There’s something a little arch to the price Land Rover has put on its run of ‘Reborn’ original 1970s Range Rovers. Certainly £135,000 is toppy for a ground-up, every-nut/every-bolt restored Mk 1, however thoroughly done (and the factory restoration is indeed as beautiful as you might expect from a ‘works’ operation). But that’s not where the mischief lies. Land Rover Classic is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jaguar Land Rover, the same company that will sell you an absolute pinnacle new 2017 Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic for just a few pounds more than… £135,000.
I appreciate nobody will actually choose between 20th or 21st century technology (and please, if you are doing so, get in touch – I need to tell you just how awfully original Range Rovers drive), and that ‘Reborn’ owners will likely already have a brand new Range Rover in the garage. But I do wonder if the pricing is unintentionally rhetorical; it does, after all, make you question what it is you value?
And it’s a very modish question. It’s hard now not to think that the fascination around classic cars and their authenticity is driven by more than just the lure of capital gains-free investment and is – like books and vinyl records and magazines that cherish proper writing – part of the ‘hyper-analogue’ movement. A Dynamic is superior in all ways you can actually measure, but I would suggest the first ‘Reborn’ Range Rover, the 1978 Bahama Gold three-door, beats it in every one you can’t.