As mentioned in our blog a few weeks ago, Bonham’s auction house in London put a very special Land Rover up on the auction block last week. Namely, the 2,000,000th Defender, one of the last to be produced, as Land Rover will be stopping production on its most iconic model early in 2016.
The Defender is, after all, the classic Land Rover shape, still bearing the hallmark Land Rover style and many identical traits to Land Rover vehicles that were built as early as 1958. The assembly line began operations in 1948.
The charity auction for the historic 4x4 ended with bidding at £400,000. That’s equivalent to roughly $596,000 US.
"Following spirited bidding, the gavel finally fell to a delighted bidder on the telephone, achieving an excellent six-figure sum for two wonderful charitable causes," said Bonham's chairman Robert Brooks.
The 2-millionth Defender (including “Series” Land Rovers that began production in 1948, was built in May of this year, with a select group of Land Rover's “brand ambassadors” pitching in to help. The A-list of contributors included Bear Grylls, and the sons of the founders of Land Rover, Stephen and Nick Wilks.
The Defender bears many custom touches that will always make it stand out as a unique and collectible vehicle. They include an engraved map of Red Wharf Bay, where the original Land Rover design was first sketched out in the sand, and a "2,000,000" badge. The leather interior also features outlines of the Red Wharf Bay design and the "2,000,000" logos on the headrests. An engraved plaque signed by everyone who took part in the assembly is attached to the driver's seat.
All the proceeds from the auction will be donated by Land Rover all to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Born Free Foundation, two charities with which Land Rover has had a close relationship over many years.
Born Free plans to use the proceeds to support a wildlife conservation program in Meru National Park, Kenya.
Said Joanna Lumley, the Founder Patron of the Born Free Foundation, "Without the support of the public and partners such as Land Rover, we would not be able to effectively make a positive change to the world as we know it."
The Red Cross will use its share of the proceeds to help Nepalese communities respond to natural disasters.
Mike Adamson, Chief Executive of The British Red Cross, said, "We are extremely grateful to Land Rover for so generously donating half the proceeds of the sale of this one-off vehicle towards our work in Nepal. The Red Cross has used Defenders in humanitarian work and relief efforts in the UK and around the world since the early 1950s and has benefited from Land Rover's support on many occasions.”
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