The 1953 Land Rover Series I was originally registered with the number plate ‘NXN 1’, and dispatched to Stratstone London on 3rd July 1953. The newly proclaimed Queen had the Land Rover shipped to the Balmoral Estate in 1954. Once there is was used almost exclusively by the royals, with the vehicle now expected to reach up to £150,000 when it goes to auction.
The vehicle was used by the top royals at the estate until 1966 when it was sold to its current keeper in nearby Ballater, a short distance away from Balmoral, and re-registered with the number plate LXC 894D, before falling into disrepair.
Silverstone Auctions, who are responsible for selling the Land Rover report that King Charles III, then Prince Charles, recognised the Land Rover and both funded and encouraged the model’s restoration as a gift. Pictures show Charles after the restoration with the vehicle.
The Rover has a production chassis number but is considered a pre-production build and boasts a number of unique features including doors, body, roof, bumpers and twin rear doors
Rob Hubbard Sales Director of Silverstone Auctions, comments: “It’s not often that a vehicle with such impressive Royal provenance like this is offered publicly for sale. It’s special features and Royal connections make it exceptionally interesting. This Land Rover would doubtless have been used extensively on the Balmoral estate where we know the Royals loved to picnic. It would have been a familiar and much-loved part of Her Majesty and Prince Philip’s private lives.”
This illustrious Land Rover was featured on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow also led the Land Rover parade at the Queen's Jubilee Pageant last year and consequently, with a TV audience measured in billions, it is probably one of the most photographed Land Rovers in the World.
The Queen was often pictured behind the wheel of a Land Rover at her Balmoral estate with the cars a much-loved vehicle for the royals. The Queen and Prince Philip used bespoke Land Rovers, to carry the couple on their six-month tour of the Commonwealth in 1953, with a bespoke Land Rover even carrying Prince Philip's coffin when he died.
Land Rover, now Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), has held Royal Warrants since 1951 after it was first granted by King George VI who had tried an early prototype of the 4x4. Along with Jaguar, Land Rover was the only automotive manufacturer to hold all three Royal Warrants from the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.
The most recent Royal car sold by Silverstone was Princess Diana’s black Ford Escort RS Turbo which made a world record price of £730,000.
The Royal vehicle will go on sale at the next sale at Silverstone Auctions, Race Retro, on February 25th 2023 at Stoneleigh Park. The Land Rover is estimated to sell for between £100,000 and £150,000.