The Land Rovers of 80 years olds

The Land Rovers of 80 years olds

„Thanks for all the lovely greetings and warm wishes for my birthday” – responded Paul McCartney on his Facebook profile to the 80th birthday wishes in June. A former member of the Beatles photographed by her daughter Mary as he was leaning against an old Land Rover.

Paul and the Land Rover are longtime partners, he had a Series II back in 1969 in his High Park Farm, Kintyre, Scotland.

In this picture we can see Linda and Paul McCartney, with daughter Heather and their sheepdog Martha. 

Linda, his first wife who died very young was an American photographer, musician, and the keyboardist in the band Wings, lead by her husband, Paul.

Following the break up of The Beatles, Linda and Paul escaped to his remote hideaway, a dilapidated farm in Kintrye on the west coast of Scotland to raise their family and to withdraw from the attention of the world.

It’s here they fell in love with country life and the wildness of the rural landscape. So Paul McCartney felt at home on the farm in Kintyre, surrounded by the landscape, family and their much loved horses.

Talking about Sir Paul, we have to speak about an other Sir: Winston Churchill.

The wartime British prime minister’s Landy was given as a present from car maker Rover on his 80th birthday in November, 1954, with the registration number UKE 80. 

The Series I Land Rover had several non-standard features including an extra-wide passenger seat to accommodate Sir Winston’s considerable girth, a fold-down arm rest and a leather-clad grab handle.

The Land Rover was inherited after Sir Winston’s death in 1965 by his son-in-law Christopher Soames, who used it on his farm, and later sold the dark green pick-up for £160 when he held a sale of his farm equipment in 1973.

The buyer Norman Mills had no idea how he was going to get the Land Rover back to his home in Orpington, Kent, and asked his neighbour Frank Quay for help.

When farmer Mr Quay looked at the log book and saw that Sir Winston was the first owner, he realised its historic significance and offered to buy it on the spot for double the price.

Mr Mills accepted his offer of £320 and Mr Quay took it back to his farm near Orpington.

He used the Land Rover for four years for light farm duties before deciding it was too valuable to use. So he shut the vehicle in his shed when its road tax expired in 1977, bringing it out only to be displayed at occasional charity fund raising events.

Later the value of vintage Land Rovers soared with some Series I vehicles fetching £20,000 without a Churchill connection. So ten years ago Mr Quay’s farmer son Leslie, who was given it as a 40th birthday present wanted to sell it, complete with its buff-colored log book.

The vehicle which has 12,932 miles on the clock was expected to fetch between £50,000 and £60,000, but finally it has sold at auction for £129,000 – more than twice its estimate.

Peter Faidt

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