Range Rover Conversions
My ideal car is an easy one - a Range Rover Monteverdi in metallic gold paint.
The car I grew up with, the car I learned to drive in, frankly the car I blame for a lot of things.
The hours spent on car sales and auctions websites, the slightly intense knowledge about ‘classic’ British cars.
The car that is probably one of the 3 or 4 defining objects/moments in my life that set me off on the winding path that has been my career.
It was the perfect exercise in collaboration’s done well. Swiss specialist Peter Monteverdi took the Mark 1 Range Rover - at that time only a two door - and subtly changed everything. Land Rover supplied two door Mark 1’s in alpine white, with an extra set of doors, Monteverdi unbolted and totally reengineered the body & doors, applied metallic paint, completely stripped out the workaday interior, replacing with the best materials possible, from buttery tanned leather through to windows from St Gobain.
Arguably, this was the Range Rover which took the Range Rover into the Luxury market.
The genius was that despite it being a third party intervention, it was sold through Land Rover and came with the full factory guarantee. Although, given it’s changed body shape, future parts had to be custom made…
Now, finding one, good luck. I’ve tried. Of the 167 built, there are a few out there but, the prices are a little bit steep and I buy too many pairs of shoes.
Although today is my birthday, so if anyone fancies buying it? Feel free. That or Jensen’s Chieftain, a more day to day Range Rover.
I’m not complaining though. Having driven pretty much everything I know there is beauty and fun to had in vehicles of all shapes and sizes, from Mclaren 650s & Porsche 944s, mid 90’s Bentley Continental Rs & Aston Martin DB7s, even Nissan Micra’s & Mercedes’ estates with tuned and chipped engines.
Out of them all, proper, big boy, full fat, full size, big engine Range Rovers just do it for me.
It’s not because I’m some flash git (I hope). It’s the can do, will do, happy to attitude. Off road, in town, anywhere really. They just feel different.
So when a friend slipped into my DMs, sending me a post from Idea Books about Nick Dimbleby’s Range Rover Conversions, I was sold.
A 1987 tome which celebrates the wonderful and mostly weird things that people did to their first gen Range Rover.
From the better known Overfinch engine tuning with additional GM 400 Automatic gearbox – at the time Rolls-Royce & Ferrari standard. Or Wood & Pickett’s ‘Goodwood convertible’ which well, it’s a convertible.
Through to the just odd, Townley Desert Ranger, with it’s six wheels, side on seating for 8 and wash basin?
A celebration in finest Haynes style of British ingenuity and our desire as a nation to fashion something a bit different. Still want that Monteverdi though…