2004 Range Rover | Queen Elizabeth II driving a Range Rover in 2005 Historics Auctioneers | Getty Images
A Range Rover was sold for $165,000 after evidence emerged that it probably belonged to Queen Elizabeth II.
The SUV’s value jumped 302% after footage emerged linking the vehicle to the Queen.
Historics Auctioneers said the late Queen’s ownership of the SUV was probable.
A 2004 Range Rover with suspected ties to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has shattered auction records, selling for $165,000.
The savvy seller discovered video footage of HM Queen Elizabeth II behind the wheel of what could be the very same Range Rover, per This is Money. The clip, captured during a 2005 event, showed the monarch navigating the vehicle with her distinctive number plate clearly visible. This discovery set the stage for the SUV’s record-breaking auction.
The auction’s outcome was more than double the pre-sale estimate of £60,000, or $75,000 — 10 times the usual price for a second-hand Range Rover that old.
The eventual sale price of $165,000 at an auction in Birmingham, in the UK, was a record for a 2004 Range Rover. It marks a 302% jump in value in just four months. The SUV was originally purchased in July for £33,002, approximately $41,000.
Before the video’s discovery, the only original ownership information was a letter from Jaguar Land Rover, which builds the Ranger Rover, identifying warranty recalls in July 2004 at a Land Rover dealer in London’s high-end Mayfair district and one in Aberdeen, Scotland.
It was the closest franchised Land Rover dealership to the Balmoral Estate in the Scottish Highlands, where the Royal Family holidays between July and September, the eagle-eyed buyer deduced, per This is Money.
Her Majesty The Queen arrives at Windsor Horse show in her Range Rover to watch her husband, HRH Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh compete in the carriage driving competition on the second day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 13, 2005 in Windsor, England. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Historics Auctioneers, who originally marketed the car, said in a statement: “The vendor of the Range Rover had invited anyone possessing photographic/video evidence of Her Majesty with the vehicle to get in touch, which Historics notified in its auction catalog description. Regrettably, this was not forthcoming before the July 22 auction and thus the vehicle was sold with probable royal provenance.”
The 19-year-old Range Rover, presumed to have been a part of the Queen’s private fleet and commissioned by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations in 2004, is finished in Epsom Green paint with Sand Hide leather interior, per This is Money. The vehicle has covered 109,675 miles and features a comprehensive service history.
The Range Rover is unique from its counterparts because of modifications ordered ahead of the late Queen’s presumed ownership.
These include a unique front grille with covert blue lights, a switch pack to control said lights, front, and rear seat covers, a dog guard for the Queen’s corgis, a load space mat, side steps, and mud-flaps. Specifications tailored to Her Majesty’s vehicles include dual rear window switches and rear grab handles.
In addition, filler in the car’s bodywork indicates where royal motifs and communication systems could once have been attached.
A 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine powers the vehicle.
2004 Range Rover, recently sold at auction. Historics Auctioneers
Rob Hubbard, Managing Director of Iconic Auctioneers, commented on the historic sale: “This sale highlighted once again what makes for a success at auction: the best of the breed, rarity, and celebrity associations.”
In February, a Land Rover Defender built to an exacting specification requested by The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s husband — who died aged 99 in 2021 — sold at auction for a world record figure of £123,750.
The Queen died at Balmoral Castle last year. Her car collection was estimated to be worth £10 million, or $12.5 million.
The Royal Family has a long-standing history with Range Rovers. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, spent 16 years designing his own hearse: a modified Land Rover. The modified SUV carried his coffin in a procession across Windsor Castle during his funeral in 2021.