Nowadays it's hard to imagine when 4x4s were genuinely innovative and ground-breaking, though of course that's what the original Range Rover once was. By combining the off-road prowess Land Rovers were known for with some actual everyday civility in the early 70s, a four-wheeled niche was born that has gone on to expand every which way since.
To mark the significance of the Range Rover in these SUV-obsessed times (and to tick off a long held ambition to drive one), having a go in this early Suffix A made a great deal of sense. Now closer to its 50th birthday than its 40th, we can surely all agree that the original Range Rover is growing old extremely gracefully.
There's a full drive feature to follow, though we couldn't help but lavish further attention on this lovely car in a Pic of the Week wallpaper. In Sahara Dust with tan it carries off an oh-so-70s spec with considerable aplomb, and that Range Rover silhouette still looks excellent. We loved looking at it, in fact, almost as much as driving it - but more on that point soon. For now, take a step back to the 70s with a new desktop wallpaper!
They were just the business in the 70s. My dad bought one in 73 when we lived in NZ, the market was offering a premium and and after a couple of years he took the money. The family were so mad ( especially my Mom) that he had go find another one and we ended up with a S1 v his S2. I learnt to drive in it ( aged 15 in nz) and have great memories of driving even if the gearbox was truck like and the handling wallowing! Ideal for NZ but I’m not sure I’d want to drive one again as I have rose coloured lens when it comes these early Range Rovers. They still look amazing, can’t wait for review, although slow, noisy, and agricultural might be words that feature as well as so far ahead of its time
BVB21 Apr 2019
Dreadful to sit in, it's a huge transmission tunnel squeezing the passengers against the doors
Turbobanana21 Apr 2019
I took one as part payment of a debt many years back: a 1985 5 door with the 5 speed box but still the long gear lever.
Lovely, wafty thing to smoke around in but did 12mpg - this was during the 2000 fuel crisis.
Turned out mine was liberated from a Belgian police compound after being seized from a terrorist who had imported it from South Africa.
ruhall21 Apr 2019
I don't think I ever drove a Suffix A, although I did drive quite a few early 2-doors.
I liked them then and still do, BUT there is an element of rose-tinted specs.. They were great in their day, but heavy steering if non-pas, clunky gear change, fairly high levels of roll and, when first experienced, a fairly dramatic 'shudder' through the unloaded front wheel when cornering hard, say right-hand exit off a largish roundabout, as it momentarily lost contact with the road, found grip, lost contact again etc.. Still haven't forgotten that after decades.
Not particularly quick, although much much better than a contemporary Series LR and quite impressive for a big barge in its day, heavy on fuel - 12mpg has been mentioned, which is good, I've seen quite a lot less. Still, a carb-fed XJ12 of that era would do 10mpg so 12mpg was a 20% better figure, not to be sniffed at.
Interiors were fairly basic but I can see their appeal; but at what price. I looked at one of JLR's rebuilds recently, better-than-new, brought back a few memories but IIRC £135,000+, which seems a lot to me when compared to the price of a 'proper' new one. They were good really good, but are they 'that good'?
Nerdherder23 Apr 2019
“Remember when Range Rovers were really cool?” There’s a first generation one lurking on a local company parking lot between all of the modern lease tin. Looks epic to me. Workday over? F#ck the congested highways, to the moors it is!