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?

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

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.

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