Classic Car of the Week: 1978 Land Rover Range Rover Classic

The new and improved £135k Land Range Rover Classic

After the success of the original post-war Land Rover in 1948, Rover (the then parent company of the brand) was sure of a gap in the market for a more luxurious road car that incorporated the Land Rover’s proven go anywhere ability. As early as the late-1950s, the company began experimenting but it wasn’t until 1970 that the first Range Rover rolled off the Solihull production line.

Matching V8 power with permanent four-wheel drive, the Range Rover Classic set the president for off and on-road usability as the world’s first luxury SUV. Marketed as ‘A Car for All Reasons,’ the Range Rover was arguably more capable than the Land Rover off-road yet could accommodate up to five people in comfort, tow up to 3.5 tonnes and cruise at speeds in excess of 100mph.

Only in 1981 – over a decade on from its first production – did a five-door version become available, which defined the shape of the modern day Range Rover while confining the classic three-door configuration to the pages of history.

While the Range Rover lineage continues to grow, examples of the Classic have become more sought after. Keen to preserve its heritage and capitalise on growing demand, Land Rover’s Reborn programme aims to return cars such as the Range Rover Classic to their former glory, restoring them back to the original 1970s factory specification. This particular example, finished in Bahama Gold, sports a reconditioned 3.5-litre V8 petrol engine and four-speed manual transmission with lockable differential.

The restored car is one of ten examples that will be officially launched at Salon Retromobile in Paris between the 8-12 February 2017. Click here for more details of the show.

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