Churchill Land Rover

Land Rover Restoration, Land Rover Sales and Servicing

Phone Number: 01527 821 440

Should I Buy a Classic Range Rover

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
  • Tags:
  • range rover, classic cars, buying guide
  • Posted date:
  • 21-04-2021
Should I Buy a Classic Range Rover

Have you been considering: Should I Buy a Classic Range Rover? We Look at the Pros and Cons of buying a classic Range Rover. We discuss the common problems and things to check when buying a used classic Range Rover

Why Buy A Classic Range Rover? 

Although some original Range Rovers are old classics, they are still good and are capable of the same jobs as standard vehicles today, just without the special technology. Many of the early first-generation Range Rovers are considered classics now and can be used as normal vehicles. They are still practical enough as a family car as well as being capable of off-roading if needed. With this, many classic Range Rovers may still need some investment of time and money for them to be refurbished. .

Which Range Rover Classic?

Your choice for a Range Rover Classic can be crucial, and there are plenty of options out there for you to choose from. One choice is a highly-prized car two-door coil-sprung model. Many early classic Range Rover vehicles had a 3.5-litre V8 carburettor engine, but this engine was replaced in 1984. The new replacement for the Rover V8 carburettor was by an electronic fuel injection with an enlarged capacity of 3.9 litres, then improved to 4.2 litres in the LSE long-wheels base model.


Within the engine, three diesel engines had been fitted at the time. The first was the Italian 2.4-litre VM unit which had an unusual individual cylinder head design. The other two were the more dependable and practical of the designs, which were 200Tdi and 300Tdi Land Rover Units. With many of these diesel, they give good service, even if the service is relatively slow. 

What should I check?

When you are looking for a good Range Rover Classic, there are a few things that you should check. Checking for damage on the interior trim is important, which includes the headlining. Checking the chassis for rust is also a good start but checking the other body structures for rust is also essential. Some of these checks will include; rear tailgate, rear load floor, underbody, inner wings, A-posts and B-posts, and the door shuts. With the checks, you should be wary of any LPG conversions that have taken place unless they have been certified and serviced with them.  

WHAT SHOULD I CHECK in a Classic Range Rover

Also, many of the V8 engines required oil changes to work for longer periods of time. With this, you should check for a good service record that comes with the Classic Range Rover you are trying to purchase. Also, look for a quiet top-end soon after startup. If the top-end is too noisy, this may indicate that the vehicle will require a new camshaft and valve gear. 

Many of the later models of Classic Range Rovers received more electrical gadgets, so they will need to be tested. It can't hurt to check the transmission wear/noises coming out of the vehicle as well to be sure. 

Common Problems

Many common problems can arise from buying and owning a Classic Range Rover. The V8 engines are very thirsty (meaning they go through a lot of fuel), and the diesel gives the feeling that the Range Rover is a bit slow. With this in mind, choosing a 300Tdi engine is probably one of the best options you can have. 

Depending on the vehicle's age, body rot can be a serious issue and can also be expensive depending on the degree of rot there is. Also, conversions to the engine that are not standard can directly and seriously impact the vehicle's overall price. The impact on the price is that many consider the change to the engine reduces the car's authenticity. 

Price guide

With the price guide, a standard project price can be between £18,000 to £31,000. 

An average quality vehicle can go between £31,00 to £52,000. 

A good quality vehicle can cost between £52,000 to £75,000. 

With an excellent quality classic Range Rover vehicle, the cost can go between £75,000 to £100,000. 

The price for each classic car can change depending on the market as well.

Range Rover Classic inspection checklist 

Trying to buy a good Range Rover Classic can be rather tricky today as many have already been sold or are in too bad of a condition for people to see worth in them. It would be best if you kept in mind a few things when deciding whether to buy a Range Rover Classic or not. Some of these include:


The V8 engines were exclusively fitted to these Range Rover Classics until 1986, and the best way to keep the engine alive and the vehicle was to change the oil every 6000 miles or so. Without the oil change every so often, the camshaft wears down rapidly and worn down camshafts can soon lead to hefty repair costs later on, especially when it is cold. Concentrating on the oil pressure gauge can be useless if the Range Rover Classic is pre-1984 as many of the gauges aren't very accurate with their readings. Also, the engine has been known to work relatively good with low pressure anyway. 

The fuel-injected rovers can also suffer from starting problems and causing misfiring or airflow meter glitches. Also, the fuel filter (sometimes found on the nearside inner wing) can sometimes be removed, which can cause fuel systems to get clogged up. 

Although the 200 and 300TDi engines are better than VM units, they must have the timing belt replaced every 60,000 miles, and oil must also be changed every 6,000 miles. 


Gearbox: The Gearbox has been known to make noises with its four-speed, so don't be alarmed if they make a bit of noise. However, if one gear makes more noise than others, you may need to have it checked out. Regular off-roading can cause some issues like oil leaks and cracks in the casing. So checking for them is a good option as well. 

  Suspension and brakes: 

Steering box oil leaks can cause an MoT failure, but using replacement seals will fix this for a short time. A Boge Nivomat strut in-between the chassis and axle. Although this is not cheap to replace, it is not overly expensive either, making it okay in many circumstances. The handbrake works on the rear shaft of the transfer gearbox. If this is used to slow down the vehicle, it can damage the half shaft, prop shaft and even the brake shoes.  

The handbrake works on the rear shaft of the transfer gearbox. If this is used to slow down the vehicle, it can damage the half shaft, prop shaft and even the brake shoes.


Although corrosion in the tough ladder frame chassis is usually, it is not impossible and can usually be seen over the rear cross member. The aluminium outer panels can get damaged rather easily and then begin to corrode, especially where the alloy joins the steel structural panels. It would be best to focus on the area where the front wings meet the inner pannes. Many post0-1985 Range Rover cars have aluminium panels that are bolted to the steel frames. This means you should begin to check any front footwells, sills and the rear floor.  

The rust within the upper half of the tailgate is quite common, so checking the seams and bottom corners can be beneficial. The earlier car tailgates don't last very well. Ensure that the locks for the top half of the tailgate are not seized open. 


Many of these seats were trimmed using PVC until 1974, when the cloth was added instead, and leather was added as an option in 1988. Many cars are trimmed using cloth or leather now as the PVC makes it almost impossible for repairs. The electronics are relatively simple in the earlier models of Range Rovers, but the fuze boxes can still go brittle due to the heat. If the Range Rover has had a tow fitted, check to see how they have integrated the wiring into the vehicle.  

For more information of how our service could be of benefit to you contact us to discuss your needs on 01527 821 440.