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1970 Range Rover ‘Velar’ Hillrally winner

Chassis number: 35500023A

Registration number: YVB 166H

Engine type: 3.5 V8 Petrol

Gearbox type: 4 Speed

Vehicle spec:
YVB 166H was built in March 1970. It achieved lasting fame when it was entered in a new off-road motorsport event that was to be held in Wales in May 1971. Roger Crathorne, then a young engineer on the Range Rover development team, volunteered to drive and he and his co-driver, Vern Evans, were entered under the umbrella of the Rover Owners’ Association. This was to distance them just far enough from the Rover company and British Leyland so that it would not be an embarrassment if things went wrong. They did not go wrong, and Roger and Vern won the event outright.

The vehicle was entered in the second hillrally in September that year, coming first in class and fourth overall, and then returned to the Engineering Department before being declared surplus to requirements at the end of 1971.

Roger put in a bid to buy it and became the proud owner in January 1972. 166 became his everyday transport and took him and his family on their annual summer caravan trips for many years, including Greece in 1972 and 1976 and Spain in 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1977.

Roger parted with the car in 1979 and, having passed through the hands of two further owners, by 1988 it had deteriorated badly. The vehicle was saved by Dave Mitchell, a founder member of the Range Rover Register, and stored securely for many years awaiting restoration. Dave was eventually persuaded to part with it and the new owner completed the long-awaited restoration, finishing the car in a replica of its first hillrally livery. It was reunited with Roger at the Dunsfold Collection Open Weekend in June 2013.

It has subsequently participated in Land Rover's 2014 Model Year media event at the Schlumpf Museum in Mulhouse and exhibited at the London Motor Fair in 2014. In January 2015 it was displayed at the London Classic Car Show representing the Dunsfold Collection.