The first-generation Range Rover was produced between 1970 and 1996. The earliest produced between 1970 and 1973 carried the suffix A in the VIN number and these have become the most sought after, mainly due to rarity.
Most lived a hard life and are long gone. The original car was not designed as the luxury 4x4 we know today! It was more comfortable than earlier Land Rover models and definitely drove better on the road but that was basically the only difference.
The early Range Rovers were intended for farmers and landowners and thus had basic, utilitarian interiors with vinyl seats and plastic dashboards that were designed to be easily cleaned.
Recent history of this Suffix A contains some big invoices that indicate the car is more than ready to be enjoyed by its next custodian, however the early history of this Suffix A unfortunately is somewhat of a mystery. That said, what can be confirmed is that the mileage has not increased much in the past 16 years, and more importantly not since the recent work has been done.
In fact since 2005 it appears to have travelled a mere 606 miles! We are pretty sure that is the reason it is in such fine condition –it just hasn’t been used apart from when it was driven to have more expenditure lavished on it!
Although the Range Rover doesn’t have the most comprehensive history file, what is there, packs a punch. There are some big invoices the most recent being £5,067 for brake and suspension work and reconditioning of the front and rear differentials. An earlier invoice in 2016 for rebuilding the gearbox and other major works came to £4,204.
Also it was treated to a remanufactured engine in 2016 at a cost of £2,800 with some nice upgrades; Piper Torque camshaft, Duplex timing chain and ARP main bearings and studs.
Older work in 2014 included new front wings and plenty of other restoration totalling £2,349. Now 2014 is some time ago but it has only travelled 449 miles since! This figure is confirmed by subsequent MOTs on file, so all this work has been completed within the last 500 miles!
These early Range Rovers had a no frills interior, much more for work than play. This one has had plenty of attention, and is just how you’d like to find it. Good enough so that with a little effort it would be excellent, and not so good that you’d be afraid to drive in your wellies. Apart from a few age related scuffs it’s all very presentable.
The rear seat shows the most marks, and there is some sun related damage to the passenger side seat back where the vinyl has crumbled. The floor covering, roof lining and boot area are all very smart. A few screw holes in the dash area are visible in the photos but overall the interior presents very well.
Bahama Gold is a lovely period colour for these early Rangies and this one will not disappoint as overall the paint and bodywork are in great condition with no dents, stone chips or scuffs.
Quite unusual for a 4x4! Many of the detail parts look to have been replaced including lenses. Minor damage to the black sill area is visible on the driver’s side towards the rear wheel, and perhaps the fit of the front wings could do with a little improvement.
Perhaps that is being over critical as overall the exterior is very presentable.
On the day of our visit the Range Rover started easily and after a short drive to take the photographs the choke switched off and the V8 happily burbled away. With so much expenditure on the new engine, drivetrain and running gear over the past few years it’s no surprise that mechanically it appeared to be in great condition.
The Vendor specialises in the servicing and restoration of Land Rovers and Range Rovers and would be happy to discuss any plans the new owner might have to take it from its current condition to the next level if necessary. It will have a fresh MOT, even though it’s not required, prior to the end of the auction, and he would also be able to discuss delivery if needed.
If you are looking for a Suffix A early Range Rover that is 90% of the way to perfect then this may be the one. Ready to go it’s in fine fettle, but it’s not so good that you’d feel guilty using it!
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