Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Range Rover HSE is said to be number 15 out of 220 special editions imbued with performance bonafides by none other than Callaway Engineering. Let’s see if that, and its price, fully makes up for its being a Range Rover.
According to the ad, which has since disappeared, the present seller of yesterday’s 1981 Puma GTI bought the car, drove it home—a trip of over 100 miles—and only then discovered that at six-feet tall he was too large to fit in the small car.
His loss is someone else’s gain as the Puma’s price came in at a respectable 68% Nice Price vote and apparently sold. So, what did we learn? Brazilian cars, like Brazilian bikinis can be tiny, and never put down money for something without first checking the fit, especially if it’s a car or a bikini.
Another generalization regarding cars and money is to never spend anything on a Range Rover that is well past its warranty expiration date. Look, I’m as big an Anglophile as anybody, but old Range Rovers always seem to go tits up in the most diabolical and inconvenient manner. It’s like the cars were made by the same people that built the tape recorders in the old Mission Impossible TV show.
With that somewhat cautionary preamble, here we have a Ranger Rover for which we may want to bend the rules. This 1999 Range Rover 4.6 HSE is claimed to be one (number 15 in fact) of 220 to have been given more poop by Callaway Engineering. That’s the same Callaway that engineered turbo systems for BMWs, Porsches, Alfa Romeos and, perhaps most famously, Corvettes.
With all that blowing going on in the company’s past, you might then be disappointed to learn that the Callaway Range Rover is in fact naturally aspirated. That’s not to say that the company didn’t improve the Buick-derived engine’s breathing at all. The Callaway-branded mills got a higher compression ratio, and re-flowed cylinder heads, a fatter intake pipe, and a better breathing cat-back dual exhaust for good measure.
This all added together to bump the output to 240-bhp. These cars still had the Lucas ECU as Callaway had engineered the engine based on that, and not the Bosch system that was added by Land Rover in 1999. The gearbox is also remapped for more spritely doings, and the whole thing gets its notice on with some subtle Callaway badging throughout.
That’s what’s interesting about this 170,000-mile HSE. Let me reitterate that: this is a P38A Range Rover with 170,000 miles on it. That alone should be cause for admiration.
The rest of the car is a bit rough in places, showing those miles in a number of spots. The Epsom Green (who thought up that name?) paint is wearing through its clear coat on the horizontal surfaces and there’s a sizable crack—the result of an unfortunate shunt—in the left corner of the front bumper. In back the mounting holes for brush guards are still evident, but the guards themselves have gone awol. The back bumper could stand a good bit of touch up as well.
Inside things are a little bit better, with leather than has held up well and surprisingly trim that hasn’t taken on new shapes or attempted to escape the car entirely. The fancy stereo looks out of place, but all the buttons in there look like they’d be fun to push.
Mechanically, the car is described as “very strong” and the ad claims that everything—air suspension included—works as it should. That’s pretty much all we get in the description department of this particular car as the ad goes on to talk at length about the mods Callaway made to these beasts, and perhaps delves into a lost Harry Potter novel as well. I got a bit distracted half-way trhough.
You won’t get distracted by voting on this Callaway breathed-upon Range Rover’s price however, as you only get two options, up or down. That price is $5,500, or about $5,000 more than you’d normally expect to pay for a 1999 Range Rover HSE. This one’s special however, and hence we’re giving it the benefit of the doubt.
What’s your take on this one of 220 Callaway HSE and that $5,500 price? Does that make it a Range worth Roving? Or, is that too much no matter whose name is on the dash?
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