Thursday, June 21, 2012

SUV Of The Day: June 21, 2012

Today's car of the day comes from Dean-O-mite's collection and is Playart's 1970 Range Rover Classic.

The Range Rover Classic is a 4x4 luxury SUV series built by British car maker Land Rover from 1970 to 1996. It was the first generation of vehicles produced under the Range Rover name. For most of its history, it was known simply as the "Range Rover"; Land Rover coined the term "Range Rover Classic" for the brief period the model was built alongside its P38A successor, and applied the name retrospectively to all first-generation Range Rovers.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Range Rover Classic

This is a fairly nice casting from Playart, although I am sure the rear bumper on mine got messed up somehow, somewhere along this toy's history, as it just doesn't look right in the position it resides currently. The front corner lighting was detailed by me.

The original car was not designed as a luxury-type 4x4, much like other utility vehicles such as the Jeep Wagoneer of the United States were. While certainly up-market compared to preceding Land Rover models, the early Range Rovers had fairly basic, utilitarian interiors with vinyl seats and plastic dashboards that were designed to be washed down with a hose. Convenience features such as power assisted steering, carpeted floors, air conditioning, cloth/leather seats, and wooden interior trim were fitted later.

The Range Rover was a body-on-frame design with a box section ladder type chassis, like the contemporary Series Land Rovers. The Range Rover utilised coil springs as opposed to leaf springs, permanent four-wheel drive, and four-wheel disc brakes. However, the latest iteration uses a monocoque body structure. The Range Rover was originally powered by the Rover V8 engine. Later models were powered by a 4.4 L BMW V8, until the introduction of a 3.6 litre TDV8 engine.

One of the first significant changes came in 1981, with the introduction of a four-door body. Until then, Range Rovers only had two doors, making access to the rear seats rather awkward. These doors were also very large and heavy. Several companies offered conversions to four doors in the late 1970s.

Like other Land Rover vehicles, most of the Range Rover's bodywork skin is constructed from lightweight aluminum, save for the two-section rear tailgate, and the bonnet on all but the earliest models. Apart from minor cosmetic changes, the body design changed very little in its first decade. However, whilst utility Land Rovers had body panels rolled from a single sheet of aluminum, the Range Rover used aluminum panels hung on a steel 'safety frame' (a method pioneered with great success on the Rover P6 saloon). This allowed the bodywork of the Range Rover to carry much greater structural strength via the steel frame whilst retaining the corrosion-resistant and easily repaired aluminum outer panels.

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