Friday, December 13, 2013

1980? 1985? 2 Door Range Rover - In US

I'm not sure what we have here. I don't think the seller knows, either. I'll let the Land Rover / Ranger Rover fans fill in the blanks.

This is either a 1980 or 1985 2 door, euro-spec Ranger Rover. The title of the seller's eBay ad says 1980, but the first line of the text - which appears to have been edited - says 1985. Rover, of course, never sent the 2 door Range Rover to the US. This is a gray market vehicle, but has a California title.

The seller refers to this as an "African Queen package" He infers that this version includes a keyed immobilizer under the hood and brackets to padlock the battery. A quick search of the internet turns up no official Range Rover "African Queen" version or option, so I have to assume that this just a dealer package, or, more likely, just a sticker someone slapped on the tailgate. Range Rover fans chime in here.

The rest of the description is vague. (Vaguer?) It supposedly has Rover's ubiquitous 3500 V8 in it, although it's tough to tell from the pictures. Let's assume it does. It also has a manual transmission, something that was never available on the Range Rovers officially sent to the US.

It sounds like the seller only has one key, which apparently turns the ignition, but does nothing else. (He calls it a valet key. Here's a tip: The guy in the middle of the jungle claiming to be a valet, probably isn't. :-) ) He has not been able to open the rear hatch, which may be keyed differently than the ignition. (Or the lock just may be broken.) He says the engine, which has the euro-spec twin SUs, "turns." He doesn't say if it turns with the ignition, or just means that it's not seized.

The body is said to be in good shape, with just some paint fade. The seller says the frame has some surface rust, but nothing serious. The interior, which has cloth seats, is said to be in nice shape, too.

Even with the poor pictures and vague description (or maybe because of that), this is a really intriguing Range Rover. This is a Range Rover as Rover intended it to be in the beginning. 2 doors, no leather, no power windows; just a tough, go anywhere 4x4. (Being British, it, of course, has some wood trim. You shouldn't be completely without luxury, even in the jungle, right?) This is a vehicle we never officially saw in North America.

This is a vehicle that I would not buy without seeing in person first. (Or having a known, reputable, Range Rover expert look at it first.) But, if it looks to be what the seller is saying it is, it might be worth buying. Whatever you pay for it - Opening bid is $6000.00 and there is a Buy It Now of $8500.00. Without seeing the vehicle it's tough to say if those numbers are reasonable - you can expect to spend at least that much on repairs and restoration. But, when you're done, you'll have a very unique (in North America, anyway), very cool range Rover that fits right in at both the jungle and urban valet parking lots.

Located in Murrieta, CA, click here to see the eBay listing.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fascinating. Never knew these existed.

bellett64 said...

Maybe it’s some African freak show; being LHD it’s certainly not a UK-market car, but being 2-door it’s not a US-market car… and having crappy load-rating stencilling on the side, I wonder if it’s even a Euro-spec car!!!

Great to see your blog in full swing again. I should get back to mine…!!!

Oddimotive said...

That's tempting and only a fun drive over Ortega Highway away from me. Hmmm...

Dan DiBiase said...

Maybe it's just a pet peeve, but can the owner maybe get the pictures all right-side up in the eBay listing?? Sheesh... Sideways, upside....

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what happened to this Rover?