What's the story?
The concept of a super-luxury Range Rover is far from new. When Land Rover owner BMW decided to concentrate on developing an entirely new Range Rover, the L322, rather than facelift the second-generation P38, it prompted a raft of limited editions designed to maintain interest in the outgoing model. And the most limited of all was the Linley – a collaboration with the furniture company headed by David Linley, The Queen’s nephew.
Inspiration came from Linley’s black Metropolitan furniture range, and as a measure of its exclusivity the price would be £100,000 (more than £150,000 in today’s money). Just six were built, including the prototype – which was stolen after being sold by Land Rover.
Then, earlier this year, nearly 15 years after he had stood in the showroom on Park Lane where the Linley was launched, Mike Gould had a call from then Land Rover heritage PR man, Roger Crathorne to tell him that a Linley had been found and was in good hands. A few months later and he was heading back to the capital, to retrace the story of these special P38s.
Gary Pusey’s Range Rover is the sixth and the last Linley built and is in fantastic condition. The bodywork required a little attention to take care of the inevitable minor dents that using a car in a city seems to involve, but otherwise it looks like new.
Our favourite bit?
There was a lump in Mike’s throat as he was re-united with ‘his’ special project. Even after 15 years it looked great, and was in remarkable condition. Somewhere along the line it had acquired tinted windows – something David Linley specifically avoided – but otherwise is was pretty original.
And the verdict from LRO writer Mike Gould?
‘As our trip down memory lane progressed it became clear that the Linley had lost none of its appeal. This, the most exclusive of all Range Rovers, remains a tribute to its original conception by David Linley, its construction by Land Rover Special Vehicles, and the talented craftsmen employed by its suppliers.’
Engine: JE Engineering-tuned 5.0-litre V8 petrol l Power: Originally 215bhp (4.6 litres), now 280bhp approx l Torque: Originally 295lb ft, now 328lb ft approx l Transmission: ZF automatic with two-speed Borg Warner chain drive transfer box, viscous coupling centre differential