I fell in love with the Range Rover Classic the day I saw my first one, when I was 10 years old. For a long time the only ones I owned were Corgi or Dinky models. My first full-sized version was a secondhand two-door, which I replaced in 1989 with a brand-new four-door 3.9 V8 auto.
Even though four doors are considerably more practical, the two-door remains, at least for me, the best design. Eventually, in 1999, luck (or maybe it’s my obstinacy) helped me find a fantastic, imported, 3.9-litre automatic two-door.
After using it as my everyday car for two years, I decided to get more involved with off-roading, but of course I didn’t want to ruin my existing Range Rover. So I started searching France for a base vehicle and found one that was exactly right. After driving it back from Perpignan to my home in Geneva, Switzerland, I immediately set about deciding what my off-road-dedicated Rangie should look like.
Camel Trophy replica or the Lara Croft look were my first thoughts but, soon after that, the first G4 Challenge cars started appearing in magazines. There was no turning back – it would be Tangiers Orange and look like the kind of official G4 Range Rover Classic that Land Rover would have produced if it had still been making this Range Rover in 2003.
Now, getting my hands on the right accessories to give it the proper look was quite a task. But after three years and different versions, the goal was finally achieved. Just like the genuine G4 vehicles, only underbody protection and a few practical enhancements were added; I didn’t fit any performance features such as differential lockers or additional fuel tank.
To complete my ‘G4 Tribute’ Range Rover, I also bought the ‘mandatory’ Khayam igloo tent along with the mountain bike – in fact, I’m only missing the kayak!
The car only has two seats (a low-tax option for French owners) but this helps to give me a great loadspace to pack in lots of gear when travelling in the Classic.
Since completion, I have been to a number of events in France, the UK and Spain, and have also travelled to Morocco and Croatia. One of my most memorable trips so far was to the forests of Croatia, where signs saying ‘Danger: Mines’ would suddenly appear on both sides of the track…
I have recently upgraded the wheels to new black Boost-inspired 18-inch alloys with terrific 275/65 R18 Cooper Discoverer STT tyres. Future enhancements will include Recaro seats, LED Headlights and a Warn Zeon Platinum winch.
Published in the November 2015 issue of Land Rover Owner. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.
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