The Silverstone Classic Sale 2017

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1983 Range Rover "In Vogue"

Lot No.: 459

Registration: A482 HPJ
Chassis Number: SALLHAMV7AA139233
Engine Number: 17001708A
Number of cylinders: 8
CC: 3500
Year of Manufacture: 1983
Estimate (£): 17,000 - 20,000
(+buyer’s premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)

In many people's eyes, Charles Spencer King's design of the iconic Range Rover could not be bettered, indeed the Louvre in Paris exhibited the Range Rover in the early 1970s, hailing it as an "Exemplary work of industrial design." To others, however, the two-door Range Rover had a number of limitations, and although the company were well aware of this, their financial woes contributed to a delay of ten years in producing a four-door version so, inevitably, a number of established British and European coachbuilders were happy to oblige and fill the gap.

Names such as Wood and Pickett, and Monteverdi became synonymous with Range Rover luxury upgrades, all sold with Rover's approval, and indeed in some cases used as future templates for Rover's own designs. Land Rover had been unable to capitalise on this phenomenon due to budgetary constraints, and could only watch helplessly as after-market upgrades offered by boutique specialists  cornered the market

The first faltering steps towards the luxury Range Rovers we recognise today came at the end of 1980. Land Rover collaborated with Wood & Pickett to design a specially-equipped luxury two-door model - a toe-in-the-water exercise to gauge demand for an upward expansion of the range. The prototype was rapidly completed and was lent to Vogue magazine, who took it to Biarritz in 1981 and used it as a backdrop during their photo shoots for that season's Lancôme and Jaeger fashion collections. 

The model was such a success that the 1981 run of 1,000 "In Vogue" three-door examples was followed up in 1983 by 325 four-door "In Vogue" models finished in Derwent Blue, and was promoted in conjunction with the Daks autumn fashion collection at Simpsons of Piccadilly. The more practical, V8 powered, four-door Range Rover proved a hit with its manual five-speed gearbox and British Leyland, in their wisdom, scaled back the three-door model for overseas and police issue with the four-door Vogue model becoming the benchmark Range Rover model, until the introduction of the Autobiography "personalisation" range in 1993.

This restored 1983 "In Vogue" presents superbly in its factory correct Derwent Blue with a Tan interior, and its bespoke wooden door cappings look in great order. Any "classic" Range Rover owner of the period or indeed today will agree that the rear dual tailgate's rust issues would always let the side down, but it can be seen that this car has had this concern addressed. Presented to auction with the rare inclusion of a factory issued picnic hamper, and an MOT until October 2017, this historically important car offers a good 'drivers' mileage of some 83,000 miles and would fit perfectly in any serious collection for regular use.