England

Iconic Land Rover on eBay for £200k

Land Rover Image copyright Tim Hughes
Image caption "This vehicle demands proper restoration," Mr Hughes wrote on the eBay listing

The owner of the first diesel Land Rover to roll off the production line in 1957 has put the valiant vehicle up for auction with an asking price of £200,000.

Tim Hughes said he listed the Series One classic on eBay to spark a discussion about its history.

The once iconic 4X4 does not have its original engine and is covered in rust.

Land Rover Historian Roger Crathorne said: "It's ruined. It's more likely to fetch £2,000 than £200,000."

Image copyright Tim Hughes
Image caption "I'd really like to see it go to someone to restore it as a collector's item," Mr Hughes said

He said the car's chassis number and paperwork confirmed it was the first diesel to be made - but without its original engine it was not in its complete form.

"It's interesting that it's the first diesel off the production line and it's got its original factory registration. But it's not got its original engine and in the state it's in, the price is way out," he added.

Mr Hughes, managing director of Motiv Trailers in Craven Arms, south Shropshire, said he listed the rickety off-roader at £200,000 to generate interest in its past.

"What is it worth? I don't know. But its value is in its history," he said.

Image copyright Tim Hughes
Image caption The vehicle needs some TLC if it is to be restored to its former glory
Image copyright Tim Hughes
Image caption The engine in the back is not the original but is a diesel from the same period

Dave Scott, secretary of Warwickshire and West Midlands Land Rover Club, said: "The seller believes this to be the first production 88inch 2 litre diesel. The chassis number certainly supports this."

But he questioned when the car was registered.

"According to Heynes purchase and restoration manual, the diesel was not introduced until June 1957.

"At this time Land Rover could virtually sell everything it produced so creating a five-month stockpile seems odd," said Mr Scott.

Mr Hughes said he had received inquiries from collectors as far afield as Portugal and Germany.

He said: "For every email I've had from someone interested in it there have been four from people saying 'you're off your rocker, you're never going to get that for it.'

"But I've looked at what other historic vehicles like this have gone for over the past 18 months and left the price open. If it exceeds £200,000 then I would be extremely surprised.

"But if someone came forward who wanted to restore it for a price I thought was fair I would sell it."

Image copyright Tim Hughes
Image caption The owner said price was relative to the vehicle's provenance

The up-for-grabs vehicle's design is the basis for the iconic model which became known as the Defender in the 90s.

The last Defender was made at the Solihull factory on 29 January after Jaguar Land Rover discontinued it.

The car's logbook shows it was registered in 1957 and sold 10 years later to Albert George Dyer in Handsworth, Birmingham.

The same owner moved to Adleymoor, Bucknell, Shropshire, in 1975.

Mr Hughes said the robust off-roader was used on a farm until 1982 but had been out of work ever since. He bought the car as a restoration project but does not have the time to dedicate to it.

"I've had people calling up and telling me bits of information about it which has been really useful.

"I'd love someone to come forward and say 'I know that car, it belonged to my dad, here's a picture of it on the beach."

Image copyright Tim Hughes
Image caption A photocopy of the page from the production records provide an insight into the vehicle's history
Image copyright Tim Hughes
Image caption Mr Hughes said five prototypes were built in 1956 but his vehicle was the first ever production of the diesel 88inch

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