There’s certain names in the automotive industry that immediately evoke images into a person’s mind. People hear Shelby and thing of custom Mustangs flying down a drag strip.
Lancia or Impreza make people think of incredible rally cars flying through a rally course spraying dirt like there’s a shortage of it. Of course, when someone hears Rolls Royce, they feel pampered just by the word, let alone the ridiculously luxurious vehicles produced.
Another of those incredible words is “Range Rover”. While produced by Land Rover (confusing casual automotive people for decades with names) the Range Rover Generation 1 showed off an incredible design and a new philosophy. Much like the old Land Cruisers, a Range Rover would allow people to travel anywhere they wanted! Roads be damned!
Range Rover History
The generation 1 Range Rover was produced in various forms for 26 years starting in 1970. Sadly for America, it took awhile for the Range Rover to actually be sold commercially, but it was still possible to import a Range Rover. Available originally with two doors, the four door was a custom build until they decided to offer it as a model. Range Rovers featured wonderful design, but their production quality was atrocious. There seemed to always be something wrong with a Range Rover. In spite of this, they were just so good as vehicles that they continued to sell and develop one of the best followings in the world.
Today, Range Rovers are luxury SUVs under the Land Rover brand. A lot has changed. They are now well built luxury liners that don’t seem like they can still match those special vehicles from the past. The truth is that they aren’t quite the same, but their history is still considered. It may be expensive if something goes wrong, but Range Rovers can still head off into the woods with little consideration for the rest of the world if they want to.
Design at Work (Or More Often Not Working)
What made the Range Rover so genius? It really came down to the design of the vehicle and the chassis. These vehicles had the front tires rather forward than many others. In addition, the ground clearance at the front and rear of the vehicle was higher than the ample ground clearance underneath the middle of it. This meant that the Range Rover could comfortably go up and down angles that would be impossible for other similar vehicles. The ground clearance was also increased by the early adoption of coil springs on a truck based vehicle. Eschewing the traditional leaf springs allowed the engineers to raise the ground clearance even more.
Are the Flaws a Good Thing for Old Range Rovers?
For people who bought old Range Rovers brand new, they may not agree, but there’s something about their complete lack of reliability that actually has lent to the mystique of the Range Rover. It’s somehow as if when it’s running well, it’s more special that way. It’s almost the difference between Soccer and Football. The Englishmen who were creating the Range Rovers watched low scoring soccer games. It made the rare occasions when their teams did score a little more important. Obviously, they took this belief and brought it work with them.
So the question is, does their flaws make the Range Rover more lovable looking back? It’s pretty common for people to fall in love with the flaws of something as they wax nostalgic. Or just check instagram. The most followed dogs aren’t the most handsome. They are the dogs with something odd or misshaped about them. Struggle can strengthen bonds. In this case, it seems that struggling with Range Rovers has managed to create some strong bonds in people’s minds with them.