This Range Rover limo oozes Bond villain energy, and it can be yours




November 06, 2019 10:00 AM

This Range Rover limo oozes Bond villain energy, and it can be yours

One-off mega-Rover looks like the perfect vehicle for hatching complicated plots

Jay Ramey



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Silverstone Auctions

The inside of this limo looks perfect for orchestrating a coup d’etat in some country.

The phenomenon of Range Rovers being used as personal luxury limos isn’t new, per se: back in the 1980s and 1990s, Rangies were converted by several coachbuilders into alternatives to the Rolls-Royce and Bentley sedans. These Range Rovers were sometimes given stretched wheelbases with lengthened rear doors and rear passenger seats that sat much further back, offering plenty of legroom to various captains of industry. Of course, we rarely saw them because these captains of industry were based on London or Switzerland, but various conversions were also bought by British embassies around the world. 
The 1994 Range Rover LSE that Silverstone Auctions will offer goes above and beyond the low-key luxury conversions made by those coachbuilders; it looks like nothing short of a private jet for the road or a Bond villain’s ride from the Roger Moore or Timothy Dalton era. And in a few days, it will be up for grabs at Silverstone Auctions’ NEC Classic sale in Birmingham, England.
Who was this Range Rover built for? This 1994 model was commissioned by the Sultan of Brunei for his brother, Prince Jefri. That’s right: that Prince Jefri. The Range Rover reportedly took nine months to complete, which was probably a breakneck pace given the amount of things that had to be manufactured from scratch and changed inside and out.
“At a reputed cost of around £135,000, Townley stretched the chassis and body by 40 inches, incorporating two additional fixed Range Rover doors in the center and a roof raised by 8 inches. They also installed a laminated sunroof together with darkened windows and a one-piece opening tailgate,” the auction house says. “Interior features include a full electric center division with glass panel; three rear seats (two electrically operated); full air conditioning; stereo/CD player and two remote control 8-inch television monitors with a VHS recorder.”

Silverstone Auctions

The interior appears designed to let the rear-seat passengers watch one TV set, while the middle-seat passenger watches another seat at the same time. Otherwise there would be just one TV that could rotate to face either seat, right?

The most impressive but also the most dated parts of the interior are the CRT television sets with headphones, which probably account for a big fraction of the Range Rover’s curb weight. In fact, we’re a little concerned about the Range Rover’s center of gravity, given where those TV sets are positioned.
The second most impressive thing about this Range Rover is that it was built essentially at the evolutionary end for all of the tech involved: The classic Range Rover was about to be replaced by an all-new model months later, CRT TV screens were about to be replaced by LCD monitors, and VHS players were about to be replaced by DVD players.
The strangest part of the limo, without a doubt, is the fact that there is a third seat in the rear passenger compartment that’s ahead of the rear seats, which faces a separate TV set. This arrangement seems designed for rear-seat passengers to watch one TV, while the middle-seat passenger watches another TV at the same time. (Otherwise, why not have a single, rotating TV set that can face either seat?)
The reason this Range Rover is being offered for sale from the U.K. is that it appears it never left Europe or had covered much mileage. Silverstone Auctions notes that in 2000, this Range Rover transported Mike Tyson around Glasgow prior to his fight at Hampden Park. By that year, the limo still had only 10,000 miles on the clock and was offered for sale by Glasgow Car Company. The next owner listed is one in Denmark in 2008, but sometime later, the Range Rover returned to the U.K. The limo, finished in Rolls-Royce Mason Black, now shows 16,800 miles.

Silverstone Actions

Despite the length, this is a five-seat vehicle, with just a total of three seats in the back. We would have guessed that the middle section would hold two or three rear-facing seats, like in a Pullman limo.

Silverstone Auctions estimates this Range Rover to bring between 18,000 and 24,000 pounds at auction, which translates to a range between $23,300 and $31,000. That range is a heavy discount off the 135,000-pound build price and the cost of the original car, but that’s Bond villain limo depreciation for you.
We have a feeling some companies that supply vehicles to TV and movie production companies may be interested in this Range Rover because it’s the perfect runabout for some kind of baggy-suited villain who wants to bulldoze a kids’ playground for some real estate development project or wants to foreclose on a house belonging to the protagonist’s mom. It’s also the perfect vehicle for some president-for-life in a TV docudrama. The possibilities are not endless, but they are pretty varied.
If this Range Rover sells within its estimate range, we can’t help but feel that it will be a bargain for those who really want to be noticed in traffic.
Visit the auction website to view the full list of lots from the upcoming sale.

Silverstone Auctions

The limo was not driven much — that much is clear — but it did ferry Mike Tyson around Glasgow at one point.

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