Dear reader, I’ve run into a vehicle so rare and obscure that even Google turns up relatively few search results for it. This is the 1986 Lands Precedent, and it’s one of the rarest cars around.
Rare cars are more typically valued things like supercars, or perhaps a survivor from decades far in the past. Others, like the Precedent, disappeared almost as quickly as they appeared. Only two are known to exist: the white one in our lead image and the less fortunate gray model in an ad sent to me by a reader.
History on this creation is scant. I went on a deep dive for some background, and it was like I just tried plunging into a kiddie pool. It’s that shallow. The seller didn’t take good pictures for the ad; I cleaned them up as much as I could. Here’s what I was able to gather about this vehicle.
According to Indiana Company Directory — a site that combs the state’s official business registers — Lands Motor Company was established in Elkhart in 1981. At some point in the mid-1980s, Lands Motor Company produced two Lands Precedent vehicles.
It’s something like a wagon meets minivan. The one for sale here is the gray 1986 Precedent.
Under the weathered hood resides a 5.0-liter Ford V8 from the era; it’s connected to a rear end from a Corvette via an automatic transmission. The doors appear to be from a Citroen CX Estate with the mouldings removed.
Lands further raided the parts bins of General Motors for taillights from a Pontiac Trans Am and hit up Ford for headlights from a Lincoln Mark VII.
The interior is decked out in rosewood trim, and leather wraps several surfaces. A black-and-white television for passengers in back is stationed between the front seats. An eBay ad captured by Cheers & Gears says that up front are eight-way power seats; the rear seats recline and swivel. It has an alcohol dispenser, too. This thing is drenched in 1980s luxury.
The design is rumored to be from coachbuilder Alain Clenet, with the drivetrain designed by Corvette builder Dick Guldstrand. Of course, I’ll stress that given the lack of concrete information, these are rumors at best.
What I can tell you, based on information published in the Federal Register in 1986, is that Lands Motor Company wanted to make far more than two. This comes from an assessment on a 20.5 mpg CAFE standard for 1988 model year vehicles:
Lands Motor Company has a production goal of 500 vehicles for MY 1988, with a CAFE level of 16.9 mpg.
But Lands made far fewer than 500 vehicles. In fact, according to the Indiana Company Directory, Lands closed down in 1987. Precedent production reportedly cost over $1 million to start, so it’s possible the company simply ran out of cash.
The seller hoped to restore this one, but he couldn’t find the time. We covered the other known Precedent back in 2007, and it occasionally shows up for sale as well. This gray one is definitely weathered, but it doesn’t look like it would be too hard to restore. The seller is asking only $3,500 for it, which isn’t a whole lot for a one-of-two vehicle.
Find it on Facebook Marketplace in Enterprise, Alabama.
H/T - Austin Little