to go up for auction.
From production line to auction block, the story of the #001 would rival the average Pixar film (think Finding Nemo meets Cars). Built in the winter of 1969, the first owner of the #001 resprayed its classic Olive Green bodywork a questionable shade of Bahama Gold and swapped its all-important registration plate ('YVB 151H') for a personalised sequence. After swapping hands several times in the 70s and 80s (a farmer did own it at one point), the whereabouts of the #001 was lost.
Skip forward to the early 90s and a chance phone call to the current owner - a keen Range Rover fan - resulted in him purchasing an 'old model' that turned out to be the old model. After six years of restoration work, the #001 was returned to its former glory, complete with the reinstatement of its first number plate. Far from a box of new parts and replaced panels, it still boasts its original chassis, 8-cylinder engine, gearbox, bonnet, body shell and axles.
Anyone hoping to buy themselves a slice of automotive history should attend the Salon Privé sale at Syon House, London on 4 September. Only the footballers and rappers amongst you should hope of bagging the #001 though - it's expected to fetch in the region of £100,000 to £140,000.
(Images: Silverstone Auctions)