1973 Range Rover Convertible Hitting Auction Blocks in U.K.
Fully Restored SUV Could Fetch $60k
Built 30 years before the Evoque convertible, a custom Range Rover soft top will be sold at Silverstone Auctions in November in Birmingham, England. The 1973 Range Rover left the factory as a two-door SUV, but Special Vehicle Conversions, a company that specialized in Range Rover convertibles, turned it into a roadster in the 1980s.
The Range Rover has an interesting history, according to Silverstone Auctions. In the 1990s, a previous owner lost it in a card game, and the new owner holed it up in a storage unit since he didn’t have space in his garages. It went unused for much of the previous two decades, and the storage unit preserved it in very good condition. After being discovered recently, it underwent a one-year nut-and-bolt restoration that Silverstone claims cost the owner £20,000, including a full refresh of the truck’s 3.5L Rover V-8.
The Range Rover currently sits in very good condition, with its wine-red paint and tan leather interior in excellent nick. The swinging spare tire carrier is a neat feature, and the V-8 looks clean enough to eat off of. The convertible conversion is a little awkward looking, since the Range’s door frames and window glass were preserved in as-delivered condition (with the rest of the roof and pillars removed), but that move likely maintains some semblance of body rigidity, and with the windows rolled up, it’s probably a very serene ride, at least for front-seat passengers.
It’s surprisingly spartan inside, with crank windows, a four-speed manual transmission, no radio, and limited HVAC functions, but this was a time when luxury was determined by quality engineering, not features and amenities. It doesn’t look like the Range Rover is fit with a soft top of any kind, so we wonder if the new owner will be able to enjoy it much if it stays in its native England.
Silverstone estimates the Range Rover will bring in somewhere between £35,000 and £40,000 (about $50,000 to $60,000). That’s one of the highest prices we’ve ever seen for a Range Rover Classic, but its unique body construction, manual/V-8 powertrain combo, and nearly flawless condition could justify the price. For those of you who aren’t that flush, you could go the route this author’s brother took and just buy a clapped out Range Rover that endured the business end of a reciprocating saw.
Source: Silverstone Auctions