We were hoping to sit in a brand new Defender one last time at this year’s edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show, but the off-roader was nowhere to be found — at least not on the Land Rover stand. However, as a consolation prize, the British marque is displaying a very early Range Rover.
We’ll let Land Rover take it from here:
“This is one of twenty vehicles built in May 1970 specifically for the press launch of the Range Rover in late May and early June of that year. The press launch cars were built before the production line was fully operational and, in common with the engineering prototypes and the pre-production Range Rovers, all the press launch cars are believed to have been registered as Velars rather than as Range Rovers.
The car was eventually sold by Rover in 1971, and it was purchased by its first owner for £1,975 with 26,000 miles on the clock. The first owner kept the car for 17 years and used it almost exclusively for holidays including several tours into Cold War Eastern Europe, as well as to Austria, Germany, Spain and Portugal.
It was sold by the first owner in 1987, and over the next ten years it had many changes of ownership before being acquired by an enthusiast who set about preserving it. After further changes of ownership, the restoration was finally completed in 2010, in time for chassis number 40 to participate in the events that marked the 40th anniversary of the Range Rover.”