Thousands spent on upkeep and maintenance since 2004
Original and well preserved example
Fitted with aftermarket GRP roof lining and aluminium tailgate
MoT with no advisories until January 2024
The first Range Rovers left Land Rover’s Lode Lane factory in 1969, the early models being rather modest compared to their later incarnations. Built for the country set, it featured vinyl seats and a plastic dashboard which could be wiped down easily after an afternoon at the stables, but it was still perfectly capable as a farm vehicle. As it caught on, though, it gradually became quite a fashionable lifestyle accessory from country estates to the King’s Road, and in the 1980s it started to evolve into the luxury brand it has become today.
It was 1984 when the Range Rover really started moving up in the world as an automatic gearbox and leather upholstery became available. A 1986 facelift introduced a plastic grille with pedestrian safety in mind and an optional valance with twin fog lights, along with many other subtle improvements. The Range Rover approached the pinnacle of its development in 1989, when the 3½-litre Rover V8 engine was increased to 3.9-litres, with an output of 182bhp.
This, for some, might just be the perfect first-generation Range Rover. Blending the good looks of the earliest cars with a more sophisticated and powerful engine and considerable degree of extra luxury, we can’t think of a better town-and-country classic. Being a Vogue SE, it boasts an even more enhanced trim specification, and it’s managed to survive 33 years in almost totally original condition. Very few Range Rovers are this original and also this well-preserved, so it really is one for the discerning enthusiast.
The History and Paperwork
Originally purchased on 14th June 1990 by Mr. A. Sarro of Bedford
Seemingly in enthusiast ownership since 2004, when regular invoicing commences
Purchased by the eighth and present owner in January 2023, after around 10 years in the previous ownership, and only offered for sale for the sake of marital harmony…
Sold with current logbook, some original handbooks including the Extended Warranty Plan and Used Vehicle Plan, a very large collection of MoT certificates and invoices going back 20 years and totalling thousands of pounds, plus the relevant Haynes manual, Land Rover’s own Range Rover workshop manual, and a copy of Range Rover: Purchase and Restoration Guid by Dave Pollard
All-original leather upholstery in very good condition
Improved replacement headlining fitted in 2006
Removable seats provide extra seating for two passengers
Very luxurious specification includes walnut trim, electric seats and sunroof
To step into this Range Rover is to enter a world of luxury unparalleled in an off-roader. In terms of comfort and refinement, it is at least the equal of any Jaguar, BMW or Mercedes-Benz, but with the added advantage that you can take it across muddy fields. The large leather seats are supremely comfortable, and contribute to the feeling of being driven around on a featherbed. Soft, plush carpets partially protected by the original chunky rubber floor mats complete the picture.
Being a more upmarket Vogue SE, this example boasts lovely, rich walnut-veneer trim, electric seats, electric windows, a sunroof and an analogue clock which is still ticking away happily. It also features air-conditioning, though the vendor advises it can be temperamental.
The condition of the seats is wonderful. They have aged beautifully, acquiring the desirable patina of mature leather without suffering anything which, to us, constitutes any kind of fault. Likewise, the carpets and rubber mats are in excellent condition, as are all the door trim and the walnut cappings. There are a few pretty insignificant marks on the doors and the walnut displays a very light patina in places but, all in all, it’s phenomenally good for an interior which is over 30 years old and unrestored.
One aspect of the Range Rover which was prone to faults was the original headlining, which has been known to start sagging after it reaches a certain age. That is no longer a concern with this one, because in 2006 it was fitted with a replacement headlining made from a more durable fabric, and it’s all still nice and taut 17 years later. It has picked up a few slight marks, but generally presents very well. Drivers side lock requires new spring but central locking works from passenger side fine.
In the case of this particular car, the boot is not just a capacious luggage space; it also serves as additional passenger space, thanks to a very rare removable bench seat which provides extra seating for an additional two passengers (ideally children), bringing the Range Rover’s total passenger capacity up to seven. Furthermore, the boot contains a spare wheel, jack and fire extinguisher, so it’s pretty well-prepared for any eventuality.
Still wears its original Ardennes Green paint finish
Fitted with the optional front valance with auxiliary lights
Aftermarket aluminium tailgate
New rear arches welded in in April 2023
For a car to still be wearing its original paint and looking this good at 33 years old is quite something, but of course the Range Rover has quite an advantage because most of its panels are aluminium, so are immune to rust. The tailgate was an exception, because that was originally steel, but it has since been replaced with an identical-looking but rust-proof aluminium piece.
Of course, after three decades on the road, the Range Rover isn’t quite in concours condition, but it’s still extremely good. There are some small scratches in the paint and one or two spots of bubbling at the base of the windows, but aside from that it’s still excellent and retains its lovely metallic sparkle. The vendor has pointed out that there some very minor dents – so minor that they’re virtually impossible to see – and adds “There are some minor rust spots which have been treated and are only cosmetic.” There are some slight superficial blemishes on the bumpers but they, too, still present very well on the whole. The plastic grille is excellent, as are the door mirrors, windows, light lenses and vinyl-covered C-pillars.
Looking underneath the car, everything seems to be extremely good, and it would be, since the underside has regularly been treated for rust protection. The car was MoTed in January with no advisories, so structurally it appears to be completely sound. Even so, in April the vendor elected to have new rear wheel arches, a common rot-spot, welded in by FB Coachworks, so you may be assured that they’re in the best possible order.
Runs and drives smoothly and quietly
Consistently maintained in the best mechanical condition, as invoices show
Serviced in January and virtually brand-new water pump fitted in April
Clean MoT until January 2024
Plenty of life left in brakes and tyres, which are all in correct Goodyear specification
As mentioned above, this car passed its MoT in January with not a single advisory, so it seems that where brakes and other safety considerations are considered, there are no causes for concern and no reasons why you shouldn’t hit the road immediately.
Indeed, we ventured onto the road and found everything completely to our satisfaction. It is remarkable how like the Land-Rover it is with respect to its off-road abilities, while on the other hand being the polar opposite with regard to smoothness and general road manners. The large V8 burbles away quietly and unobtrusively, making the interior positively tranquil, and the coil-spring suspension absorbs the road phenomenally well. The automatic gearbox and power steering make it an extremely easy car to use in towns. The vendor adds, “Both low-range and standard gearboxes go up and down the gears smoothly.” All things considered, a more civilized car is difficult to imagine.
The Range Rover has never been neglected, with maintenance always undertaken when necessary. Most recently, it has benefitted from a full service in January and a new water pump in April, but a glance through the bulky invoice file reveals just what care and attention the Range Rover has received over the past 20 years. Notably, the major suspension components have been renewed in recent years.
The Range Rovers of today may be more luxurious than ever, but we think there has never been one so stylish as the original first-generation model, and even that is quite luxurious enough in Vogue SE trim.
Leather upholstery, walnut decoration, power seats and windows and a sunroof are just some of the features which make travelling in this car a pleasure. It’s also extremely well-preserved in almost completely original condition and has been kept in peak mechanical health, so there’s everything to like. If the combination of classic looks with modern levels of luxury appeals to you, you’ll not find anything better.
Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*
UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.
A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.
Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller.
NO RESERVE - 1990 Range Rover Classic Vogue SE
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