Pretoria – A major factor in gauging the value and desirability of a collectable car is its provenance: who owned it and where it’s been.
Like the Petersen Museum’s ‘Green Rat’, which is worth twice as much as any other Jaguar XK-SS in existence because this is the one Steve McQueen used to go street-racing on Mulholland Drive in the 1960s.
Well, this Land Rover has provenance coming out of its tailpipe. This is Ndhlovokazi – the Great She-Elephant – the specially-built Defender driven by explorer and humanitarian Kingsley Holgate on his final two African expeditions. And on 13 April it could be yours.
Because this singular (in the very best sense of the word) vehicle is being auctioned, and all the proceeds will go to towards humanitarian efforts supported by the Kingsley Holgate Foundation.
On its first expedition in 2015, Ndhlovokazi took Holgate across six countries and 9000km to find the geographic Heart of Africa, an incredibly remote spot deep in the rain forests of the Republic of Congo – a place where the only roads are the ones you hack out.
Along the way it faced challenges from armed militia and poachers, dangerous animals, deadly insects and near-impassable terrain – some of which left its mark on the Defender. But those dings and scratches are what make its provenance more than an ‘Out of Africa’ tale; this is for real.
In 2016 the Defender took Holgate on his last great adventure, a 66 day journey across Africa to Lake Chew Bahir, a remote salt lake in Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley, to record the traditional lifestyle and customs of ancient African tribes before they are lost forever under a rolling wave of fast food and internet access. His research will be published as part of Holgate’s Living Traditions memoirs, a tribute to Africa’s forgotten cultures.
Holgate’s Defender still has all the special accessories fitted for the expeditions – reinforced skid plates, nudge bars, off-road shock absorbers that allow for a taller ride height, a snorkel for river crossings and mud-terrain tyres.
There’s also a lockable storage box in the load bed that’s been used to carry thousands of water-purifying LifeStraws, mosquito nets and Rite to Sight reading glasses, helping to change the lives of more than 60 000 people across Africa.
The auction will take place online at www.lastdefender.co.za with bidding starting on Monday 3 April at a minimum of R449 000 and remaining open until midday on Wednesday 12 April. During that time the Defender will be on display at Jaguar Land Rover Sandton in Rivonia Road.
For more information, see http://www.landrover.co.za/experience/news/defender-auction.html.