A Landy or a Thing?

A Landy or a Thing? RM Sotheby’s Palm Beach auction goes online – Nine seat, thirty year old 1990 Land Rover 110 Defender for sale for staggering sum; a cheaper alternative at RM Sotheby’s auction (forced online because of coronavirus) is a 1974 Volkswagen 181 ‘Thing’ – 20th to 28th March 2020 in Florida.

Nine seat, thirty year old Land Rover for sale for staggering sum; a cheaper alternative at RM Sotheby’s auction (forced online because of coronavirus) is a Volkswagen ‘Thing’

With coronavirus grinding everything from the Olympics to consuming a sandwich in Pret to a halt, everyone is having to change the way they do things and the automobilia sector is no exception.


Now, with so many concours and sales cancelled, the likes of RM Sotheby’s have been forced to take their auctions online and consequently they are now providing not only more photographs of each and every vehicle they try and sell, but they’re also bombarding their clients with ever more emails. Here is a new way of marketing, but whether it’ll work is yet to be seen.


An annual  auction planned to be held in Palm Beach by the firm is a case in point. It has now been moved to an online affair that is being held between the 20th and 28th March and amongst the highlights (aside from the usual multi-million dollar offerings) is a thirty year old Land Rover Defender 110. The 3.5-litre vehicle, 4×4 is finished in what is described as a “striking shade of blue” and comes with upgraded coil springs, fold down steps and an external roll cage. It has nine seats and though not in the best of condition is listed with an ambitious estimate of £77,000 to £94,000 ($90,000 to $110,000, €84,000 to €102,000 or درهم331,000 to درهم404,000)


For those looking for a cheaper yet equally noticeable option in the same auction, RM Sotheby’s offer a 1974 Volkswagen 181 (commonly known as a ‘Thing’ in America) with a guide of £21,000 to £26,000 ($25,000 to $30,000, €23,000 to €28,000 or درهم92,000 to درهم110,000). The pumpkin orange with black interior vehicle – which is located in Vero Beach, Florida currently – has been “freshly restored” and was one of around 90,000 built between 1968 and 1983. Described as being “reliable” and “cheap to maintain,” this fun 4-speed military cabriolet would most definitely suit Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Borat’ but would equally be at home cruising London’s Kings Road.


As of 9.30pm on 24th March, the bid on the Land Rover Defender stands at £41,000 ($48,000, €45,000 or درهم176,000) and closes on 26th March, whilst the current bid on the Volkswagen ‘Thing’ is £11,000 ($13,000, €12,000 or درهم48,000) and closes on 28th March.


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The pumpkin orange Volkswagen on offer.
The front of the Land Rover seats three.
The rear takes six.
The view of the vehicle from the rear.


  1. You do know how to find unusual things but in the case of this smashed up old Land Rover the price is ridiculously ambitious

  2. Both should go for surprisingly high prices. Such vehicles are much in demand. The VW is already reaching a very decent price. If the auctioneers Just add a descriptor like ‘Farrow & Ball pumpkin orange’, that could surely add a premium.

  3. The Landrover is a waste of time. No space to put 4 bales of hay inside it, along with the muddy Welsh Border Collies. Where are you Rod?


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