A mustard colored 1978 Range Rover was unveiled in Paris last week. Oddly, it is a new car. Or rather, a resurrected car, one that got a new lease on life. And aptly, the vehicle is the first of a new series called Range Rover Reborn.
This is how it works. The special division of the Coventry, England-based company, brings up to spec old bodies and frames, restoring and replacing every single component where due. Buyers get a perfectly new old car, with the same look and feel it would have had three decades ago.
Each will sell for $169,000. Even at that hefty price, the handful of 1970s series trucks will find plenty of buyers.
That may have to do with the general appeal of vintage cars and, generally, classic design. Nostalgia may play a role in it, but it takes the back seat to a more fundamental one.
These are designs that passed with outstanding scores the toughest test of all: that of time. Your eyes rest on them and they are still perfectly, masterly beautiful.
We take heart at seeing good old cars rolling out of British factories again: if it only set the template for all other cars. Today’s Jaguars and Rovers are the ugliest ever, obese little monsters as if pumped up on amphetamines, will be doomed to the ash heap of history.
Other carmakers have understood this. And that is why, thankfully, companies from Volkswagen to Mini Cooper, Fiat and Ford have issued retro models of their all-time classics: the Beetle; the Mini Cooper; the 500; and the Mustang. Citroën has done a poor job of its alleged retro version of the 2 CV—which is nothing but—but we are not still giving up hope. And here is a wish: we are dying to see the MG roadster come back to life.