His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who is one of the most loved spiritual leaders in the world is known for his passion and his teachings. He was chosen right ahead of World War 2 and since then has become one of the most recognisable faces around the world. His personal vehicle, which served him for more than 10 years is up for sale and the asking price is Rs 1 crore.
Dalai Lama used this Land Rover Series IIA as his personal vehicle from 1966 to 1976 in Dharamshala, India. The mountain city became the home of the Dalai Lama after escape from Tibet when the Chinese invaded the plateau country. Even though Dalai Lama never drove the vehicle, he used the vehicle to roam around a lot and spent a long time on the co-driver seat.
He used the vehicle quite frequently and travelled in it often. The car was restored in 2006 and during the restoration, it had more than 1.10 lakh km on the odometer. The vehicle was not only in India but it crossed the border to reach Nepal several times and also travelled throughout the Himalayan range. Of course, the low-ratio 4X4 capabilities of the Land Rover Series IIA did come in handy. Since the Himalayan roads remained unpaved for a long time and it was not an easy road ahead, only 4X4 vehicles were able to climb to these places.
Now the Land Rover Series IIA is an iconic vehicle. In 1992, 31 years after the launch of the Series IIA, Land Rover claimed that more than 70% of the vehicles sold by them are still operational and are on the roads. It speaks volumes about the car’s reliability.
Dalai Lama took the delivery of the Land Rover Series IIA in 1966. He especially visited the factory in the UK and there are pictures of him on the assembly line of the plant. The vehicle came with a 2.25-litre, four-cylinder, in-line engine which were known for their much miles easily without breaking down. After the Series II was discontinued in 1961, the Series IIA was launched and it remained in production till 1971, when it was officially replaced by the Land Rover Series III.
The Dalai Lama’s vehicle was sold after ten years of usage and there is no history of the vehicle after that. However, in 2005, it came back for a restoration job at West Coast British. The vehicle was restored slowly because of its historical value and it took a year for the complete job. As per the restorers, the vehicle’s chassis did not have any rust, probably because it spent a lot of time away from the ocean. The car currently carries the original engine, transfer case and differentials which were rebuilt during its restoration. The interior and exterior were also restored carefully with the original paint and fabrics.
I will go on sale on 29th August and the price is estimated between $100,000 and $150,000, which translates into Rs 70 lakh to around Rs 1.2 crore. You can buy it by registering yourself here.