Classic ads: Range Rover
Wednesday 24 July 2013
Ahh, the Range Rover. Who could have guessed when it made its debut in 1970 that today it would be one of the hottest automotive brands in the world? In 43 years, the Rangie’s gone from being a more civilised Land Rover for farmers to take into town at the weekend to an international object of desire, beloved of celebrities and the wealthy throughout the globe, and spawning two spin-off models in the process – the Evoque and the Sport.
With the Sport now entering its second generation – and being demonstrated in action to the public for the first time at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed – we’ve had a root through the archives to unearth this fantastic piece of promotional footage from the first days of the original.
Of course, the term SUV was barely a twinkle in a marketing man’s eye at this point, so first up, we’ll need an explanation of what this new-fangled Range Rover’s for.
“A car for all reasons,” says the slightly shaky text at the start. “It’s something quite new,” adds our narrator excitedly, before going on to tell us about the myriad niches the new model’s all set to fill. But it’s clear from the off that go-anywhere ability is the prime selling point, rather than out-and-out luxury, as with its modern successor.
Hence the opening shots of a Range Rover tearing past a pedestrian old Defender on a rocky mountain trail, before cruising around the next crag and then mounting a convenient dune. “It’s rugged,” says the voiceover, “with a proper chassis that’s really big.” Because, of course, if it’s big, it must be rugged. Or something.
It’s worth sticking with this footage, though, for the splendid shots of a Land Rover engineer bouncing around some snow-covered Downs atop a body-less frame, to prove how adept it really is off-road. Not to mention the twin revelations that the first Rangie can do “almost 100mph” and that one of its prime features is that “all its indicators can be set to flash and warn others you’re stationary”. Such decadence.
By contrast, all new Sport models get satellite-navigation, a digital radio and parking sensors as standard, not to mention a host of other toys. How times change, eh?
Unfortunately, it looks like this footage is sadly curtailed before it reaches a doubtless fittingly rousing climax. If anyone knows where the other half’s gone, we’d love to hear from them. Still, this first section offers plenty to enjoy on its own, so grab a cuppa and enjoy.
By Alex Robbins