Out of Africa and up for grabs

Bri­tish dealer to sell a Range Rover with a fa­mously gru­elling track record

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - ❚ www.jd­clas­sics.co.uk

A 1973 Range Rover that com­pleted a 14,000-mile five-month voy­age from South Africa to the UK is for sale.

Mal­don-based JD Classics has the car listed as £POA (price on ap­pli­ca­tion), but man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Derek hood says that he’s look­ing for ‘in ex­cess of £100,000.’

It was first owned by Le Mans-win­ning racer Dun­can Hamil­ton, who spec­i­fied the car with a Palomino in­te­rior.

But the epic ex­pe­di­tion from Jo­han­nes­burg to Som­er­set was com­pleted by ex-ITN chief for­eign cor­re­spon­dent Michael Ni­chol­son, who died in De­cem­ber. The car even had a star role in a book writ­ten about the trip by Ni­chol­son, called Across the Lim­popo.

Af­ter us­ing it ev­ery day for four years in South Africa, Ni­chol­son was due to head back to Eng­land but couldn’t face the thought of sim­ply wak­ing up in the UK the next day. So he packed his fam­ily and their be­long­ings into the Lin­coln Green Range Rover and headed back to the UK. Ni­chol­son and his fam­ily headed through Zam­bia to the Nyika Plateau of Malawi, through Tan­za­nia’s Ngoron­goro Con­ser­va­tion Area with where the group nar­rowly avoided a dan­ger­ous en­counter with a herd of bull ele­phants.

The Range Rover over­came many other ob­sta­cles dur­ing the jour­ney home, in­clud­ing the Wei­wei Drift in Kenya, a se­ries of spec­tac­u­larly boggy washed-away bridges cov­er­ing more than 90km.

The fi­nal leg of the jour­ney led the fam­ily through Egypt, Su­dan, Greece and main­land Europe be­fore reach­ing the UK, where the car went into dry stor­age for many years.

Range Rover spe­cial­ist Bish­ops 4x4 com­pleted a bare-shell restora­tion, prior to it be­ing of­fered for sale.

JD Classics’ man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Derek Hood says: ‘ The clas­sic Range Rover mar­ket is hugely pop­u­lar at the mo­ment, and this is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to own a very spe­cial part of it. And this one is per­haps the most de­sir­able on the mar­ket to­day.’

The Range Rover as it looks now… …and how it looked while cross­ing Africa.

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