The Range Rover Linley LE. A car that’s held a fascination for me ever since sitting in the original Press Car at Earls Court Motor Fair in 1999.
Land Rover was always a stand I would aim for at any Motor Show, it still is. And the Range Rover was the one to see, especially anything Autobiography. So after an informative conversation with the chap on the stand about the edition, I was hooked.
And that has never changed. I have always tried to find out anything I could about them. Including where are they are now?
In original dealer press releases, a statement was issued that no more than 20 would ever be made worldwide. This figure was given out initially to reassure those purchasing ‘the most expensive & exclusive Range Rover ever made’ had an assurance that it was always going to be just that. This number later reduced to just 10 cars, due to a short lived hype of the cars ‘Royal’ connection and the realisation that it was £100,000! Remember that the next in line “Holland & Holland” was ‘just’ £65,000 and that was, in a way, more unique in it’s immediate visual finish.
This vehicle though was the ‘ultimate expression’ of the Special Vehicles Autobiography programme that had recently been revamped for the whole range of Land Rover vehicles. (Later to be issued for Range Rover only). The main intention was to create a PR spin-off for other cars to be ordered with Autobiography themes. This of course, heighten with the use of ‘Royalty’ in Viscount Linley.
So after two years of possible sales, only 6 were ever produced. Making it the stand alone, rarest Range Rover sold. Not until the Range Rover Evoque “VB edition” will there be a rarer model for the UK.
Total sales included 5 RHD & 1 LHD. The LHD was sold to a Silicon Valley millionaire and recently sold in the states for around £3000, in a poor state. It’s now being restored. Luckily in the hands of a real collector with a talent for getting this unique car back to show standards and set to live a comfortable life in the US.
Of the other 5, the original 1999 ‘T’ registered Prototype Press Car which toured the world as a show piece for a few years went for auction in 2005, with 8000 mile on it. This however was sold out of sale to a main-agent. During it’s short time at the dealer and two large adverts (which I still have) in a nationwide newspaper, the vehicle was targeted and stolen over a weekend. It has never been found…
Another one is non-original but is in good condition. This was the last one sold by Land Rover in Dec 2000, making it X registered. This originally sold via Land Rover Stoke and came back into stock two years later when the original owner part-exchanged it for a ‘New Shape Range Rover’. In group it was driven by a friend of mine who worked for Pendragon at the time to Land Rover Mayfair where it was advertised at £50,000. This sold to a wealthy Londoner in September 2002 who then used it as a ‘ daily car’ but wanted a bit more from it. He upgraded the engine to a 5.0 V8 by respected tuners ‘JE Engineering’ in Coventry at a cost of c£20,000! It also ended up with different wheels, side steps and twin JE exhausts.
This came up for sale again for a few months in 2013 in Chesham in fairly good condition, apart from the add-ons. This has visually been returned back to standard spec. It is the only one registered as a ‘Linley’ on the logbook too!
Another Lives in the south west area and is in fair condition, does need paintwork & a bit of TLC, but overall very good. This is the 2000 W registered one. It is currently stored away.
And that leaves two more… One that is a 1999 T’reg and 1999 ‘V’ reg I believe… Both live in the west of England.
I have a fair amount of searched knowledge of the ‘Linley’ edition. However, I do want any information you may know.
Where you involved in the making of the cars?
Delivering any of them?
Did you make the Press packs!?
Were you at the Launch on Park Lane in 1999?
Do you know the fate of the ‘Stolen’ one? Abroad? or in a container still? Or now in bits?
Do you know any truth of the ‘ unregistered new one sat in hiding ‘ – the possible No7 ?
From the slightest bit of info to the whole car, I would love information on these amazing cars. (Discretion assured)
I look forward to any information
A full Page is coming soon regarding this vehicle soon… With exclusive pictures and information… This is just a small amount of what’s to come…