This Range Rover was first registered at a dealer in Östersund, Sweden in 1976.
It was sold to a Sami gentleman (Norwegian/Swedish minority) as a commercial vehicle (it had a bulkhead behind the rear seat). In the 1970s, there was a loophole in Sweden that made it possible to register this type of car as a commercial vehicle, saving a large amount of tax, making them very popular.
Östersund is a long way north and in the 1970s the roads weren't salted. This helped the Classic to survivie well. Its owner used a Larven snow scooter for a lot of his work. It's a strange kind of scooter that he carried on roof bars. He drove the car in and out of a garage, and sometimes he forgot the scooter was on the roof bars with obvious results!
After only a couple of years, with just 31,000 miles covered, the Classic's engine broke down. It went into a local workshop to be fixed.
He couldn't afford tp pay the bill, so the garage sold it.
From there, the second owner bought it and started to restore it to 'better than new' condition. The project stopped and was left for 15 years; fortunately, the engine was started regularly.
I found it via the Norwegian Land Rover Forum and bought it without seeing it. My wife and I drove to Östersund to pick it up on a trailer; a 27-hour journey.
I like cars that tell a story, and started to put it back to 'original' condition. It had very little rust and is as original as I could make it, but I had to find some new pieces, especially the plastics and inner roof.
The car had only 38,000 miles on the clock when I bought it. It now has 41,500 miles on the clock! It has lots of scratches and dents - a lot of 'history'.
Originally featured in the May 2014 issue of Land Rover Owner International. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884.
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