An outstanding landmark design that almost single-handedly created the booming market in dual-purpose 4x4s, the Range Rover was greeted with universal acclaim on its arrival in 1970 and has remained the class leader, despite ever increasing foreign and domestic competition, ever since. The idea of a more road-biased 4x4 had been around since the Land Rover's arrival in the late 1940s, but it would be some two decades before the concept crystallised in what would end up as the Range Rover. Spen King and Gordon Bashford were responsible for the initial conception, with final detailing entrusted to David Bache. A separate, Land Rover type chassis was employed to carry the enclosed aluminium body, while long-travel coil-sprung suspension ensured that the ride would be more saloon car than utility. Rover already possessed an ideal power unit in the form of its 3.5-litre light alloy V8. The Range Rover was greeted enthusiastically by both press and public on its arrival in 1970, offering comfortable cruising at 90mph and a greater off-road capability than most of its customers would ever need. The fact that the original lasted in production for an amazing 24 years before being replaced in 1994 only serves to illustrate the soundness of the original concept. Indeed, the 'old' Range Rover - evocatively renamed Range Rover Classic - did not disappear immediately but continued to be built for another year alongside the new version.
This early Range Rover was sold new on 1st January 1981 via Dutton-Forshaw, Blackpool equipped with the desirable options of Sundym glass and power-assisted steering. No subsequent history is know until 2007 when the car was acquired by the previous owner. The latter intended to restore it but never started the project and the Range Rover was still in need of restoration when it was acquired by the current vendor in December 2013. Since then the chassis has been fully restored and under-sealed, the body treated to a bare-metal re-spray, and the engine and transmission reconditioned. In good condition for its age, the original Palomino Beige velour interior (the so-called 'teddy bear' trim) was left untouched. Described as in generally very good/excellent condition, the car is offered with its original logbook, current road fund licence, V5 registration document and MoT to 28th April 2015 (no advisories). The provision of electronic ignition is the only notified deviation from factory specification.