Please be aware that the specification of the vehicle above can sometimes differ as a result of the use of third party data.
The immediate success of the Range Rover caught Land Rover by surprise. Designed as a more civilised version of the crude but effective cart-sprung Series models, it soon found favour in a host of unexpected places. The emergency services loved them, the Police in particular finding their commanding street presence, near 100mph performance, large load space and emergency towing abilities just what was needed to keep Britain’s traffic moving. As ambulances they could get to the most inaccessible places, the soft springs making the overland journey back to hospital just that bit safer for the unfortunate occupants. A six-wheel fire tender made a superb quick response vehicle for the third emergency service, no self-respecting airport being without one. Maybe all that could have been envisaged, but the Range Rover’s popularity as a status symbol was certainly not foreseen. The tough ‘Chelsea tractor’ soon took up residence in most of the smart addresses in cities across the world, many of them never even venturing as far as a grass verge, let alone a muddy field. As a consequence, the specification became more luxurious as the years passed, the ‘hose-down’ plastic seats and rubber mats giving way to velour trim and carpets. In 1981 Land Rover introduced the four-door version which instantly became the ‘must have’ car to be seen in. It even brought a new phrase to the vernacular - ‘four-door’ referring to ‘a person of means who likes to flaunt their wealth’, as in: “I saw old ‘four-door’ on his way to the pub last night”. Such was the general understanding that Range Rover ownership equalled success, it wasn’t long before Harrods department store in London decided to get in on the act. They commissioned a special Harrods edition based on a four-door Range Rover through London-based customisers, Wood & Pickett. Founded in 1947, Wood & Pickett had been formed by two ex-Hooper coachbuilders who developed a successful business offering bespoke upgrades, the business maturing during the late ’60s and early ‘70s selling lavishly appointed Minis to the rich and famous. They later offered bespoke Wood & Pickett Range Rovers too, the firm being the obvious choice to partner with Harrods on their own project. The new Harrods Range Rover was offered for sale ‘in-store’ from 15th March until 17th April 1983, the distinctive cars all being painted in Harrods green livery with ‘Harrods Knightsbridge’ subtly hand sign-written on the bonnet. Externally their most obvious distinguishing feature was the new horizontally slatted steel grill, which enveloped the front-end protecting the headlights and side indicators. Further strakes carried on down the side of the car, the theme being mirrored over the rear lights. The roof was trimmed in tan everflex and a glass sunroof fitted along with an impressive array of spotlights at the front. The car sat on a set of period Wolfrace Turbovec wheels shod with BF Goodrich mud terrain tyres and wore Wood & Pickett badges on the rear quarter panels. Inside, Wood & Picket threw everything they could at it, the Recaro seats being trimmed in the finest Connolly leather, only available in Harrods green and piped in tan to match the roof, using a fine French stitch, the scheme continuing onto the lavishly trimmed door panels and facia. The instruments were sourced from Smiths and sat in a full-width bur-walnut dashboard. The car was fitted with air conditioning and every-known gadget including a computer key-pad lock for the ignition and a rear television with Betamax VCR. Entertainment was handled up front by the latest eight-track stereo. Selling for a thumping £33,500 plus VAT, most found buyers in the Middle East where it was principally aimed. One of its more interesting options was a matching 48cc folding motor cycle, although sadly this car does not have one stashed in the boot. Its first owner lived in Berkshire, collecting the car from his local dealer, Penta of Reading, in April 1983. The car retains its full handbook pack, including the plastic wallet and unstamped service book (although it does include the completed first service voucher). We do not know when he sold the car, but its second owner passed it on to a Mrs Abt in 1996 who kept the car for a further two years, selling it to the nearby British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in Gaydon in 1998. An MOT from 1996 shows that it had covered 19,087 miles when Mrs Abt got hold of it, the total rising to 32,258 when it was presented for its test in 1998 by the staff at Gaydon. They added just 187 miles to this total which now reads 32,445 miles. Gaydon decided to reorganise their collection in 2003, rationalising a large number of their vehicles, some of which had been in storage and not seen by the public for some time. Selling over 100 vehicles at auction, this fine Harrods Range Rover was purchased from the sale by the vendor to add to his collection, the car having remained on display and unused since. A letter on file from the BMIHT thanks him for purchasing the vehicle from the sale. This extremely well presented, low mileage, rare and luxuriously equipped Range Rover ticks all the right boxes. Given the meteoric rise in popularity of even the basic models of late, this looks to us like an ideal place to park some of that money which will otherwise sit doing very little in the pension pot! This car has just been featured in the Land Rover Internation Mazazine 2017