For those who’ve never had the privilege of going to the annual, upper-crust automotive extravaganza known as Monterey Car Week, you should know that it’s chaos. Traffic along the coastal roads of Monterey, California, is completely gridlocked with gaggles of attendees and assorted VIPs in rare Lamborghinis, coachbuilt Bentleys, and vintage Porsches all vying to get between events.
What began in the 1950s as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a garden party featuring the world’s most valuable collectable cars and well-dressed women in large hats, now includes more than 20 events: the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, major auctions from RM Sotheby’s and others, the hard-to-get-into Quail concours, and on and on. It can all be a bit much, honestly.
Luckily, at last year’s Monterey Car Week, Range Rover offered an invite only respite for owners at its Range Rover House pop-up. Located in a serene modernist mansion overlooking Monterey Bay in Carmel Highlands, it was the first Range Rover House in North America. The initiative is part of a global series of luxury getaways and experiences the company is offering to invited owners and enthusiasts. Previous Range Rover Houses have included, well, houses, of course, but also a ski chalet and a yacht club.
The idea is a compelling one: Invite owners to gather in a space where they can enjoy curated experiences, mingle with the cognoscenti, and bespoke their next Range Rover.
Joe Eberhardt, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover North America, explained, “Range Rover owners reside and travel the world to the most exclusive locations and events, where a Range Rover is always at home.”
Invited Range Rover owners weary of the Car Week festivities in Monterey could escape to RR House to experience a selection of Napa’s most prized wines curated by the BOND team and house chef Shon Foster, or listen to live music, or go star gazing, or hear from marine biologists on the stunning cove over which the house sits.
Not only that, but Range Rover’s SV Bespoke team created a limited-edition model to be offered exclusively to guests of the House.
The 2023 Range Rover SV Carmel Edition is limited to just 17 examples, and features an exclusive Satin Bronze exterior, as well as Liberty Blue front seats with rear seats in contrasting Caraway leather. Some of the dashboard controls are finished in white ceramic, while a rear Champagne fridge offers up SV-etched Dartington Crystal glassware. The dazzling, bronzed, long-wheelbase Range Rover feels like a very fitting tribute to the Carmel Coast.
Owners also recieved two full club sets from Titleist with custom fittings, as well as the knowledge that some portion of the vehicle’s $345,000 price would be donated to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The Carmel Highlands played host to the first Range Rover House in North America, but not the last.
Recently, we had a chance to visit the fourth Range Rover House pop-up, this one in Park City, Utah, during what seemed like the middle of a polar vortex. The snow was fierce. Before the storm was done, the area was expecting over 60 centimetres of fresh powder. Of course, this is great news for a world-class ski resort — and for an SUV known for making molehills out of mountain ranges.
This particular Range Rover House was a former art gallery in downtown Park City, where another limited-edition vehicle took centre stage — the Range Rover Sport Deer Valley Edition. It was introduced to the eager aprés-ski crowd up on the rooftop where, as the storm intensified, the SUV’s dazzling Vermillion Red paint shone through like a goal light in a hockey game. The scene on the roof was mesmerizing, the kind of type-A event that management consultants would give their first-born child to recreate.
Based on the top-of-the-line V8-powered Range Rover Sport Autobiography P530, the Deer Valley Edition features 23-inch wheels in satin dark grey with carbon accents, a custom rooftop ski box, two sets of handcrafted Hinterland Skis, private ski lessons and a $5,000 donation to a local charity, the Youth Sports Alliance. The signatures of Word Cup Ski Champions Lindsey Vonn and Ted Liberty are on the cupholders.
The House featured a non-alcoholic bar serving flavoured bursts of oxygen, and a string ensemble providing the soundtrack. Also on display was a line of haute ski clothing designed by Vonn.
The scene at Range Rover House was so convivial — blame the oxygen bursts? — it’s a shame it was only open for one week during ski season. By the end of the evening, rumours had it that 18 of the 20 Deer Valley Editions were already spoken for.
“Moving forward, we will continue to look at other global luxury destinations, to offer the finest and most refined experiences for our most loyal customers,” Eberhardt said in a statement.
Could there be a Range Rover House here in Canada? Watch this space.