The car is being offered with an estimate of around £100,000 to £140,000, but it is thought the car could fetch considerably more.
Chassis number 1 was the first Range Rover to go on the production line, built between 24 November 1969 and 17 December 1969 before being registered on 2 January 1970 – over 5 months before the June 17 launch date.
The first of 28 pre-production chassis, the order for the first six was made on 26 September 1969. This batch were issued with the Croydon registration numbers (YVB ****H) in order to disguise the development vehicles when they were out on the road. A Solihull registration would have made it too obvious that they were from Land Rover. They were also given a ‘VELAR’ name badge to further disguise their identity.
YBV 151H was considered ‘lost’ for a number of years after its original Olive Green paint was re-sprayed Bahama Gold and the number plate was changed. When its true identity was discovered by an enthusiast in the early ‘90s it was given a ground up restoration. 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. The transformation was complete in 1997 when the DVLA reissued number 1 with its original registration number due to the significant historic interest of the vehicle and the importance and relevance of the ‘YVB’ registration number.
The auction may also catch the eye of JLR’s Special Operations division, which recently purchased Dr James Hull’s collection of British cars including a number of early Land Rovers and Range Rovers.
We’ll find out just how much it sells for on September 4 at Silverstone Auctions’ Salon Privé sale.
Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions, said: "It is wonderful to be able to offer this iconic British model for auction at the UK's finest concours event.
"These cars are incredibly popular and we expect a significant amount of interest when it goes under the hammer."