As plans gather pace for the Land Rover Legends show coming up on the 26th of May, the event has received an extra boost this week with official support confirmed by Jaguar Land Rover Classic from its ‘Classic Works’ HQ in Coventry. A number of special products and features are set to appear as part of the official Land Rover Classic display at the show, and more details on this exciting news will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Further star cars and exclusive appearances are being confirmed daily, with the latest being a trio of symbolic ‘firsts’ in the evolution of the Range Rover marque.
The Range Rover ‘In Vogue’ first series introduced in 1981 marked its first foray in to the worlds of fashion, style and luxury, in a historic partnership with Vogue magazine. A number of new features for the 2-door Range Rover were ready for introduction by late 1980, and to ensure appropriate attention was paid to the enhanced specification, the limited edition ‘In Vogue’ was born. In the March 1981 issue of the world-famous magazine, a full eight-page advertisement entitled Rendez-vous à Biarritz featured the ‘In Vogue’ Range Rover alongside Jaeger’s spring fashion collection. This was a very innovative promotional partnership at the time, and paved the way for many such sponsorships and placements that followed.
Several hundred first series ‘In Vogues’ were sold in the UK and overseas, all in a special Vogue Blue paint with double pin-striping. Luxury new features for the interior included walnut door capping, a picnic hamper, radio cassette player and carpets throughout (marking the beginning of the end for the Range Rover’s traditional vinyl flooring that could simply be ‘hosed out’ when requiring a clean). The Vogue was born, and continues to this day.
‘Sporty’ Range Rovers are hugely popular today, and spawned a whole new generation of Land Rover models boasting the ‘Sport’ moniker. Arguably, the first was 1990’s Range Rover ‘CSK’ (in honour of Range Rover ‘creator’ Charles Spencer King), which was a limited edition of 200 numbered vehicles using the iconic 2-door body that was nearing the end of production. The CSK was the first to feature the more powerful 3.9-litre V8 engine with either manual or automatic transmission. It also featured a luxurious and premium specification, with bespoke leather and American walnut trim. All were finished in Beluga Black and today are among the most sought-after of all classic Range Rovers.
The Range Rover ‘Linley’ of 1999 was the most exclusive (and expensive) Range Rover ever made. Available to special order only, six were ever recorded as sold, and it is likely to remain the most exclusive Range Rover ever built. Conceived to be the ultimate ‘city’ Range Rover, its exterior and interior finishes were designed and specified by Lord Linley. A year later, the Range Rover’s ‘country’ answer to the Linley was introduced in the shape of the Holland & Holland limited edition.
Based on the standard 4.6-litre V8 HSE Range Rover, each Linley was finished at Land Rover’s legendary Special Vehicles department in Solihull, undergoing a 12-coat hand-finished paint-job and the installation of a completely bespoke, handmade interior. The colour black was the order of the day, inside and out, and the vehicles were delivered replete with on-board television screens and a premium VCR player. Even the glass was specially polished. It was priced at £100,000 in 1999, the first Range Rover to break the six-figure barrier, but certainly not the last. The marque’s niche as the choice of the super-wealthy continues to make it among the most aspirational brands in the world, further evidenced with the recent announcement of the exclusive £240,000-plus Range Rover SV Coupé, of which 999 examples will be built.
Very fine and beautifully original examples of each of these very special Range Rovers will be displayed exclusively at Land Rover Legends next month at Bicester Heritage. Tickets for the event are available now, for more information please visit: www.landroverlegends.com.