Rowan Atkinson's Land Rover: why a punter paid £48,000 for this run-out Defender

While the sale of a Rowan Atkinson Land Rover may have been an auction milestone for a diesel-engined classic, equine horsepower has survived being replaced by the automobile and its support industry continues to thrive

LandRover_1_Atkinson.jpg
Richard Hudson-Evans

Richard Hudson-Evans

Even though diesel cars are being disadvantaged first by both the Government with their 2040 ban on manufacturing new ones and the spread of the London Mayor’s two-tier parking charges, Rowan Atkinson’s Land Rover performed extraordinarily strongly at auction during the recent Silverstone Classic sales.

For the actor’s 2015 Defender Heritage 90 ‘Celebration Limited Edition’ in inappropriate Grasmere Green with newly politically incorrect 2.2 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine - one of the final 400 which had ‘officially’ been priced at £27,800, but had actually cost investors circa £31,000 – was landed by the second owner for a more than top estimate £48,000 including Silverstone Auctions premium.

Pre-auctioneers’ charges, this rolling asset had therefore appreciated by more than £17,000 or 55% in less than two years, a gain of £8500 per annum. Although Atkinson was only dispersing his 90 apparently as he had recently upgraded to the 110 4-door version. Nevertheless, the £48k valuation of this Defender may have been the peak on the graph.

Nearly all diesels sold in classic car auctions have been Land Rovers, although most of the really early and most collectible Series 1s have 1.6-litre petrol fuelled engines, which are likely to be unaffected by any curbing of diesels,  particularly in the shires that are safely outside what are likely to be increasingly emissions-obsessed metropolitan administrations, for most of the rest of this century. For while electrified buses and taxis could become the norm in the inner city, the haulage industry and white van man, who between them deliver everything we cannot do without, including fossil fuel by the tanker full, will continue to be diesel-fuelled for most of our futures.

In any case, the horse was never killed off by the infernal combustion engine and the motor vehicle revolution that quickly overtook hay-fuelled horsepower as the main means of transport. For fine horses, all of whom die (unlike collector cars, which outlive all their guardians!) have not only survived redundancy, but their support industry thrives. From risk taking hunters to pampered ponies, most horses are safely segregated from other highway users by being transported by horse box to the races and to the sales, where punters and owners continue to bet huge amounts of money on their future performance.

Already, many fine cars and most historic competition cars are similarly shielded from other road traffic by being carried about on trailers, increasingly covered ones, to take part in historic race meetings and rallies, to be displayed at classic car shows, and to be uplifted to and from restorers and auctions. Classics will survive surely by following in the wheel tracks of the transported horse.

FooterPic.jpg

Recently Added

511178Sponsored Ad
1938
€170,000
  • 4,161
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 LHD
  • Refcode: TA1137093
SS Jaguar 2 1/2 Litre Drophead Coupé '38
30
+32 472.40.13.38
View details
472693Sponsored Ad
1927
€9,950
  • 62,136
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 LHD
  • Refcode: TA1118041
Peugeot 172M Weymann '27
30
+32 472.40.13.38
View details
499709Sponsored Ad
1975
€12,500
  • 12,749
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 LHD
  • Refcode: TA1130471
BMW 1602 '75
30
+32 472.40.13.38
View details
468712Sponsored Ad
1985
€44,000
  • 32,577
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 LHD
  • Refcode: TA1115710
Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet Quattrovalvole '85 CH1263
30
+32 472.40.13.38
View details
V437fot 1Sponsored Ad
1999
£26,995
4.5 AJP V8
  • 12,500
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1126897
TVR Cerbera 4.5 AJP V8, 12,500 Miles, Estoril Blue Metallic, Gold Badges, Original RL 17 Wheels, ...
12
01920 400225
View details
T775jah 1Sponsored Ad
1999
£16,995
4.5
  • 51,550
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1120063
TVR Chimaera 4.5, 1999 (T), 51,550 Miles, Crystal Verde With Dark Green and Irish Mist Half Leath...
13
01920 400225
View details
5fe49867 f7df 45e9 abfd e6a8cc33a32fSponsored Ad
1970
£12,499
Roadster Overdrive
  • 22,700
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1131335
1970 Mgb Roadster finished in Red over Black. Ready to be used and enjoyed. The underside of the ...
23
01626244206
View details
3fd22895 bceb 400e 90cd e6209f3d741fSponsored Ad
1977
£14,495
Manual Overdrive
  • 54,000
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1132999
1977 Triumph Stag Mk2 Manual Overdrive finished in Russet Brown with Beige Interior. Subject to a...
15
01626244206
View details
9b537450 3e97 4d74 b18f db6109d20696Sponsored Ad
1968
£8,895
3500
  • 42,000
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Automatic
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1132897
1968 Mk1 Rover P6 3500 V8 Automatic finished in Brigade Red with Black Leather Interior and Red C...
26
01626244206
View details
Efae3cb6 60a0 4a7d b006 3ea64c4da237Sponsored Ad
1974
£8,395
3500
  • 76,000
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Automatic
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1112478
1974 Rover P6 3500 V8 Automatic with Touring Pack. We are delighted to offer this great example o...
38
01626244206
View details
See All Classic Cars for Sale