Car Mechanics (UK)

Name your price

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► Last time, I talked a bit about the strong prices old-school Volvos sell for these days. These aren’t, though, the most prized-at-auction last forever vehicles. That award has to go to the traditiona­l Land Rover – the ‘Defender’ in popular parlance, even though that name was used only after 1990.

When production of these ended in 2016, values rose. That was generally expected, though how far down the age range the ripples went (right back to the Series II) wasn’t anticipate­d. Even less expected, though, was that the trend would carry on. But it has.

So much so, in fact, that pricing one is extremely difficult. Book prices have never been much help with Land Rovers anyway, as there were so many variations in factory-build, and so many have been built or modified for specific purposes. But now, it’s so up-in-the-air that for many, the only way of finding a Landy’s true value is to send it to auction, letting the market decide, and being amazed by the outcome.

I saw one such sell the other week. On paper, it was a 1994 Defender LWB soft-top diesel with 29,000 miles on the clock. In the flesh, however, it had a hard top which seemed a permanent fitting, and looked to have been changed quite a bit, though from the photos it looked like a decent job had been done. Estimate was £4-4500. From £4k two phone bidders battled it out, and the hammer eventually fell at – £7100!

I really hope the 4WD gear was all present, correct, and operationa­l…

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