Sentimental value

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Tom has a tenuous attachment to an L322 : credit: © Alisdair Cusick
Tom finds emotional attachment to Land Rovers can have the strangest effects on values

Can you remember the registration number of the first car you drove? I’m guessing the enthusiasts who read LRM will remember it in great detail, especially if it was a Land Rover which then sparked your later enthusiasm (or perhaps obsession) with the brand.

For me it was a Series IIA which some family friends had bought to transport logs and tools around their farm in Norfolk. It hadn’t been MoT’d in years and you could see the brush-applied Bronze Green flaking off to reveal bright yellow and part of the word ‘Recovery’. Under that layer of paint was the original Bronze Green.

The brake pedal flopped uselessly in the footwell, so my dad left it in low-range so that the 14-year old me couldn’t do too much damage.

I spent hours in that IIA, teaching myself clutch control and generally having fun. According to my online stalking, that Series IIA – 6331 UR – is back on the road, presumably after having a lot of work done. And I know that if I spotted it up for sale I’d have to go and ask my bank’s computer very nicely for a loan to make it mine.

Having an emotional attachment like this to Land Rovers can have the strangest effect on values. I once watched a Series III going through auction and couldn’t fathom why the bids were going so high. It turns out it was a probate sale and two brothers were fighting over their late father’s car. The only real winner was the auctioneer who was taking a percentage of the sale. It must have made family get-togethers a little tense afterwards.

While 6331 UR eludes me, I was also sorely tempted this month by an L322 Range Rover to which I had a tenuous attachment, as I drove it for an LRM feature back in 2019. The 2010 4.4-litre TDV8 Autobiography was noteworthy then as it had covered 327,000 miles and had the most comprehensive (and expensive) service history you can imagine.

In the past three years the new owner seems to have spent another fortune sorting out the cosmetic tiredness I noted in the article and he’s added another 10,000 miles to the odometer. The asking price of £5000 sounded very reasonable too, so it was no surprise that it sold before I could persuade Mrs B it was a good idea.

My eye was also caught this month by news of another Range Rover with a six-figure mileage and an interesting history, but this one certainly won’t be heading for my driveway.

BN04 EPU sold at an auction three months ago for £33,000, largely because there was strong – but circumstantial – evidence that it was once owned by the late Queen. Besides her favourite colour and trim choices of ‘green and cream’, the clues included a build sheet from Land Rover’s SVO department which showed extras such as hidden blue lights behind the grille and extra grab handles to help someone of smaller stature climb up into the car. Filler on the bonnet where a mascot had been mounted was another pointer.

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The new owner scoured the world for more proof that it was her car and found a video of the monarch driving the green Vogue at a horse racing venue.

This was enough for them to put the car up for auction again, this time with an estimate of £60,000. Would you be tempted? It seems decent value compared with the £722,500 paid for Princess Diana’s old Escort RS Turbo, but I’m not sure the Range Rover has enough significance to justify being worth ten times its ‘normal’ value. There are certainly L322s which the Queen seemed more attached to. She was frequently seen in CK58 NPJ and kept it right up until her death, spurning offers of newer models. If you have a spare moment, check out the MoT history online as it is the cleanest you’ll ever see on a 15-year old Range Rover.

At the other end of the scale, there is another L322 for sale currently with a well-known previous owner. The 2011 TDV8 was ‘upgraded’ with a crystal-encrusted clock and painted pink by Project Kahn. It wore the registration KP11 HOT and was regularly featured in tabloid newspapers with Katie Price at the wheel.

While Ms Price attempted to sell the car back in 2013 by asking if any of her Twitter followers wanted to buy it, the current owners are taking the more conventional route of an eBay listing. It’s advertised at £20,500 if you’re wanting the brighten up your driveway with a riot of pink – that’s not much more than the value of the same car without any celebrity connection.

If you are an admirer of these celebrities or a royal super-fan, you might be tempted to pay a premium for these cars and it adds a level of interest to the history. But as Land Rovers have such a good survival rate, we will all have a connection to a car which is still out there and holds special memories. Just be careful you don’t get too carried away if you spot one for sale.

 

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