Fairly modest in its proportions – especially when compared to its American counterparts, The Range Rover of 1969 was one of the first ‘SUV’ models infuse comfort, style and elegance with true Land Rover paralleling, off-road ability.
Initially a three-door and available in a variety of period colours, with a well-appointed interior as well as Land Rover robustness, the vehicle could drive through the streets of Knightsbridge and then in the next breath wade through rivers on an expedition.
A four-door version arrived in 1981 and the Range Rover began to move ever more up market.
The designation ‘Classic’ was added to the original model name, making it distinguishable from its P38A successor.
During its 25 or so years on the road, this Range Rover doesn’t look to have lived an unduly harsh life. Before being bought by the present keeper, it spent a number of years being lightly used in a classic car collection, during which time, that owner saw fit to have the truck repainted in its original Ardennes Green.
The current owner is a long-time Land Rover enthusiast who has mainly used the station wagon for local (North West country) touring. Keeping an eye on it mechanically, he also added the early series style grill and front bumper. Despite its rugged stance and demeanor, the Ranger hasn’t seen a great deal of off-road action.
The Range Rover comes with a clutch of invoices and MOT certificates, mainly coming from the second half of its life. These include two bouts of useful re-equipping; in 2009 and 2015. They show bodywork, engine and suspension refreshing, while, in 2015, the Ranger also gained a stainless steel exhaust system – never a bad addition to a V8 engine.
What is not shown (though it looks all the better for it) is any paperwork for the repaint some six years ago.
Potential buyers should also note that the current registration number will not be staying with the car.
Sitting on all-terrain tyres, featuring a two-inch or so lift, and repainted in its original Range Rover ‘Ardennes Green’, this truck maintains a powerful stance. That paintwork retains a deep gloss and the panels maintain good, if wide (standard issue) shut lines all round.
Nor do the sides display any of the dappling in the metal which the model sometimes gets. Lower body panels and wheel arches look to be strong and rust-free, and the sills and the undersides of the doors appear similarly robust.
The plastic molding on the lower doors are straight with fairly good bright inserts – they show some speckling – but no serious discolouration around ends or edges. And the moldings as a whole have not warped or separated from each other or from the bodywork.
Higher up, the black powder coating on the window frames is still in good condition with no discolouration or corrosion peeping through. There is understandably a little weathering. Joins and angles in the metalwork around the windscreen also look clean and rubber window seals are a healthy shade of black, with no signs of perishing.
The vinyl covering to the rear roof pillars is largely good if a little uneven in places. Rain gutters look clean. The split rear hatch can be another area of concern on these, and while the top hatch does show a little surface rust here and there, the heavier bottom hatch looks to be very sound.
All in all, a good-looking station wagon.
The Range Rover’s cabin remains a pleasant place to go touring, with that combination of luxury ambience and utility that its designers intended.
The grey leather is in pretty good shape with seats that retain all of their colour and remain clean. The driver’s seat has understandably attracted the most wear, with the outer cushion panel showing the most creasing and fading. This seat could also probably do with a clean. The others show comparatively little wear or patina. Edges are good with just the odd wavy seam.
The controls that potentially see the most wear; steering wheel, hand brake and gear selector (and hi-lo ratio lever if anyone’s feeling adventurous), are in good shape, with some fading but generally retaining a very good colour and texture. Switches around the cabin are likewise pretty good.
The woodwork retains a good colour and door inserts remain smart. The carpeted inserts on the lower sections are also neat and the heavy door cards as a whole are firmly fixed in place with no signs of warping.
The hatch area shows less wear than many – it doesn’t look like this one has carried any sheep...or dogs. There are a few scuffs, but no cracked panels. The headlining is pretty clean and does not sag.
The engine bay might not win any concours prizes, but everything around the 3.9-litre V8 appears to be present and correct. Components appear superficially weathered, but anything that looks like it might need to be adjusted or swapped appears amenable to being coaxed with a spanner or screwdriver.
Hoses and cable ducting appear supple, with no signs of cracking or heat damage, though one sleeve is quite worn (though not the tubing beneath).
The fire wall appears sound, though at the front of the engine bay, there is some surface rust around the structure bracing the radiator. Even so, nothing appears to threaten either the strength of the tub, nor the working of any components. The engine fires up readily without smoking and pulls very well.
The metal and bolts around the joins between the inner and outer wings is in good shape – as is the paint – and that ‘old school’ front grill is relatively new, remaining rust and paint chip free.
The underside of the truck is in largely very good condition, with the larger chassis components appearing sturdy. There is surface rust along leading edges and some surfaces, but brackets and out-riggers look good, as do the springs, dampers and other suspension components.
The stainless steel exhaust of 2015 vintage still looks good.
The black five-spoke, artillery-style wheels are in good shape, sporting fairly new all terrain tyres all round, which have a lot of life still in them
Range Rovers are perhaps the only vehicle which succeeds in authentically combining a luxury and off-road appeal, though perhaps this one’s age and kit lean a little more towards the latter. That said, this station wagon is as capable of taking you to the golf club or the local farmers market as it is the moors or a woodland track.
And that V8 make either that bit more pleasurable. Coupled to all that, this is a machine that has become a legend in its own lifetime – and that is something to savour as you motor along listening to that stainless steel exhaust burble.
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Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.
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