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Range Rover that travelled from Africa to the UK is for sale

Published 23 January 2017

A 1973 Range Rover driven on an epic 14,000-mile, five-month expedition from Johannesburg to Somerset is for sale.

Undertaken by ex-ITN Chief Foreign Correspondent, Michael Nicholson in 1981, the Range Rover has survived the Nyaki Mountains in Malawi and elephants in Dar es Salaam. The journey is all chronicled in Nicholson’s book Across the Limpopo.

Nicholson was sold the Range Rover by its first owner, Le Mans-winning racing driver Duncan Hamilton, who specified it in Lincoln Green with a Palomino interior and a number of factory options.

Full leather upholstery and a Webasto sunroof were both fitted as extras by Nicholson who bought the car in 1976, before shipping it to Johannesburg where he was working as ITN’s Chief Foreign Correspondent.

Nicholson Range Rover (3)

Journalist Michael Nicholson with his family and the Range Rover.

After four years of daily use in South Africa, Nicholson was due to head back to England but couldn’t face the thought of simply waking up in the UK the next day. Instead of the 16-hour flight, he packed his family and their belongings into his Range Rover and set off for home.

From South Africa, Nicholson headed through Zambia to the Nyika Plateau of Malawi, where he camped fearing for his family’s safety, staying up all night with a machete at hand. The Range Rover took them through Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conversation Area, where they travelled side-by-side with wild rhinoceros, and saw them through dangerous encounters with bull elephants in Dar es Salaam.

Nicholson’s unstoppable Range Rover then crossed the Serengetti to Kenya, where it had to tackle the Weiwei Drift, a series of boggy washed away bridges where the average speed was 2.5 hours per mile.

Nicholson Range Rover (2)

The 1973 Range Rover has been fully restored and is now for sale.

Following its final route through Egypt, Sudan, Greece and the rest of Europe to the UK, the car was dry stored for many years. Recently it was subjected to a comprehensive bare shell restoration, completed by Range Rover specialists Bishops 4x4.

Now the Range Rover has been fully restored and is for sale at classic car company JD Classics. Managine director Derek Hood said, ‘From its Le Mans-winning racing owner to its incredible journey through Africa – chronicled in a book and many photographs accompanying the car – this Range Rover has perfect provenance.’

Nicholson Range Rover (4)

The Range Rover before the restoration.


   on 24 January 2017


EverettFromes    on 13 February 2023

I read Michael's book a few years ago. This fantastic story about a journey through the heart of Africa somehow reminds me of Treasure Island. Due to being very busy, I don't have time to re-read these books now, but at I can read an analysis of this Stevenson masterpiece. After all, we must appreciate both "Across the Limpopo" and "Treasure Island," which provide unforgettable adventures. While the former is a non-fiction travelogue and the latter a work of fiction, both books showcase the power of storytelling to transport readers to different times and places.

Edited by EverettFromes on 22/02/2023 at 23:56

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