Our valuation experts weigh in.
2020 Hagerty Bull Market selection: 1970–95 Land Rover Range Rover
The 2020 Hagerty Bull Market list showcases the top vehicles that our valuation experts project will appreciate in the coming year. For the full list of 10 vehicles (and one motorcycle!) click here.
With hindsight, we know the original 1970 British Leyland Range Rover invented the luxury-truck genre, paving the way for today’s mall-crawling land yachts laminated with leather and walnut. It’s fun to go back and see how prescient that original two-door aluminum-bodied Range Rover was. The ads advertised “four cars in one”—a wagon, a sports car, a mud lark, and a luxury liner—and the first Rovers didn’t even have carpeting. With supple coil springs, wide seats, power four-wheel disc brakes, a split liftgate seemingly designed by the Hurlingham Polo Association, and full-time four-wheel drive for all-weather highway work, the Range Rover was unlike anything else in the world. “Bigfoot in a tux,” they called it, and “the Rolls-Royce of off-roaders” (never imagining in a billion years that Rolls would one day have its own).
By the time that first-gen Range Rover officially hit U.S. shores in 1987, it was 17 years old, and it would stay in production for another eight years. A four-door had arrived in 1981, and thanks to our 25-percent tariff on two-door utility vehicles, it was the only version the U.S. ever got, priced at $31,000 initially.
Climbing into Hagerty member Tim Smith’s last-of-the-line 1995 Range Rover takes you back to the era of Wilton deep-pile rugs and omni-button dashboards. As befitting a company with a Royal Warrant of Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, you sit as if on a throne, the lofty chair and ample yardage of glass affording you a commanding view of your baronial estate. The 181-hp, 3.9-liter fuel-injected V-8, one of the many derivatives of the original aluminum Buick 215 V-8 that Britain embraced so emphatically, strains to move this 4600-pound corgi hauler. But once in motion, the ride is surprisingly coddling, considering the truck has two solid axles. It’s easy to see why the first Range Rover created this genre and why its modern descendant, which 50 years later maintains such iconic styling cues as the “flying roof” and square face, continues to be the poster boy for it.
[+] Started a genre that is very much in vogue today; really does waft along with royal confidence; a timeless design that is only getting more handsome.
[–] The parts falling off are of the finest British craftsmanship; rust is a problem; goes slowly and sucks gas doing it.
1995 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER
Engine: V-8, 3946 cc
Transmission: 4-speed auto
Power: 181 hp @ 4750 rpm
Torque: 227 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm
Weight: 4600 lb
Power-to-weight: 25.4 lb/hp
Brakes F/R: disc/disc
Price when new: $45,000
Hagerty value: $20,500–$30,300
THE HAGERTY VALUATION TEAM SAYS:
This is a vehicle that appeals to millennials and Gen Xers, and it’s affordable because it’s known to be troublesome. The brand’s current success gets people to look back at the catalog of past vehicles, and this one established a lot of the design cues that guide Land Rover now and have been copied by other manufacturers.