The Original Range Rover Is A Minimalism Masterpiece
Land Rover’s legendary postwar 4×4 Series was brewed strictly in a utilitarian formula. Simple and functional, affordable and all-terrain capable, and all manufactured with low production costs due to material rations post-World War II, the Series workhorses proved immensely successful. Prior to the war, Rover was in the business of luxury cars and sedans, yet the barebones truck saved the company at a pivotal time in a rebuilding Europe, and set the brand’s direction for the following decades.
While the predecessors were popular for many years, by the 1960s a demand for a more refined truck was spreading across North America. Competition like the Ford Bronco, International Harvester, and Jeep Wagoneer revealed the market’s growing desire for off-road capability as well as added amenities. This new crop made Land Rover’s faithful Series trucks look archaic.
As a means to compete and meet this new demand, Land Rover developed an all-new 4×4 program called the “100-inch Station Wagon.” The “Car For All Reasons” was launched in 1970, and given the Range Rover nameplate. With a three-and-a-half-ton tow capacity, a 100mph top speed thanks to its powerful Buick-derived V8, full-time active four-wheel drive, hydraulic disc brakes, and a spacious leather-lined cabin with excellent visibility, the original Range Rover marked the beginning of the modern age Land Rover brand we know today.
Comfortable, captivating, and above all capable, the Range Rover “Classic,” as it’s often referred to today, is a simple yet significant entry in the history of Land Rover and a hallmark of early sport utility.
Born at the dawn of the Malaise Era, a time many consider the beginning of the end of attractive automobiles, the Range Rover Classic has stood the test of time thanks to its simple, uncluttered lines. Designed in-house largely by engineers instead of traditional designers, the Range Rover remains an icon in clean motoring design thanks in large part to its function over form styling. While the silhouette is a traditional two-box shape, the details within the styling lines, hard and soften edges, and the balance between body and greenhouse make it an instantly recognizable machine that manages to look far prettier than most vehicles within its age group.
This particular example is well-kept, showing 69,000-kilometers, and a highly original 1975 Land Rover Range Rover imported from Spain to Texas in 2016. Prior to its tenure with Land Rover specialists at Dutch Safari Co., the car has received a respray in its original nonmetallic Lincoln Green in 2015. The car presents very well both inside and out. This car has had purposeful ownership and is far from a garage queen, but it’s an above-average driver for sure.
The interior is complete and clean. The front seats show some wear from typical use as does the carpeting. The dashboard, instruments, switchgear, steering wheel, door panels, and headliner are all in excellent condition, and every accessory functions properly. The bed has earned some imperfections from use, but otherwise the cargo area is squared away.
The car recently completed a 1,200-mile journey deep into the Texas desert without fault, and has since been serviced in preparation for sale.
Body – The body is believed to be comprised entirely of its original fitted factory panels, all of which have the correct panel fitment and shows no signs of accident damage or rust.
Paint – The car received a professional respray in its factory Lincoln Green in 2015, and has no major imperfections to note.
Glass – All glass including the windshield, is original to the vehicle. The greenhouse is clean with no major etching, scratches, or cracks.
Wheels – Repainted along with the body, the original Rostyle rollers are clean and wear a fresh coat of the correct silver paint, which matches the front and rear bumpers.
Steering Wheel – The correct plastic three-spoke steering wheel is in okay condition, with some scuffs from standard usage.
Dashboard & Instrumentation – The dash remains free of cracks, and the original Jaeger instruments are working properly.
Seats – The Tan Ambla leathercloth seat covers have been restored and updated, and presents in great condition. Minor wear from with typical use is visible, but the bolsters and padding are still plump, and the covers only show superficial wear.
Engine – The 3.5-liter Buick V8 rests in a tidy engine compartment, and is said to be up to date on maintenance with no leaks, odd noises, or other issues to note.
Original Motor: Yes.
Engine Number: 35d02750A
Transmission – The four-speed all-time all-wheel drive manual transmission shifts without grinding or pop-out issues.
Original Transmission: Yes.
Gearbox Number: Available on request.
Recent Maintenance – All performed in-house at Dutch Safari Co.
New clutch slave cylinder and hose
New brake lines
Battery cables upgraded to marine-spec with a battery switch
Top end reseal
New steering box hose
How does it drive? – “Very pleasant on road, with a good amount of low end torque to get you going from a stoplight. It’s very civil with good brakes and easy gear changes. It’s capable of well over 80mph, and can cruise easily at highway speeds for long periods of time without issue. Off-road is where it truly shines, with very quick steering and a small turning radius, navigation in rocks and mud is a breeze. The independent suspension keeps the ride smooth even over rough terrain, and the low-range gearbox will keep you from getting stuck. A true vehicle for every occasion.” – Nick, Dutch Safari Co.
This Range Rover Classic remains unmodified from stock and entirely original with the exception of a restored interior and a professionally applied Lincoln Green respray. While the original pieces of the interior show typical wear, it is a clean and complete cabin with fully functioning instruments and accessories. This Range Rover is very original and in better-than-average driver condition.
– Bonhams Scottsdale – $62,700 inc/ premium – Bahama Gold/Tan example with recent show quality restoration
– Gooding Scottsdale – $68,200 – Blue/Tan example with recent restoration
WATCH: THIS RANGE ROVER IS SWEETS ON WHEELS
Here’s a taste of vintage Range Rover motoring from a later 2-door model.
Classic Colors – Lincoln Green over Tan Ambla Leathercloth is an undeniably charming color combination that suits the boxy Range Rover Classic perfectly. It doesn’t get much more quintessentially British than this.
Ideal Machine For The Gentleman Crawler – While this Range Rover would undoubtedly turn heads at the local Cars & Coffee, it’d be just at home roaming off-road mountain passes and desert terrain alike. This classic 4×4 is in that ideal condition where it’s clean enough to want to wax it, without making you hesitate to get it dirty down your favorite trails too.
Rare in US Market – A genuine British built, early Range Rover is very hard to find stateside as the majority of imported cars are CKD kits (Complete Knock Down) meaning they were assembled in South America from a kit sent from Great Britain. This is the real deal.