Old Range Rovers are relatively light due to being clothed in aluminum, but that’s not to say they couldn’t be lighter. In seeking that goal, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe rock crawler has been denuded to its skivvies, but it also comes with a price that might mean the buyer might just be taking it in the shorts.
The start of the NBA season has been delayed until Christmas day due to the players’ strike, denying many a court king the kind of cash flow that allows for their preferred lifestyle. That’s a possible reason yesterday’s alleged previously player-ownedcustom 1971 Pontiac Grand Prix was put on the block- to raise money for very tall Armani suits and very expensive arbitrators. Sadly, 78% of you felt that baroque coupe wasn’t worth the contribution to the cause. Full-court depress.
Personalization of a car or truck can be broken down into simple mathmatics- the addition or subtraction of certain elements to make the vehicle more closely align with its creator’s desired aesthetic. In the case of today’s 1989 Range Rover Rock Crawler, the emphasis has been on the subtractive aspect of the equation, and in the eye of its builder, obviously less equals more.
Starting with a SWB 3.9-litre powered Range Rover, this off-road-biased - but still street legal - truck now looks like something that might be found chasing Mad Max, or emerging from the Top Gear secret garage. The RR’s original air springs have been replaced with huge 5-inch coils and each end sports long-travel remote reservoir shocks. The lift those provide means the LM002-esque 4-seater rides waaay above its two live axles - a modded Ford 9" in back and a rebuilt Land Rover unit in front, each rocking more brand name parts than your neighborhood Best Buy.
The body has been reduced to the bare minimum - floor, firewall and a hood and roof to keep the sun from roasting both engine and passengers. Those passengers get to ride in the comfort of the Range Rover’s original throne-like seats, the fronts even including the fit-down arm rests. It looks like the dashboard is also mostly complete, as are the stock seatbelt mounting points. In fact, there appears to be just enough of the original Range Rover left here to make it street legal while also ready to rock and roll. A somewhat light-duty appearing roll cage wraps the body and forms the structural support for the roof.
The seller says this is all sturdy enough for both off-roading and dropping off the rug rats at school. Of course that high step over etry and exit afforded by the wrap around roo bar means that ladies in short skirts should either be dissuaded or encouraged from riding in it, depending on your proclivity. Mileage? Who knows? Off road rockability? Well, if the video provided by the previous owner is anything to go by, pretty damn good.
Okay, this ain’t your English Manor style of Range Rover, and in fact taking it off road would probably jar the monocle right off your eye as well as spill your gin and tonic, but it’s also undeniably awesome in both execution - I mean, just look at the thing - and in its amazing ability to both climb trees and get guarded approvals from the DMV. Sure there are compromises that have been made, you really wouldn’t want to drive this through a Canadian winter as the polar bears would find you easy pickin’s, but then what in life isn’t a compromise?
Well, one place where compromise definitely factors is in the seller’s willingness to deal on this truck, via his offer to entertain trades. But we don’t give a rock’s hop about trades, here we only deal with cold, hard cash, and thankfully the seller is willing to deal with that as well, to the tune of $9,250. What do you think about that? Whole Range Rovers of this era go for far less, but did the builder of this whackadoodle minimalist edition find a winning formula in increasing its value by decreasing its Range Rover-ness? Or, does the price tag also need to have some dollar signs stripped away?
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