4 Reasons Why a Range Rover Classic Is a Brilliant Idea
What do the Queen of England, Jay-Z, Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey all have in common? Hint: It's not just the extra zeros on their bank accounts, or their unshakeable positions on Forbes’ Richest List. The one thing all of those famous people have in common is that they all drive Range Rovers.
Why does this matter, you ask? After all, this is Driving Line, not TMZ. It matters because East Coast Defender, the premier American builder of Land Rover Defenders, has recently announced that they’re expanding their offering to include, wait for it, Range Rover Classics. What? A master builder is now working on those saggy, slow and unreliable English SUVs? Yawn. Not so fast, smarty pants! A Range Rover Classic is actually the most brilliant idea that no one saw coming. Here are a few damn good reasons why:
1. Range Rovers Mean Status
For the past decade, a Range Rover has been the status symbol equivalent of a red Porsche in the 1980s. Owning one means you’re either wildly successful or you’ve attached yourself to the shirt tails of a person who is. Either way, you've done well. How does a wealthy person one up their peers who a drive a brand spankin' new Range Rover? Get yourself a Rover too. However, knowing that any idiot can buy one off of the lot, make yours not only Classic, but custom. Bam! It is the quickest way to blow away that fancy couple in the SVA. Congratulations.
2. They May Be Classic, But They're Still New to Us
The "Classic" Range Rover Series are the vehicles produced from the years 1970 to 1996, which is a long time. But because Americans had to wait until 1987 for them to cross the pond, we are hardly sick of them. In fact, we have been trying feverishly to catch up ever since, with 2016 being the all-time highest sales volume ever at close to 74,000 units sold. So if our appetite for custom Classics is anything like our cravings for the new Rovers, these things will sell like hotcakes.
3. Range Rover Classics Are Automotive Royalty
Even if you have never ridden in or driven a Range Rover yourself, you’re aware of them. Besides being the go-to vehicle for the rich and famous, Range Rovers are something even better — they’re ROYAL! Whether it’s the Queen bouncing around Balmoral, or a young Lady Diana leaning casually on the hood, the Royal Rover has always appealed to us imperially deprived Americans. Now their nostalgia will only be amplified by a perfectly appointed interior and a rebooted drivetrain. Ice to Eskimos, baby.
4. Old Range Rovers Are Still Cheap
Because no one has reinvented them yet, one can currently go on Ebay and buy Range Rovers from the Classic era for under $15K all day. Think back to Toyota Land Cruisers 20 years ago. You couldn’t give them away. Ford Broncos? No one cared! Of course, at the time they had very little prestige, so they just sat. But then a little company called ICON 4x4 came along to reinvent them and now that rusty FJ40 is a cool $100K. Early model Range Rovers are very much the same way. Their luxurious appeal is a thing of the past and being English... well, they’re not exactly reliable, "forever" vehicles. So snapping them up, flipping them around and selling them to people of extraordinary means who want a classic Range Rover built specifically for them? Not only a great idea but highly profitable too.
When it comes down to it, A Range Rover Classic isn’t just brilliant idea, it’s a no-brainer. Which makes you wonder — why hasn’t anyone done it yet?
All ECD Range Rover Classics will be hand built alongside the company’s Defenders at their headquarters, The Rover Dome in Kissimmee, Florida. Each RRC will be torn down to the bare chassis and rebuilt, repainted and reupholstered from the ground up, completely done in-house. The first one is scheduled to roll out in January. There is no word yet if it will be driven by Jay-Z or Oprah.