Everyone knows what a Land Rover is. The words conjure up a box on wheels in the imagination. How many manufacturers have offered essentially the same product for 67 years? Not many. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I think that phrase resonates well with Land Rover owners. Although, that classic Land Rover will be discontinued in December. The 2,000,000th Defender was just completed and will be auctioned off this year. While it is sad to see the end of an icon, I'm excited to see what's next. And I know that those 2,000,000 Land Rovers will be around for a while.
While the original Land Rover was the ultimate no frills, go anywhere, vehicle that could be repaired in any situation with duct tape and a stick, it quickly turned into luxury brand. Today I would argue that they make the ultimate luxury vehicles on and off road. To me, they are some of the most beautiful vehicles. They turn mud, sweat and gears into an art form.
Land Rover has always been innovative without losing sight of their roots. How many cars in 1993 came standard with air suspension, power windows and sun roof, heated leather seats, CD changer, premium Harmon/Kardon sound system with subwoofer and full time four wheel drive with a highly sophisticated traction control system that didn’t utilize a locking differential? I can think of 1.
I don’t generally compromise well, and Land Rover doesn’t really either. Most of their products come as is. In 1990 if you wanted a Range Rover, you had two options, aside from colors. Either you wanted a 4.2L V8 Long Wheel Base Range Rover, a 3.9L V8 Short Wheel Base Range Rover or you didn’t want a Range Rover. Defenders imported in the early-mid nineties came as is. Pretty much your only option was color, and that was determined by what the dealership had. I like that take-it-or-leave-it attitude.
I love how the brand integrates luxury with ruggedness. The queen drives a Land Rover, and the farmer growing her food probably drives a Land Rover too. Their impression of luxury isn’t based on money, it’s based on quality. They offer the best utility vehicles, whether you want a bare bones Defender to run your hay bailer or a Supercharged Range Rover for towing your Hinckley.
To this day, I think Land Rover had and has the best advertising campaign. It's based on the idea of "Going Beyond," that their products will take you places you had previously only dreamed of going. They are not afraid to be exactly what they are, or to make fun of themselves. Their print-ads are priceless. Land Rover understands it’s not just about the vehicle. It's about adventure, luxury and going where no one has gone before. So many people love Land Rovers for the experience they create, know as The Land Rover Experience. I am most excited for their newest partnership with Abercrombie and Kent! I am signing up for the Moroccan Tour behind the wheel of a Range Rover Sport.
Especially in the health community, I hear people bitch about climate change. Without getting in too deep, I’m going to say climate change is inevitable and it’s crazy to think that the Earth would be stagnant without our interference. While I think the whole global warming thing is a money making racket, considering an entire industry has been created with emissions trading and carbon taxing, I do think pollution is a real problem. That’s where I take a stand. I don’t care so much that the ice caps are melting (like they have many times before!) when I don’t even feel clean swimming in the Pacific Ocean, or breathing LA air. There’s a point here. Generally, more energy is consumed in producing 1 vehicle than that vehicle will consume in its lifetime. Don’t get me started on Priuses. Parts are made and shipped all over the world and back before the car’s even assembled with a non recyclable battery that has a limited lifespan. Even then, most efficiency is gained through driving habits. I think people buy hybrids for two reasons: 1. They’re ignorant 2. It’s a status symbol/ego stroke. For the second case, I think people will feel they’re actually helping the environment, and will probably make less wise decisions regarding the environment in other areas of their life, or might even drive more than they used to. Eating less meat, and exclusively locally and ethically raised meat will help the environment significantly more than buying a new hybrid. If you’re really into hybrids, buy a used one. But prepare to replace the battery, which is not cheap or environmentally friendly. Just to be clear, the batteries can be recycled, however there is very little profit to be made from reselling the materials, so it's not commonplace. More and more manufacturers are offering to take back and "safely dispose" of the batteries.
So long story short, Land Rovers last forever, with proper care and maintenance, and will take you anywhere you want to go. Aubrey de Grey once said they’re the only product built to last. And considering the lack of significant change over the years, there isn’t much incentive to buy a new one, especially when you look at resale values. Love the environment, buy a used Land Rover and let it take you places you never thought you'd go. Did you know you can get a roof tent for much any Land Rover? That's so the wild animals don't get you in your sleep. Because those are the kinds of places a Land Rover will take you.
TL;DR - Land Rovers are the best automobiles, and that’s why they make the cut for The Best of Everything.
These are pictures from my most recent trip to Martha's Vineyard. This was one of the first cars to come standard with a GPS. This is a 2001 4.6HSE P38 Range Rover, one of my favorites.