An “exemplary work of industrial design,” the curators at the Musée du Louvre said of the 1970 Range Rover when they chose to put it on display. They weren’t wrong, although looking at its simple straight lines, evocative of a barn more than anything else, you could be forgiven for wondering where design enters into it.
The Range Rover Classic, as the first-generation has come to be known, is now a bonafide collectible and a symbol of good taste everywhere, from SoHo to Sloane Square. Mint condition examples are hard to find.
The Range Rover’s authentic, industrial, un-designed style is precisely the point. It’s the automotive equivalent of an artisanal axe. “Oh this? It’s my old Range Rover,” you can say, instantly out-classing the guy who just pulled up in a new Bentley.
Not wanting to miss a chance to cash in on its history, Land Rover’s Classic division is launching a new program to restore old Range Rovers to as-new condition, offering prospective customers the chance to purchase a mint Range Rover Classic direct from the factory. No need to dig through Kijiji.
This Bahama Gold 1978 two-door is the first “new” Range Rover Classic to roll out of the UK factory in nearly 30 years. It’s been meticulously restored using original blueprints and period-correct materials. Under the hood is an original 3.5-litre V8 breathing through Zenith carburetors, and mated to a crude four-speed manual transmission.
To drive such an authentic SUV costs more than a new Range Rover. Bahama Gold has a sticker price of about $220,000.