A 1978 Land Rover, owned by the Ministry of Defence and specially built for Queen Elizabeth II, goes under the hammer on November 24, at the Historic at Brooklands Auctioneers in Surrey, UK.
Commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II, the green Land Rover is adapted with lots of modifications which enabled Her Majesty to issue commands to her driver. In 1979, Royal Review State V Series III was sent to REME Central Workshops in Donnington where engineers fitted the 4×4 with an unconventional ‘traffic light system’ for the queen to signal to the driver from her seat in the rear, depending on whether she wished the vehicle to stop, slow or start. Retractable steps at the rear and doors were also included.
The Land Rover is still in full working order and despite being almost 35 years old, it has mileage of just 1,892. The car is estimated to fetch between £15,000 ($23,900) and £18,000 ($28,700), but because it is owned by the MoD, is subject to VAT if sold within the EU.
Frank King, from the Land Rover Series 3 Owners Club, said: “It is a very special model and I am sure it will attract a lot of interest. The fact is was used by the Queen makes it all the more interesting and a £15,000 estimate seems stupidly low. I think it will sell for a lot more with that provenance and hopefully it will go to a museum and someone will look after it.”
It will certainly fetch more, knowing that other royal Land Rovers achieved a whopping prices, such as Winston Churchill’s Series I model sold for £129,000 ($206,933) in October, and the Queen’s Daimler Majestic V8, in which she personally clocked up 12,000 miles, sold for an undisclosed price at an auction in 2010.
The Series III was the most common Land Rover with 440,000 built at the company’s factory in Solihull between 1971 and 1985.About 70 per cent of all Land Rovers are still on the road, but only some of them has a mileage as low as the Queen’s.
Edward Bridger-Stille, director at Historics Auction, said: “We are excited and honoured to be entrusted with the task of finding a new home for such a unique vehicle. We pride ourselves on bringing distinctive vehicles to auction, and despite prolific production of the Series III Land Rover, it’s highly unlikely one like this will ever come to auction again.”