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According to King, “The idea was to combine the comfort and on-road ability of a Rover saloon with the off-road ability of a Land Rover. Nobody was doing it.”

It was to be coil sprung all-round with long travel to ensure both comfort on-road and wheel articulation off it, and would be the first car to offer permanent four-wheel-drive as it needed to better the by now almost 20-year-old Series Land Rover.

David Bache, designer of the sleek Rover P6 saloon, was appointed with the task of designing the new car. After a couple of years of extensive testing around Europe and North Africa, the Range Rover was revealed to the press in 1970.

The car’s off-road credentials were soon put to the ultimate test in the Range Rover British Trans-Americas Expedition. Between December 1971 and August 1972 a team of soldiers, campaigned two left-hand drive Ranger Rovers from Anchorage, Alaska, to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Modified with winches, protection, roof racks and larger tyres, the cars were otherwise stock and crossed the infamous Darien Gap, 250 miles of what was reckoned to be impassable rain forest and swamp situated between Colombia and Panama. A Range Rover also won the inaugural Dakar Rally in 1979 and again in 1981.





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