Range Rover 38a: Why we love the second-generation version
Range Rover Classic values are still rising while P38 prices stay low. Which should you go for?
T he original Range Rover was like nothing else before it. With coil springs offering a supple ride, a V8 engine providing generous muscle and unrivalled off-road performance, the Range Rover quickly became a must-have status symbol.
It was – and remains – classless beyond fashion but new blood was needed after 24 years in production. Enter, in September 1994, Project 38a. Many of the old car’s familiar traits – castellated bonnet edges, slab sides, the famous split tailgate – remained, but the styling was new and the interior a completely different story.
The two generations appear similar, but while the original basks in a warm glow of affection, the P38’s BMW-derived running gear and reputation for unpredictable bad behaviour instantly made it the Phil Collins to the Classic’s Peter Gabriel. Replacing a legend was never going to be easy, but Land Rover’s decision to keep the Classic in production until 1996 – two years after the P38’s launch – did the new car no favours at all.
The question is, should you follow the crowd with a sensible Classic, or take a chance on the more modern – but potentially more unruly – P38? We believe we have the answer.