Range Rover – Reborn!
Launched in 1970, Land Rover’s Range Rover was designed with an ambitious goal in mind: to be as functional on-road as it was off-road. Early advertising referred to it as ‘a car for all reasons,’ and buyers agreed, making Range Rover a sales success that continues to this day.
Early examples are now sought-after collectibles, which is why Land Rover Classic launched its limited-run ‘Range Rover Reborn’ series to the world’s media at Salon Retromobile in Paris and we went along to Porte de Versailles to see what all the fuss was about!
The Range Rover was created in response to the growing popularity in America of ‘sport utility’ vehicles that were capable off-road and could be driven with a degree of comfort on-road as well, something that really couldn’t be said about the all-business Land Rover! Sensing an opportunity, Land Rover developed the first prototypes in 1967 and on June 17, 1970 the finished product, identified for the first time as a Range Rover, was revealed to the automotive press and a waiting public.
The ‘Range Rover Reborn’ unveiled to us at Salon Retromobile Paris was finished in a very ‘70s colour ‘Bahama Gold’ which is too close to ‘Hearing Aid Beige’ for comfort.
Inside, things got worse – seats were finished in velour (leather wouldn’t become an option until 1984), and while four-wheel disc brakes and a self-leveling system were standard for 1970, power steering and automatic transmission were not available!
The production run of just 10 examples of Range Rover Reborn will be rebuilt to customer specifications by Land Rover Classic, starting with donor vehicles sourced by the craftsmen in Solihull.
The original Range Rover sold for £1,998 but these days nostalgia doesn’t come cheap and in the case of the Range Rover Reborn prices now start at a very un-nostalgic £135,000. Personally, I’d sooner be dragged naked down the road in a coal scuttle than buy one but I’m sure someone will pay up.
And talking of paying up, I found a bluebottle in my salad at a restaurant last night. I didn’t make a fuss though. I just left it on top of my £20 note when I paid the waiter. Talk about ingratitude – he accused me of fly-tipping.