Cars

Range Rover I: Traveling in the original Range Rover for 140,000 euros

Driving casually with one hand on the steering wheel, this Brit gets used to that in record time: a highly motorized full rigid axle with the typical self-steering behavior with one-sided compression.

There is therefore a lot to correct in the not exactly intuitive steering – no wonder, since this classic car from 1979 has recirculating ball steering from the supplier Gemmer. Advantage: Hardly any bottoming out off-road (that’s the force that can break the driver’s thumb). Accuracy and communicativeness, on the other hand, are not among their strengths.

Oh, those were the days when the Range Rover I populated categories like “envy and resentment for 10,000 marks”. Landy-Point from Beuron near Sigmaringen is offering this one on behalf of a collector for 140,000 euros.
Range Rover I 5.0 John Eales Developments

More torque, rather less thirst: V8 with 5.0 instead of 3.5 liters from the specialist John Eales, Leicestershire.


Three things make it special: Firstly, it has only run about 8000 km, secondly, it has been restored and thirdly, it is stronger than the series. Instead of the 3.5-liter V8, there is a version with an enlarged bore and stroke with a new crankshaft and exhaust manifold under the hood: a 5.0-liter V8 from specialist John Eales from Leicestershire, which offers twice as much power with 273 hp like the series unit and alone costs around 32,000 euros.

Transmission not original

So the classic hangs well on the gas, unaggressively but emphatically accelerating. And thanks to the manual transmission, no converter drowns all the power in the oil.

This transmission is not the original with the notoriously long shift travel; it is the five-speed box from a younger Defender, including reduction and center lock. This range was a barn find with low mileage, but still made work: hoods, doors, wheel arches, window seals, brake lines – everything had to go.
Range Rover I 5.0 John Eales Developments

In the 1970s, the Range featured the exhaust pipe on many mid-range cars. The self-steering behavior of the rigid axles requires steering corrections.


The wiring harness was ripe for an overhaul. The saddler also had to work and replaced the fabric seats with leather seats in the original color. Landy Point boss Urs Stiegler estimates around 500 hours of work.

Even after a restoration, a 1970s Brit is nothing for narrow-minded philistines – you could jam a newspaper in the joints. And the armrests in the door panels look like they were carved out of real British candy, fudge.

Ur-Range evil money diggers?

However, the usual contact corrosion is completely absent here. The rages otherwise especially on the tailgate. “We have already bought complete battle cars just because the tailgate could still be saved.”

Mediocre original range are considered bad money diggers: run-in camshafts, worn crankshaft bearings and hydraulic tappets, striking fuel pumps and starters, leaky coolers, erratic electrical problems.

Range Rover I 5.0 John Eales Developments

The two rigid axles are more capable of twisting than those of the Series 3 Landys built at about the same time.


A leaky radiator alone takes up a full day in the workshop because the cockpit has to come out. The risk of breakdowns, wrote the ” Geländewagen Magazin ” in 1998, is four times higher than in a Toyota Land Cruiser or Mercedes G of a comparable age and condition.

1982 Ur-Range for the first time with an automatic

From 1970 to 1995, the British built and constantly updated this pioneer of permanent all-wheel drive. In 1973, the side mirrors, which were initially mounted on the fenders, were moved to the doors, and in the same year power steering (initially for an extra charge), rear window wipers and an overdrive, which was moderately popular because of its load change noise, were added.

The five-door model longed for by customers did not appear until 1981, and a year later an automatic was available for the first time – both of which caused orders to explode.

Range Rover I 5.0 John Eales Developments

Hard plastic and window crank – the luxury consisted in the absence of bare metal in the interior.


When it was launched in 1970, the all-terrain vehicle suitable for grand hotels was unrivaled. The Jeep Wagoneer has been on the market since 1963, but there is no other package like the Range Rover: permanent all-wheel drive, rear leveling (from Boge), spiral springs and disc brakes all around.

The original range is not practical

An off-roader, faster than a mid-size sedan. It is often even superior to the Series III Land Rover off-road. Not only that the quadrupling of the purchase price between 1970 and 1978 did not reduce sales in the slightest. The Range even becomes the brand’s best-selling model in 1987 and saves it.

The original range is not practical: after the front seat passengers have granted access to the rear passengers, they have to readjust the seats. Annoying, as well as the three-point belts without automatic retractor. And you’ll look in vain for shelves.

Range Rover I 5.0 John Eales Developments

Controversial, horizontally split tailgate. The Brits like it that way; at the picnic the pants always stay clean.


The development engineer Geof Miller is not to blame: he wanted an undivided station wagon tailgate and a lockable center console – the red-penned folks at Leyland rejected everything. The cumbersome two-door must have had a few fans, however, as it remained on sale until 1994. (The fifth Ur-Range descendant to be tested)
Sitting 13 inches off the floor and listening to the V8, I don’t give a damn. This bright pavilion, this clarity in all directions – a work of art that has rightly made it into the Museum of Modern Art.

Specifications and price: Range Rover I 5.0 John Eales Developments

• Engine V8 petrol engine, longitudinal in front
• Displacement 4998 cm³ (series: 3528 cm³)
• Perfomance at 1/min 201 kW (273 hp) at 5500 rpm (series: 135 hp at 4750 rpm)
• Torque at 1/min 437 Nm at 3550 rpm (series: 278 Nm at 3000 rpm)
• wheel suspension v/h rigid axle, coil springs
• Wheel size 205/80R16
• Transmission 5-speed manual (series: 4-speed manual) with reduced rails.
• All-wheel drive/power dist. v/h permanently via central diff./ 50:50
• L/W/H 4550/1770/1770mm
• wheelbase/turning radius 2540mm / 11.3m
• Ground clearance 190mm
• charge vol. max. 1670 l
• Curb weight/payload 1870/630kg
• Trailer load used/unused. 2500/750kg
• Top speed 190 km/h (series: 154 km/h)
• Tank 86L
• Price 140,000 euros (standard 3.5 V8: 36,000 euros/condition 2)

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