• Monday, May 20, 2024


Asian billionaire buys Queen Elizabeth’s car

Picture for representaion (iStock)

Shajil KumarBy: Shajil Kumar

FOR Yohan Poonawalla, a collector of classic cars, Queen Elizabeth’s blue Range Rover holds a special place as it comes packed with many surprises.

While the car looks like any other Range Rover, what made Poonawalla shell out £224,850 was the fact that it retained the old number plate, The Times reports.

This was a rarity, as royal cars, when decommissioned or sold, are stripped of the number plates.

Another surprise not mentioned in the auction listing was a sticker with the royal coat of arms affixed to the windscreen.

Mohammed Luqman Ali Khan, who helps Poonawalla look after his collection, told The Times that Poonawalla was also excited by the set of grab handles used by the Queen as she entered and left the car.

Another aspect that delighted Poonawalla was the sticker hidden beneath the bonnet. It was a warning about a siren that could damage the ears, if left unprotected.

Land Rover, which lent the Range Rover to the Queen, removed the siren before the car was sold, but did not take off the sticker.

Interestingly, it was this car the Duke of Edinburgh drove his wife and Barack and Michelle Obama in April 2016.

Khan observed it was rare for a US president to not travel in the armoured car nicknamed the Beast.

Poonawalla intends to display this vehicle alongside other cars with royal heritage.

These include a Mercedes-Benz 190 SL used by Gayatri Devi, Maharani of Jaipur, a Bentley Mark VI made for the Maharajah of Mysore, and a Rolls-Royce Silver Phantom VI used by the Queen.

Poonawalla told The Times: “This was an ultra-rare opportunity I couldn’t let go, simply because there are not many cars in the world that can claim the distinction of transporting not one but two heads of states and their spouses at once.”

Poonawalla, 52, belongs to a family that became billionaires through their vaccine business.

His cousin Adar Poonawalla is the CEO of Serum Institute of India, one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers.

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