eBay Find of the Week : Discovery G_WAC

Keith Adams

Launch Land Rover Discovery is currently on eBay
Launch Land Rover Discovery is currently on eBay

Press launch cars tend to be the holy grail of cult classic cars – they’re appreciated by those who really know their cars. And as such can sometimes get missed by the more general enthusiast audience when examples come up for sale. That’s probably not the case with Discovery G-WAC launch cars – there’s already a lively community centred on these cars, and they already have their own website.

You can read all about the development of the Discovery on this site, and how much of an impact Project Jay has had on subsequent Land Rover history, but needless to say, it’s an important car. And the 3.5-litre V8 Discovery on offer on eBay is one of the original launch cars, clearly denoted by their Gxxx WAC registration numbers.

The sale spiel tells the story of these cars very well: ‘In preparation for the upcoming launch Land Rover built up a fleet of 86 new Discoverys during the summer of 1989, all registered on the same day – 1 October 1989. They had the sequential registration number’s G451 WAC-G535 WAC (There was no G500). After the launch, Land Rover scrapped half of the G-WAC launch cars leaving 43 to enter the used car scene. Today it is thought that around 20 exist in varying states.’

So this one’s a great opportunity to buy into some Land Rover history. The seller describes the car as being ‘up-spec’d’ to show various options. They include wood trim on the dashboard, roller blinds on all the rear windows and air conditioning. Electric windows and central locking (all working) and all of the correct early features, smooth rear door handle, correct early spare wheel cover.

Click the link to have a look – it will be interesting to see how this one goes.

Keith Adams
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  1. I see it also has the optional Accessories storage box for the centre console which itself was quite a rarity. The rear window blinds would also be from the official Accessories catalogue too, as would the twin sunroofs. I wonder whether it also also comes with the original removable storage bag which sat in the centre console which are like gold-dust?

    A very nice example, although being pernickety towards ‘historical’ cars such as Premo demonstrators, I, for one, would remove the 1995 Model Year ‘Land Rover’ decals from the bonnet edge and have some new number plates made up in the pre-2001 style font, to make it look even more period.

    That said, it is a very nice example that I hope will find a home with a fellow Discovery enthusiast and become a regular sight at classic vehicle gatherings.

  2. I’m sure it would be fantastic off road but it’s not my thing. I bet this will go for a pretty penny, and I’d much rather put that towards a Disco 2.

  3. @ Keith Adams:

    “Tough call – depends if two enthusiasts go head-to-head for it. £2K-plus should be the staring point – but ‘story ‘ cars always have their own rules.”

    Too right! Only last week one of the six Rover 200 BRM LE press cars came up for sale (No. 5) on an internet auction and sold for £680, despite there being knowledge of its provenance from fellow viewers of the advert. The reality was there was no mad last minute bidding and the final price was no-where near the ‘Buy It Now’ price. I was left wishing that I could have found the time to have made the trip up from East Devon to Cheshire to collect and put in a bid (or two) myself to secure this piece of ‘history’.

  4. Interesting this press car angle. In early 1992 I bought a Renault 19 TDX which was an ex-press car. the odd thing about it was that it went like the clappers -far faster than any 92 bhp early tubo diesel had any right to. It took until a 125 bhp Saab 9-3 2.2 TiD before I got anything quicker. The Renault was super economical -only my 1982 Mini Mayfair came anywhere close. My point is, are press cars “blue printed”?

  5. I’d really like that – the Mark 1 is my favourite Disco. It’s a shame it hasn’t got those huge side decals though – I loved those!

  6. @ Steve Bailey:

    You can probably still get the original graphics from a Land Rover dealer although the original ones were the ‘Mountain’ graphics not the ‘Compass’ design, as mentioned by the seller, which became available in approximately 1991/2.

    All you would need to do with the Mountain design is decide whether you want the version where the internal feature line running through the middle of it was finished in a mid green or mid blue…

    The more I look at those images of its interior the more I like the clean lines of the Conran-inspired dashboard finished in refreshing Sonar Blue.

  7. @David 3500 I’m getting more and more tempted to bid on that Discovery – trouble is that it would be subjected to the same treatment that my CR-V currently gets – daily short journeys, never washed, taken off road, used as a van etc. That Discovery is far too good for that. I hope a collector buys it.

    I too thought that the Sonar Blue interior made such a refreshing change from the boring beige and grey interiors that cars had traditionally had. It was a fantastic interior, although I didn’t like the (Montego/Maestro?) instrument cluster with its Eighties style red graph paper design.

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