Aston Martin V12-Swapped '71 Range Rover is The British Empire on Four Wheels

1 week, 5 days ago - 6 May 2024, autoevolution
Aston Martin V12-Swapped '71 Range Rover is The British Empire on Four Wheels
If you had to encompass the very essence of what it means to be British into a single automobile, what would you come up with?

Would be the embodiment of Winston Churchill, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, John Lennon, and Jeremy Clarkson all rolled into one? Would it have a Union Jack slapped across the front grille like the flag on a ship from the King's Navy and have more wood and leather in its interior to sell out a farm raising highland cows and decimate a small forest? If so, say hello to a lad called Chris Bishop.

At his shop of Bishops 4x4 in Peterborough, England, old Jaguars, and Land Rovers, unfortunately enough to be out of warranty, are subject to some of the most experienced and skilled craftspeople in the British Isles. From top to bottom, each British classic that enters this shop can be thoroughly restored, upgraded, and generally made to run properly. Easier said than done with classic British sports cars in many cases. There's an ever-decreasing number of folks qualified to work on these old British vehicles. But this most recent project from the group goes far beyond the confines of the average classic British car.

Instead, Bishops 4x4 took whichever example of the iconic Rover V8 that was once under the hood of this 1971 Range Rover Classic and promptly chucked it in the bin. In its place is a 5.9-liter V12 engine borrowed from the old Aston Martin DB7 V12 Vantage, which in its own right is also closely-related to late 90s and early 2000s Jaguar products that the staff at this shop work on to put bread on the table. With four valves per cylinder and as much as 420 horsepower at its disposal from the factory, this engine is so far beyond what the stock Range Rover Classic's motor is, and it's almost laughable.

It's hard to put into words just how much power that is for such an old British land barge like this. Suddenly, a rugged, reliable off-roader that wasn't always known for its engine power is spitting HP figures that make some sports cars seethe with jealousy. All this power is fed to a 2 ZF four-speed automatic transmission like you'd find in the old-school Land Rover Defender, as well as an LT230 transfer case and axles from the same Defender in the front and rear. With factory-installed springs and Bilstein shocks running on chinky Toyo Proxes 285/65 off-road tires, this is the kind of restomod build that can legitimately go toe to toe with the best and brightest off-roaders built in 2024.

This Rangie goes for sale at the Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire via the Iconic Auctioneers group on May 8th, 2024. If someone leaves the sale with this 4x4 for under 100 grand, they'll have stolen it. 

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