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Interesting Info About All Things Land Rover
Interesting Info About All Things Land Rover

Iconic Royal Land Rovers Coming to Pebble Beach

  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Jun 21, 2024
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance logo beside queen in her Range Rover to represent Royal Family Rover's being at the event

Land Rover Classic is bringing ten iconic vehicles with connections to the Royal Family to this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 18. A reprise of a display at the Goodwood Revival last year, it’s the first time most of these vehicles will have set tires on American soil. The display will pay tribute to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and the vehicles will tell the story of how Land Rover and the crown intertwined over her 70-year reign.

Many of the vehicles will be on loan from the British Motor Museum collection. The museum, in Gaydon, England, houses several historically significant Land Rovers. Other vehicles will come from Land Rover's historic vehicle collection, the active Royal fleet, and private collections.

The oldest models on display will be a pair of 1954 Series I Land Rovers. A 1954 Royal Review vehicle is part of the fleet sent with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their first tour of the Commonwealth, a six-month cruise on the Royal Yacht Britannia. This particular vehicle was used during the trip's Australia and New Zealand leg, ridden in by the royals during parades and processions, and is now in a private collection in the United States. Another 1954 Series I was part of the private royal collection. It was used at Balmoral, the monarch's private Scottish estate where Queen Elizabeth II passed away in September 2022.

Three more Royal Review vehicles are coming from the British Motor Museum collection. A 1958 Series II (one of the first Series II vehicles), a 1974 Range Rover Classic, and a 1990 Range Rover Classic all served as platforms for the Queen to be seen during parades. The 1990 Range Rover was part of the 1994 D-Day 50th anniversary commemorations, and the photo of the royal couple in it was used on that year's official royal Christmas card.

The last three vehicles have strong personal connections to Queen Elizabeth, and for true Land Rover/Royal Family crossover fans, they may be the most exciting to see. All three of these vehicles are as easily identified by their number plate as anything, and have been seen in many iconic photos over the years. A 1966 Series IIA station wagon, with the registration JYV 1D, is famous from photos of the monarch at horse trials, leaning on the Land Rover while her young children climbed all over it. A few years ago, Prince William and Princess Catherine took it out for a film premier in Scotland, continuing the royal connection.

A Defender 110 with the registration A444 RYV was used extensively by The Queen at her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England. The dark blue vehicle is equipped with a V8 and special touches like grab handles on the B-pillar, to help the small Queen into the driver's seat. It got a refresh by Land Rover Classic before the first gathering of the Royal Land Rovers for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee parade in 2022, a few months before she died.

Finally, there's what may be perhaps the fleet's least remarkable vehicle and most remarkable cultural touchstone: a 2009 Range Rover L322, a simple green-over-tan model registered CK58 NPJ. It's more or less the same as the L322s that you still see driving around daily, with even its distinctive labrador hood ornament removed for safekeeping. But as The Queen got older, this became far and away her favorite vehicle, and for the last 13 years of her life, she was seen in this vehicle more than any other Land Rover. Whether she was behind the wheel or in the back seat, it frequently appeared at events, often followed by newer Range Rovers as support vehicles. It may have been the vehicle that was most emblematic of the late Queen, a quality item she saw no reason to replace, a mindset shared by so many of her wartime generation.

Viewing the royal collection requires a ticket to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, which you can learn more about here. In addition to seeing the Land Rovers, you also get to attend one of the world's greatest automotive gatherings.

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  • Written By
  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Adventure addict. '90s Land Rover daily driver. Historic preservationist. Personal vehicles: 1994 Discovery I, 1994 Range Rover Classic, 1961 Series II 109", 2005 LR3.
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