King Charles III’s Car Collection
This weekend saw the coronation of King Charles III, a monarch who’s passion for environmental concern and eco-friendly ideals certainly extended from his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II. Despite his passion for saving the planet, he is also known for his fondness of classic cars and has added a few exceptional models to his collection over the years. Much of his car collection is unknown or has been merely speculated about over the years, but there are a few that are widely known to have at some point been part of the now King’s garage.
Take a look at some of the cars that have been part of King Charles III’s car collection over the years:
King Charles’s first car was a rather understated MGC GT, which he owned for more than 30 years before passing it down to Prince William. Having owned the car from when he was 18, he gifted the coupe to his son on his 17th birthday in 1999. The MGC, a modified MGB to take BMC’s 2.9 litre straight-six C-series engine, may have been criticised for its poor handling and underwhelming performance, but everyone loves their first car, and King Charles was no exception.
As featured as part of our recent blog post about a similar car available at the latest Silverstone Auctions sale, the Aston Martin DB6 Volante MkII was gifted by The Queen to the then Prince Charles for his 21st birthday. One of just 38 cars in existence, the car remains in his collection to this day and was even used by the Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Catherine, as their wedding car after they were married in 2011. In order to add part of his eco-credentials to the car, King Charles said that it has been converted to run on bio-ethanol taken from waste products, believed to be from wine and cheese production.
A gift from the Emir of Bahrain, King Charles’ V8 Vantage was finished in British Racing Green and despite being a gift, was specified exactly the way he wanted. After discussions with the Aston Martin factory, they agreed to build him his own version with the Vantage 400bhp X-Pack engine, but without the spoilers, side skirts and wheel arches that came with the more powerful model. The refined appearance became so popular that Aston Martin themselves made a further 27 ‘Prince of Wales’ versions, never officially released and only for the most discerning customers, which have become the most desirable models to have. Even the Aston Martin Chairman at the time, Victor Gauntlett, was such a fan of Charles’ creation that ordered one for himself.
Continuing with his love for Aston Martins, and for creating his own version, King Charles owned a special-order V8 Virage Volante for over 10 years before it was returned to the manufacturer. As part of a conversion service from the factory, King Charles’ Virage came with a 500bhp 6.3-litre V8 engine rather than the ‘standard’ 5.3, yet rather than also including the additional ‘wide body’ conversion that came with it, he kept the standard bodywork. Also included in the customisation for the future King, amongst other things, was a sugar-lump holder mounted in the centre armrest in order for him to keep treats for his polo horses.
Range Rover and Land Rover models have been a constant feature to the royal household and the collection includes everything from Series I classics of both models to the very latest Range Rover model as part of the fleet. In the mid-1970’s King Charles owned an Olive Green original Range Rover yet as with many of the royal fleet cars they often are sold discreetly via auction, or if not kept hidden away as part of the collection without being seen or many years.
It is believed that King Charles was one of the first people in the world to take delivery of their all new all-electric I-Pace in 2018. The only version of the car produced in Loire Blue, it is mostly used for commuting or journeys into the city and was the perfect way for him to demonstrate his environmental credentials. He even had a fast charger installed at his then place of residence, Clarence House.
As a member of the royal family, there is a seemingly endless supply of state cars to be used to whisk you to your next duty or royal engagement. The most notable and famous by far is the Bentley Royal Limousine gifted to The Queen to honour her Golden Jubilee in 2002. The bespoke one-off car features larger glazed areas for the adoring crowds to see the monarch as well as reinforced bodywork, glass, cabin and puncture proof tyres for security. The car is believed to be worth upwards of £10m and is the flagship car of the royal fleet, complete with royal standard mounted to the car’s roof.
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