2022 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1983 Range Rover 'Schuler' 5.0 V8 Wagon
|Body Work||4-door wagon|
This lot is no longer available
Jeep’s 1963 Wagoneer was the first well-equipped wagon with the versatility of drive to all four wheels. But it was the Range Rover with its delightful handling, unmatched ability over any kind of terrain and unique styling that was the true precursor of what might be termed the luxury SUV. (Comparing a 1970 Range Rover with a 1963 Jeep Wagoneer is like comparing a 1972 Mercedes-Benz S-Class with a well-optioned Mercury or Chrysler.) That’s why the Range Rover was arguably the second most significant vehicle of the twentieth century after the Ford Model T. On 17 June 1969 the Range Rover was unveiled to the press in west Cornwall. The specification was comprehensive and unique: massive box-section chassis; beam axles front and rear; Boge Hydromat self-levelling rear suspension; Panhard rod and long forged steel radius arms locating the front axle; four-wheel discs; 135 bhp 3.5-litre V8, four-speed gearbox with two-speed transfer case. But the recirculating ball steering lacked power assistance and required four and three-quarter turns lock – about the only dynamic flaw. The transmission controls were simple, a rather long gearlever, a shorter one for the transfer case and a pull-up switch for the locking centre differential. Traditional Rover engineering abounded, for example in the use of aluminium alloy for the outer skin panels as seen on the 1948 Land Rover and the 1950 P4 sedans. The rear tailgate had two sections, a framed window lifted by gas struts and a heavy steel tray. Power steering arrived later, as did a more practical four-door body and automatic transmission. Despite the Range Rover’s 3.5-litre V8, many customers wanted more power. Inspired by the example of Schuler UK who was upgrading the classic machine with a Chevrolet 5.7-litre V8, Torqueflite auto and assorted other goodies, Melbourne businessman John Hoerner, proprietor of Quadramotive, persuaded Peter Brock to supply his Group 3-spec HDT 5.0-litre V8 for an Australian interpretation of the Schuler Ferguson Formula Range Rover. Thus equipped and with a new Ferguson Formula centre differential, heavier duty suspension and more, the local Schuler Rangey came to market in 1985 at a 50 per cent premium over the standard car but was seven seconds quicker to 100km/h.