First-ever SUV?

Auto Car (UK) - - INSIGHT -

In the early 1970s, I used to drive to work by pick­ing my way through Chelsea. En route, I of­ten saw one of the new Range Rovers in Park Walk. A green one, to be pre­cise. Some­times it was muddy, which re­in­forced the idea that it lived in the coun­try too. Af­ter all, in those days, that is where it be­longed.

Some months later, the owner added gold coach lines. He had ur­banised his work­horse, and not long af­ter that, Range Rovers be­came lux­u­ri­ous ve­hi­cles. No longer the plas­tic in­te­rior that could be hosed down on the farm. Now it was wood, leather and car­pet. The SUV mar­ket had been con­ceived.

Now nearly all mar­ques have an SUV. Even Bent­ley has one, as does Tesla and Porsche; As­ton and Rolls are both plan­ning one and Fer­rari is think­ing about it too. Range Rover it­self now has four vari­a­tions on the theme, and then there are the Land Rover of­fer­ings. It has been riv­et­ing watch­ing this phe­nom­e­non shape up over the past 40-odd years, from early Range Rover to ‘Chelsea Trac­tor’. Stephen Palmer Marlow, Buck­ing­hamshire

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