CUS­TOM: LSA RANGE ROVER

SO YOU WANT TO GO OFF ROAD? WHY SPEND $150K ON A BRAND NEW RANGE ROVER WHEN YOU COULD BUILD A 556HP SU­PER­CHARGED CLAS­SIC?

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents - WORDS DAVE CAREY

RANGE Rovers are di­vi­sive ma­chines; some swear by them, oth­ers won’t touch ’em with a barge pole. For our mate Ben Sum­bloke, there was no dilemma – buy a de­cent Rangie, then make it 10-foot tall and bul­let­proof. “I’ve al­ways loved Range Rovers,” Ben ex­plains. “I had a 1976 short-wheel­base as my first car and never re­ally looked back.” He fol­lowed up his P76-pow­ered shorty with an ’88 and an ’89, be­fore mov­ing up to the 1993 long­wheel­base LSE you see here. “There were only 150 of these sold in Aus­tralia, so they’re hard to find and very sought-af­ter.” Hav­ing said that, Ben didn’t pay drug money for it: “I of­fered the seller some­thing stupidly low which they re­jected; then made an­other of­fer slightly less stupidly low and they let me have it,” he laughs. While the Range Rover hadn’t copped much abuse or ill­con­ceived al­ter­ations when he bought it, that didn’t stop Ben ship­ping the car di­rectly to Les Rich­mond Au­to­mo­tive (LRA) in Mel­bourne for its hard­core ‘Firestorm’ build. “Some guys take their cars to LRA for an en­gine con­ver­sion or sus­pen­sion up­grade, but the ‘Storm Se­ries’ cars are fully re-en­gi­neered from the ground up,” says Ben. “That be­ing said, I may have gone a bit crazy.”

PHOTOS BEN HOSKING

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