“Range Rover is the num­ber one celeb car in Hol­ly­wood"

Land Rover Monthly - - Celebrity Land Rover owners -

Rather than a large five fig­ure nut-and-bolt re­build, it was a sym­pa­thetic restora­tion, so it still bears the patina of age on some of the stain­less steel trim pieces. With the ve­hi­cle in com­plete dis­re­pair how­ever, it still took two years to strip it and re­build it from the chas­sis up. There was no en­gine, so a like­for-like 2.25 diesel was sourced from a sup­plier in the US called Rovers North, al­though it was orig­i­nally reg­is­tered in Ethiopia, Africa, with which Rasta­far­ian Mar­ley had strong ties. Around 80 per cent of the ve­hi­cle’s parts were sourced from the same spe­cial­ist, while the rest were hand­crafted. Mar­ley's el­dest daugh­ter, Cedella, an in­ter­na­tion­ally-ac­claimed fash­ion de­signer cre­ated and up­hol­stered the in­te­rior.

Of course, we can’t go with­out men­tion­ing the Range Rover and its as­so­ci­a­tion with celebs – a quick search on the in­ter­net re­veals that seem­ingly al­most ev­ery fa­mous ac­tor, singer, sports per­son and politi­cian owns one or has owned one – a list that we won’t bore you with. And we’re not just talk­ing in Bri­tain, ei­ther. Celebri­ty­cars­blog.com has re­ported that over 100 were spot­ted in Hol­ly­wood alone, mak­ing it the num­ber one celebrity car not just in the SUV cat­e­gory, but over­all.

Un­like the De­fender, a lot of Range Rovers have been sub­jected to be­spoke mod­i­fi­ca­tions that of­ten prove money doesn’t buy taste. One of the most recog­nised Range Rovers in the UK has to prob­a­bly be for­mer model Katie Price’s bright Bar­bie pink mon­stros­ity. She sup­pos­edly had the ve­hi­cle cus­tomised with match­ing quilted seats, di­a­mond-en­crusted clock worth £25,000 and black-painted al­loys. She put it up for sale for £70,000 two years ago. It seems rather apt that the two millionth Land Rover De­fender was built by celebri­ties. Bear Grylls (who has a fleet of De­fend­ers for his acad­emy), Vir­ginia Mckenna and Theo Paphi­tis were among the all-star cast of 33 spe­cial guests who con­trib­uted by fit­ting parts to the ve­hi­cle at the fac­tory. The be­spoke ve­hi­cle later sold for a jaw-drop­ping £400,000 at an ex­clu­sive char­ity auc­tion at Bon­hams.

For 69 years, the Se­ries Land Rover and De­fender has been the trans­port of choice for ex­plor­ers, char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tions and farm­ers as well as roy­alty and celebri­ties. What started life as an agri­cul­tural work­horse has be­come a de­sign icon; it set Land Rover on the map and as a re­sult its sib­lings have ap­pealed to the rich and fa­mous in al­most equal mea­sure. While the Range Rover will con­tinue to be the ve­hi­cle of choice for the stars, it will be in­ter­est­ing to see who buys the new De­fender.

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