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Unveiling of the New Range Rover Velar | Step inside some of the planet’s most exclusive homes | Man’s relationship with dogs | An epic drive through the Isle of Skye | The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza takes to the Skies


B U I L D I N G A L E G A C Y The four first Range Rover vehicles each represent a chapter in the making of a modern classic. It’s a journey that has seen the iconic vehicle evolve from revolutionary off-roader to refined luxury SUV without ever compromising on its trademark all-terrain capabilities L405 L322 P38A CLASSIC VELAR 52

LASTING LEGACY 1969-1970: VELAR The vehicle that started it all. Veiled in secrecy from the beginning, this special pre-production model was built and tested with the aim of developing a capable luxury off-roader with the same level of comfort normally offered by a high-end sedan. Only 26 of these incredibly rare Velar models were ever built, making them highly sought after by collectors all over the world. 1970: RANGE ROVER CLASSIC The original. First introduced in June 1970, with the first four-door following in 1981. The first vehicles were exported to the United States in 1987. The model would become immensely popular and would overlap its successor by a couple of years. 1994: RANGE ROVER P38A Named after the building in which it was designed, this was the first ground-up rethink of the Range Rover, 24 years after the launch of the original. Luxury reached new heights with the P38A ‘Linley’, developed by designer and HM The Queen’s nephew, David Linley. It sold for 5,000: then unheard of for an off-roader. 2001: RANGE ROVER L322 The third-generation Range Rover was sold as having “the greatest breadth of ability of any vehicle, ever.” Few would disagree. It was a masterful and relentlessly modern redesign. The body moved to monocoque construction, and the cabin in particular is clever, original and elegantly beautiful. 2012: RANGE ROVER L405 Another revelation. The switch to aluminum construction cut the weight of at least four adult occupants from the car. Less mass and greater stiffness transformed the Range Rover vehicle’s performance, handling, refinement, and its fuel economy and emissions. The Range Rover was one of the first luxury SUVs, and the Velar was the first Range Rover. That name now bookends the extraordinary 47-year history of the Range Rover: it describes both the very first Range Rover vehicles to roll out of Solihull, UK, in the early 1970s, and now also the very latest addition to the Range Rover family. But the name that now celebrates the heritage of the Range Rover was originally intended to disguise its importance. The story behind the Velar name is a curious one: it now seems hard to believe that the genuinely iconic shape of the original Range Rover could ever have been mistaken for anything else. But when the first prototype and pre-production Range Rover vehicles emerged from the gates of Solihull for road testing in advance of the vehicle’s public unveiling in 1970, the world simply hadn’t seen anything like it before, and might not guess that it was from Land Rover. So to maintain the surprise, those early prototypes bore the Velar name on their nose. It was even registered as a company in a suburb of south London so that ‘Velar,’ and not ‘Land Rover,’ would appear on the vehicles’ tax and registration documents. The name means ‘to guard’ in Spanish and ‘to veil’ in Italian and was originally a clever joke by the engineers. But with its mellifluous sound and hint at ’velocity,’ it is still poignantly fitting and curiously catchy for today’s quick, subtle Velar; a vehicle Land Rover’s Design Director Gerry McGovern describes as both “elegant” and “compelling” (see pages 20-31). The reveal of the 2017 namesake, however, by no means signals the end of the era that first saw the Range Rover introduced to the world. On the contrary, interest in these early Range Rover vehicles has steadily increased, as the vehicle has earned its historical significance and taken on a leading role of its own in Land Rover history. If you want an all-original, first-generation Velar to go with your new one you’ll need deep pockets. Values of all classic Range Rover vehicles have spiked recently, but the earliest have seen the greatest inflation. This is often the case. With time and a little perspective, classic car collectors realize the significance of landmark models in automotive history, then scramble to find a good one to add to their collection. They like cars that were benchmarks or turning points, and the original Range Rover was both. They also like the first and the rarest. Just two prototypes are thought to have survived of the seven made, and only 26 pre-production vehicles that might have worn the original Velar badge were ever built. It’s not easy finding one and if you do, you are likely to face fierce competition. The first pre-production Range Rover sold at auction three years ago for 5,000; it would fetch far more now. 53


Land Rover

Land Rover Magazine 39


Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go above and beyond

Land Rover stands for not only the most capable premium vehicles, but a state of mind where a sense of curiosity, exploration and wonder informs all of life’s adventures. Encounter this throughout the latest issue of Land Rover Magazine, from meeting a herd of Ice Age survivors on the Dutch coast with the Land Rover Discovery, to the most innovative sustainable architecture on a Californian journey with the Range Rover Evoque

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