We’re just a few weeks away from the launch of the fifth-generation Range Rover, the car that forever changed the fortunes of Land Rover Ltd and ultimately ushered in a new form of status symbol, the luxury SUV. While Range Rover Mk5 will appeal to the chauffeured classes from the outset, it’s worth remembering that the very first Range Rover was only marginally less agricultural than its mud-splattered sibling, the Land-Rover Defender.
The crisp edges and strong lines of the original design, by Spen King, Gordon Bashford and David Bache, proved so enduring that the first-generation Range Rover remained in production from 1970 to 1996. However, it wasn’t until the late 70s that the company deigned to ditch the simplicity and start adding in accoutrements like carpets, aircon, and power steering, as well an extra pair of doors from 1981 onwards.
As is often the way with established classics, the original Range Rover has become something of a cult object, even morphing into the ‘Range Rover Classic’ for a couple of years when it shared the production lines with its BMW-engineered successor. There are still companies offering a complete overhaul of this elegant machine, but none are as comprehensive as the new Overfinch Heritage Field Edition.
Overfinch has been boosting Range Rovers since the 70s, collaborating with companies like gunmakers Holland and Holland to create elaborate custom cabinetry and storage, as well as upgrading essential things like engines and handling.
The Heritage Field Edition is a bespoke blood sports machine, a ‘remastered’ late model original Range Rover from 1993 that has been stripped down and rebuilt from the ground up, with a 6.2 litre V8, rich Emerald Green bodywork and matching wheels, and quilted tan leather throughout. The front seats are supplied by sporting specialists Recaro, and what’s not swathed in leather is finished in tan suede or burr walnut and olive ash.
The pièce de resistance is the rear storage compartment, a walnut and ash ‘Cellarette’ that is a combined gun and drinks cabinet. With space for two shotguns (in case you were wondering, a Holland and Holland ‘Royal Over-and-Under’ 12-bore starts at just under £100,000) in the top drawer, and a selection of champagne glasses, tumblers, bottle storage and even a humidor in the lower compartment. This removable Cellarette is for those who want their firearm festivities to be a cut above.
The hefty GM V8 provides well over 400 bhp, so more than ample performance, and the storage compartment is securely fastened into the boot to be on the safe side. Other contemporary upgrades include Bluetooth Audio, DAB, a modern satnav system and wireless phone charging, as well as the all-important tracker. The fifth-generation Range Rover will undoubtedly up the ante and present itself as the most complete – and capable – luxury SUV that money can buy. Overfinch, on the other hand, demonstrate that the original still has life in it yet.
The Overfinch Heritage Field Edition Range Rover Classic is priced at £285,000.00 + VAT and you can read more about it at OverfinchHeritage.com.