The Lands Precedent Is A WagonVan That Set An Example By Barely Existing

Illustration for article titled The Lands Precedent Is A WagonVan That Set An Example By Barely Existing
Image: eBay

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.

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Illustration for article titled The Lands Precedent Is A WagonVan That Set An Example By Barely Existing
Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)

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.

Illustration for article titled The Lands Precedent Is A WagonVan That Set An Example By Barely Existing
Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)
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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.

Illustration for article titled The Lands Precedent Is A WagonVan That Set An Example By Barely Existing
Photo: 328cia / Wikimedia Commons (Other)
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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.

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Illustration for article titled The Lands Precedent Is A WagonVan That Set An Example By Barely Existing
Image: eBay

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.

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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.

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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.

Illustration for article titled The Lands Precedent Is A WagonVan That Set An Example By Barely Existing
Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)
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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

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Loves all vehicles! Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, AmTran School Bus, VW Passat W8, Jetta TDI (x2), Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Suzuki Burgman, Yamaha U7E...

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DISCUSSION

shanemorris
Shane Morris

For $3,500... I might try to buy it for myself. Honestly. This car is just so weird, I need it. It’s like when you’re skeptical about caviar and white chocolate for the first time. (Seriously, it’s a tasty contrast. Just get a simple water cracker, shave some white chocolate onto it, and then add a little dollop of caviar. It’s delicious.)

The paint, interior and other bits would be easy to pull off. It’s the mechanical bits that I’m not sure about. I know that “restoring” it is relative, because in 50 years, I doubt this will ever be something valuable. I’d be willing to bet, adjusted for inflation, it’ll be a $12,000 car, in 2060. It’s just too weird and ugly to be worth money.

But it looks like something from a sci-fi film. It’s freakin’ awesome.

Be right back, my fellow Jalops. I’m going to ask my wife a question, and after I ask that question, I’m going to hope her follow up question isn’t, “What does it look like?” or “Can I see it?”