Today, if you want a new car, you have plenty of old choices. Jaguar, for example, seems to have quite a knack for selling new old cars, having started the whole fad with a series of six Lightweight E-Type racers from the Sixties, built 50 years later to the exact same design and specification, yet plenty of extra zeroes added to the price.
It’s very sound business, just selling your old cars all over again, and you shouldn’t call the Lightweight E-Type a replica either. It was a reissue, or a continuation, or a reimagination, depending on which page in the thesaurus the marketing person is on at the time.
Afterwards, Jaguar also did a series of 1957 XKSS continuations, nine of them to be exact, to make up the numbers of the cars originally lost in a fire at Jaguar’s old Browns Lane factory back in the day. At a cool million (plus) each (that’s US dollars), Jaguar seems to have pioneered a whole new car segment, or old car segment.
Now for its latest money-making trick, the British carmaker’s sister brand Land Rover — Jaguar Land Rover is owned by the Tata group — is also getting in on the act. In Paris last week, the British off-roading marque presented a factory-restored 1978 three-door Range Rover Classic, which is one of 10 to be built all over again 40 years after the originals as part of Range Rover’s ‘Reborn’ series of cars. And at Dh620,000 each, they aren’t even that much more expensive than new (new) Range Rovers.
The Range Rover Reborn team restored this 1978 example in Bahama Gold bodywork, with a good ol’ Rover 3.5-litre V8 engine under the bonnet fed by a British Zenith-Stromberg carburettor to make 132 horsepower at 5,000rpm. The team has been equally authentic with the feeble torque figures too, 251Nm at 2,500rpm, but remember this is a simple, lightweight car and back in the day SUVs didn’t need to do 0-100kph in under five seconds so that the copywriters have at least one interesting thing to put on the advertising billboard.
Everything, from the interior fabrics to the plastic trim, is period-correct, and just like back in the day you can even sit down with Range Rover’s people and pick out what options you want on your vehicle and your preferred chassis numbers.