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Range Rover Classic: Buying guide and review (1971-1996)

Range Rover Classic: Buying guide and review (1971-1996) Classic and Performance Car
Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door
On June 17, 1970, BL’s Range Rover was unveiled to an awestruck motoring press. The vehicle was revolutionary, innovative, modern and functional. Brainchild of engineer Charles Spencer King, the Range Rover sported David Bache-penned crisp good looks, aluminium bodywork, mellifluous 3.5-litre V8, permanent four-wheel drive and tried-and-tested Land Rover off-road ability – and it combined all that with Rover motor car levels of on-road comfort.
The Range Rover was a class act and, like the Mini, it was classless. Of purely functional design and being fit for purpose, the Range Rover only became posh later on, when the middle classes realised they were the vehicle  of choice of Lords, Lairds and landowners. The RR could be kept in Mayfair and was effective for whistling down the motorway to the estate at serious speed, where it could then be pressed into use off-roading on shoots or hunts.
Range Rovers sold like hot cakes, and yet BL scandalously undertook virtually no development of its cash cow until Michael Edwards separated Land Rover out of the ineffectual BL behemoth in 1979. Thereafter the smartest off-roader received five doors, automatic transmission, engine improvements and a change in specifications to suit its image as the vehicle for the smart set.
The Range Rover had a profound effect on the car market, and it was only after several years that other players – from Audi to Toyota – produced their facsimiles. But the classic car world marches to a different drum, and it is interesting how certain cars can become desirable after years of neglect. Classic Range Rovers are a case in point. Sure, you can still pick up an old smoker, and it might stagger on until the next MoT failure, but examples in excellent condition are becoming harder to find.  
Which one to buy?
When it comes to Range Rover Classic there is plenty of choice from the highly-prized early two-door coil-sprung models to the well-appointed and electronic fuel-injected air suspension variants. 
Early vehicles had the 3.5-litre Rover V8 carburettor engine which was superseded in 1984 by electronic fuel injection and later enlarged to 3.9 and 4.2-litres in the LSE long wheelbase model. All make a great noise, but you have to choose between the design purity of the early three-doors, and the luxuriously trimmed later versions. Early Rangies are the most valuable. 
Three diesel engines were fitted: the Italian 2.4-litre VM unit with its unusual individual cylinder head design, and the more practical and dependable 200Tdi and 300Tdi Land Rover units, though all diesels give good, if relatively slow, service. Today, diesels are generally less desirable, as the V8 cars make much more pleasant classics, however a diesel can still offer reliable and more economical motoring. You will find it more difficult to pick up a diesel that hasn’t been abused however, so buy with caution. 
V8 engines are thirsty, and diesels feel a tad slow in the Range Rover, though 300Tdi is the best option. Body rot can be expensive to repair, and bodged air suspension systems likewise. Non-standard engine conversions now detract seriously from the price because they reduce the classic status of the vehicle. 
Performance and specs
Engine 3532cc, V8
Power 130bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 185lb ft @ 2500rpm
Top speed 99mph
0-60mph 14.2sec
Fuel consumption 14.4mpg
Gearbox Four-speed manual
Dimensions and weight
Wheelbase 2540mm
Length 4470mm
Width 1778mm
Height 1778mm
Kerb weight 1724kg
Common problems
• Interior trim is important, so check for damage, including the headlining, which tends to sag.
• Check the chassis for rust, but the main rust issue is in the body structure: A-posts, B-posts and the door shuts, rear tailgate, rear load floor, sills, inner wings and underbody. 
• Be wary of LPG conversions, unless certified and serviced. Although LPG is often frowned upon in the classic world, a well set-up LPG kit can make a V8 Range Rover much more usable. 
• V8 engines like oil changes, so look for a good service record and a quiet top end soon after start-up. A noisy top end may need a new camshaft and valve gear, which is actually quite involved.
• Later models received more electrical gadgets which all need to be tested before buying. 
• Noise from below needs new bushes and joints to cure, but check for transmission wear/noises, too. 
Model history
August 1969: Land Rover builds the first Velar Range Rover prototype, for development and testing work.
1971: Original three-door Range Rover 3.5-litre V8 carb model launched
1980: Four-door Range Rover introduced, along with an option for an automatic transmission.
1986-1989: Range Rover 3.5-litre EFi 
1986-1992: Range Rover 2.4 VM turbo diesel 
1989-1996: Range Rover 3.9-litre EFi V8 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
• www.landroveraddict.com 
• www.rimmerbros.co.uk
• www.rrr.co.uk
Summary and prices
These early first-generation Range Rovers are now all recognised classics, and although many examples are still needing work, there is good reason to invest time and money in them. They are still a very practical family car and, as ever, a totally capable off-roader.  
Early three-door cars are among the most valuable models, as well as the particularly special CSK editions. Expect to pay upwards of £25,000 for something in really good condition, with less desirable models costing from £6000-12,000. 
Later, more plush models represent the best value today, as they offer more comfort, just as much style for considerably less money. 
Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door
Last updated: 28th Jul 2016
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Range Rover Classic cars for sale

9 Search results
Range Rover Classic
13995 49995 GBP
  • 1984 Range Rover 4 door Classic

    £17,450 £17,450

    A971 NRH – 1984 Range Rover 4 door Classic With the price of 2 door Classic Range Rovers creeping higher and higher, we believe that an early 4 door classic with 2 door styling – Vertical metal grill, exposed hinges, “Teddy Bear” trim – will be a good future investment. This particular example is presented in original Venetian Red, with Teddy Bear trim. Rostyle wheels with Michelin 205 x 16 tyres give this Range Rover the very classic look. A very useable classic

    • Year: 1984
    For sale
    Land Rover Centre
    01484 542092 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • 1992 Range Rover Overfinch

    £14,995 £14,995

    J265 RFC – 1992 Range Rover Overfinch The Range Rover sport of the 90s ? Finished in Ardennes Green with Grey velour trim, this particular Range Rover has the benefit of the following Overfinch upgrades: Suspension handling kit Steering upgrade Camshaft upgrade sports exhaust Sport steering wheel Compomotive 15 x 8 alloy wheels General Grabber 235 / 70 / 15 tyres 7 seater conversion These upgrades go to make this a drivers car.

    • Year: 1992
    For sale
  • 1973 Range Rover – 2 Door Classic – Bahama Gold

    £24,995 £24,995

    TLM 373M – 1973 Range Rover – 2 Door Classic – Bahama Gold Usable Classic Classic Car Insurance Soon to be Road Tax Exempt Lots of Old MOTs Averaged 3,000 miles per year If you are about to celebrate your 40th birthday later this year – then you are not alone ! “TLM” will pass that milestone on 5th October 2013. Supplied new to Mr P J M Cracken of London SW8 by Berkeley Square Garages Ltd., Albert Embankment London – The dealership attached to BL Headquarters. The car comes with the original “Passport to Service” – stamped by Berkeley Square Garages, for the PDi and first 1000 mile service. Also with the vehicle is the original 1973 Owners Handbook – again stamped by Berkeley Square Garages – Interestingly with the corrigenda – stating that spark plugs should be Champion L92Y – NOT L87Y as listed in the data section. Featured in LRO Magazine (December 2009) as part of “The Magnificent Seven” and was described by Author Kev Mills as “My Favourite – In my opinion the most magnificent of the Magnificent 7” Also featured in Practical Classics magazine. The Range Rover itself is in very good all round condition – having benefited from some recent restoration work – which included: New i

    • Year: 1973
    For sale
  • Range Rover No. 26 Auction


    This is the very first of the Press Cars built for the launch of the Range Rover in 1970. Chassis number 26 is actually the first ever production Range Rover manufactured, and although retaining many pre production features such as the super rare aluminium bonnet, it is built to production standard. Registered on the 27th May 1970 as the first of the 20 Press cars, it is believed therefore to be the first car registered as a Range Rover. The previous 25 were registered as Velars and were used for engineering development. This is the first Range Rover registered to Land Rover on a Solihull number plate. We have restored 231H over an extended period, taking our time to find the correct parts to rebuild this highly important vehicle to as correct a specification as is possible. We believe NXC231H to now be one of the best Range Rover Classics in existence. We were lucky enough to source new front seats, pairing this with the near perfect rear seat is what sets this 231 apart from other restorations which fail to have the correct interior trim. The car has just been the subject of several specialist magazine articles which are being published in July 2014 and has covered road test mile

    • Year: 1970
    For sale
  • 1994 Range Rover Classic – Soft Dash – Very Low Mileage

    £24,995 £24,995

    L937 JCW – 1994 Range Rover Classic – Soft Dash – Very Low Mileage * 36,000 Miles * Unmolested classic Range Rovers are getting difficult to find. Finished in Armada Gold Metallic, with beige velour trim and walnut capping, this is an outstanding example of the marque. 3.9 efi Automatic Soft Dash Ice Cold A/C ABS & TC 5 spoke alloys with 235/70 x 16 tyres Mileage history: 07.06.94 – 1,213 – Service 03.04.02 – 22,199 – Service 18.04.06 – 28,198 – MOT 20.04.07 – 28,748 – MOT 17.04.08 – 29,677 – MOT 24.09.09 – 30,456 – MOT 20.04.10 – 31,094 – MOT 04.06.11 – 31,732 – MOT 04. 07.11 – 31,795 – Service 10.07.12 – 34,781 – MOT 18.10.12 – 35,035 – Service 09.07.13 – 35,810 – MOT 28.10.15 – 35,827 – MOT Current – 36,126 A totally classless vehicle that offers timeless styling with a pedigree second to non.

    • Year: 1994
    For sale
  • 1971 Classic Range Rover – 2 Door Suffix A – Extremely Original

    £49,995 £49,995

    YCX 348K – 1971 Classic Range Rover – 2 Door Suffix A – Extremely Original 55,000 miles from new Tax exempt 3 owners from new Fully documented history For those of us old enough to have been around in 1971, we will remember the charts filled with an eclectic mix of music – “Grandad” (Clive Dunn), “Maggie May” (Rod Stewart) and “Ernie” (Benny Hill) – and for those of us with an interest in cars, the “1st of August rush” to obtain a car with the latest registration number (or simply trying to spot one on the road). The Range Rover had been launched to an unsuspecting public in June of the previous year – at a price of £1,998 including car tax. By all accounts, demand was extremely high, and obtaining one of these new 4 wheel drive vehicles, was as difficult as buying an E Type Jaguar a decade earlier. Luckily Sam Balme got in early, and on the 1st August 1971 travelled “into town” to his local Land Rover / Range Rover dealer – W H Atkinson & Co of Huddersfield to collect his shiny new Range Rover. It was a Lincoln Green example and was chassis number 1668. As Sam was driving home in his new Range Rover, it probably never occurred to him that he would own this vehicle for the next 31

    • Year: 1971
    For sale
  • 1989 Range Rover Classic – 5.7i Overfinch

    £24,995 £24,995

    D5 RRC – 1989 Range Rover Classic – 5.7i Overfinch Supplied new through H R Owen Ltd, London August 1992 – Overfinch 500i Sports conversion, including stage 2 suspension carried out at a cost of ££19,000 March 2015 – Upgrade to 570i (new crate motor), plus brake and suspension overhaul – cost £14,000 Specification includes: 570i Chevrolet V8 motor (350 Cu in) Chrome bumpers front and rear Driving lamps spot lamps Red Ferrari style instruments and clock 5 spoke alloy wheels – body coloured 255/65 x 16 General Grabber tyres Automatic gearbox Sports steering wheel Side vents SE Leather trim Stage 2 suspension Certainly not your “ordinary” Range Rover classic, but would suit an owner who enjoys driving his vehicles.

    • Year: 1989
    For sale
  • 1972 Range Rover Classic "Suffix A"


    This is one of the first series "Suffix A" LHD Range Rover with 3 doors and the front mirrors. Chassis #35801940A - Delivered new to Austria in "Masai Red". The car was fully frame up restored between 2014 and 2016 and is now in "as new" condition. The restoration is very well documented. The car is painted in "Sahara Dust" with light brown fabric textil interior. Imported into Switzerland in 2016 and Swiss Veteran registered EUR 79'500 http://www.grabersportgarage.ch/1972-range-rover-classic-suffix-a.html Swiss VAT paid

    • Year: 1972
    For sale
  • Range Rover Classic

    £13,995 £13,995

    - Range Rover Classic 2 Door - 3.5 V8 125 Bhp - First registered 09/1984 with chassis number prefix “BA - 1 Owner from new - 94,700 Kms (59,000 Miles) - Spanish Registration Left Hand Drive

    • Year: 1984
    • Mileage: 58000 mi
    • Engine size: 3.5
    For sale
    Spencer Jones
    0034677451017 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
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