The Land Rover Range Rover is pretty much an unstoppable luxury machine against which all other production off-roaders are compared. Now, what might be the best one of all; the first ever built is for sale, fresh off a six-year restoration.
The Range Rover is generally recognized as the first luxury off-roader, leading what would be an industry-wide trend we still seem enamored with. Looking back to 1970 helps me remember why we love SUVs; this one is just about perfect.
It's not just beautiful because of its natural proportions; this particular Range Rover has been completely disassembled and rebuilt, sorting out all lingering issues it had picked up in its almost half-century life.
The original owner, a man named Michael Furlong who produced Land Rover promotional videos, committed ghastly sin of repainting it (in Bahama Gold, of all colors) and eventually selling it in 1975. History is sketchy between '75 and 1990, when it was rescued by someone with a sense of propriety who set everything back to original.
What a job they did. Just look at that interior, I bet it wasn't that clean when it rolled out of the showroom 44 years ago.
This historic 4x4 will go under the hammer at Silverstone Auctions' Salon Privé Sale in London on September 4th, where it's expected to fetch as much as $235,000, or about the price of two very well appointed new Range Rovers.
I'd pick this over the new SUVs all day, but since it's about $230,000 out of my price range I hope Land Rover themselves buy it and stick it at their factory for visiting enthusiasts to enjoy.
Images: Silverstone Auctions