Regretful Abuse: 1985 Range Rover Two-Door

A few years ago, I would have told you to give away a Range Rover Classic if you had the misfortune of owning one; today, not so much. These 1980s icons are on the rise price-wise, and in Europe sales of early two-door examples have seen some incredible dollar figures go up. We never received the two-door body here, which is why it’s borderline criminal to see a RHD import like this one here on eBay clearly used as someone’s off-road battle axe. 

It’s not hard to see why Range Rovers of this era – even one specially imported – fell into the pattern of abuse on display here. Like any decent 4WD vehicle, the cheaper they become, the more their utilitarian roots are exposed. No longer are you riding in a commuter vehicle with lambswool carpets that could go off-road – no, you’ve got a Civic for a commuter and this is your trail rig or farm vehicle. I still scratch my head, though, at going through the hassle of importing this Rover just to use as an offroad apparatus.

Classic Motorist summed up the appeal of the Range Rover Classic perfectly: “To those of us raised on traditional Land Rovers and the tough as nails Land Cruisers, the Range Rover was an absolute revelation. Here was a car that looked aristocratic, was more comfortable than most cars on the road and was a world beater off-road.”  That’s this vehicle in a nutshell, before its interior was ruined, with tattered cloth seats and a missing instrument binnacle and horn button. The abuse didn’t stop on the outside, that’s for certain.

Curiously, a previous owner has executed a seemingly clean engine swap with a later-model Discovery-spec 200TDI diesel mill fitted to a 5 speed manual transmission. Whether that occurred prior to importation or after is unknown. Despite the wanton abuse, this is a special vehicle to find in the USA and is worthy of restoration. For a Range Rover enthusiast, the work is never done, but not having to find one to import is a big checkmark on a presumably long list of “To Dos.”


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  1. XJSLord

    You could find a decent one for about 3000 pounds and import it for about 2000 dollars (from experience, I imported a 1986 defender). That brings the final price to around 5500$. You’ll get a much better condition car that won’t require as much repairs as this junk. The 3400$ current bid is madness

  2. Coventrycat

    No thanks. British and beat up is a great way to throw money away, if you’re into that sort of abuse.

  3. Adam T45 Staff

    The best part of these was the sweet little Rover V8 engine. They made these a smooth and luxurious vehicle. With that gone and the general condition of the rest of the vehicle, I think that I’d pass on this one.

  4. Simon

    I’ve got a 74 2door and an 83 4 door if anyone wants them

    • Bill

      I had a ’74 2 door LHD for a few years and miss it, if you still want to part with yours let me know.

  5. Pa Tina

    You need a lot of self-esteem to drive one of these.Half of your body is visible when you are sitting in those barber chairs they used as seats.

  6. John

    To quote Monty Python, “Run away! Run away!”

    • Pa Tina

      To quote Range Rover, “I’m not dead yet!”

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