HM Queen in and Duke of Edinburgh Range Rover – OU16 XVH

In a monumental acquisition, billionaire Indian industrialist and philanthropist Yohan Poonawalla, has acquired the historic Range Rover previously owned by the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The renowned collector of historic vehicles snapped up the royal car after it was advertised.

The 2016 Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography LWB edition wearing a Loire blue with ivory upholstery was used during the UK state visit of former US President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama in 2016.

HM Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Duke & President Obamas and Michelle Obama at Windsor Castle in 2016

The iconic vehicle, immortalised in video footage beamed worldwide, showcased Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, behind the wheel with President Barack Obama seated beside him. In the back were Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II and the First Lady Michelle Obama, making for a rare and captivating spectacle.

Crafted exclusively for royal purposes, the vehicle is additionally outfitted with discreet lighting, customised fixed steps, and emergency police lighting. Queen Elizabeth II commissioned a modification to enhance the car’s accessibility as well.
Commenting on the purchase Yohan Poonawalla said: “I am delighted to have acquired this remarkable piece of automotive history.

“The fact that it still retains the same registration number OU16 XVH, as used by the late Queen, turned out to be an added bonus.”
Mohammed Luqman Ali Khan, motoring historian and expert on royal cars commented: “It was a very rare occasion when the US President, who travels in the heavily armoured Presidential state car known as ‘The Beast’, stepped off the Air Force One helicopter and sat in the royal Range Rover, as it was driven by the Duke in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

“Specifically designed for royalty, bespoke features on the car included a police siren, covert police emergency lighting, fixed steps on both sides and a set of grab handles were installed to facilitate easy access to the Queen”.   

The Poonawallas at Hampton Court With Queen’s Phantom HMQ 001 and other Maharaja cars (l-r: Tania, Yohan, Michelle and Zayan)

The renowned car collector is a shareholder in Serum Institute of India – the billion-dollar vaccine company based in Pune, India. He also owns a 1979 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Limousine which belonged to the late Queen and was used on state visits including her tour of Sweden in 1983.

His collection includes not only the latest Land Rover Defenders but also a 1951 Series 1 specimen which was owned the Maharaja of Kutch, very similar to the one the Queen drove, and now this royal Range Rover completes the collection. As India’s foremost collector of royal cars, he has built up one of the world’s most important collections of historically significant motorcars.

The ‘Yohan Poonawalla Collection’ comprises of cars previously owned by the who’s who, including cars of erstwhile Maharajas, Nawabs, Sheikhs, Presidents and even the Pope. A plethora of Ferraris and other supercars punctuate the collection. 
Last year he became the first Indian ever to feature in the global ranking of the ‘Top 100 Classic Car Collectors of the World’ published in the KEY by Europe-based Classic Car Trust (TCCT). Later in the year, he went on to win the prestigious ‘Classic Car Ambassador of the Year Award’ at the Historic Motoring Awards held in November at the Dorchester in London. This was on the back of his announcement as the ‘Collector of the Year’ at the Geneva International Motor Show Qatar (GISMQ) held in Doha in October last year.