2023 by Phil Marshall
We recently had the pleasure of selling a 1970 Range Rover Classic at Famous Four, which has now found a new home with a customer in the United States.
This remarkable vehicle may very well hold the title of being the oldest Range Rover in all of North America, as this particular Range Rover was among the initial five right-hand drive (RHD) export models made by Land Rover in 1970. The export models were slightly altered versions of the standard ‘home market’ versions due to market requirements and local regulations, such as safety requirements.
This specific car was built on 22nd December 1970 and was dispatched to Johannesburg less than one month later on the 8th January 1971. It was originally painted in the classic Masai Red but has since been repainted in an Olive Green colour. This was the early 2 door model, with box-section ladder-frame chassis and features a 3,582cc Rover V8 engine, giving the 1,780kg car a top speed of 95mph, going from 0 – 60 in 14 seconds.
The journey of this classic vehicle is a testament to its enduring spirit. Originally, it resided in South Africa’s Gauteng Province, and it covered an impressive distance of over 9,500 kilometres before arriving at Famous Four. Remarkably, despite its age, the Range Rover was in great condition, with a well-preserved chassis free from signs of corrosion and its bodywork still in fine shape. The original 3.5L V8 engine with carburettors was still in working order and running, an amazing feat for this car.
However, the vehicle is still in need of a full restoration inside and out to get it to a condition it truly deserves, and this is where Overland Projects in California, USA, entered the picture. They acquired the vehicle from us, however the pandemic put everything on hold for a while. But a few years later, and a lot of effort on both sides of the Atlantic, and the car finally embarked on its 8,500-kilometer journey being transported by truck and ship to make it all the way to the far side of the United States, arriving safe and sound earlier this month.
This Range Rover Classic isn’t just a classic car; it’s a living piece of automotive history, representing the genesis of an iconic brand. Moreover, it’s a well-travelled machine that has ventured across three continents, covering an astonishing distance of over 17,000 kilometres just in between its various homes. To put this into perspective, that’s equivalent to traveling the length of over 153,000 football pitches. It has traversed the South African mountains, roamed the fields of the United Kingdom, and is now embarking on a new adventure in the Land of Opportunity, the United States.
To follow this vehicle on its journey, follow Overland Projects on Instagram (@overlandprojects).