It’s often said “they don’t make them like they used to,” but now Land Rover is giving the public the opportunity to find out if that’s true.
The British maker of sturdy 4x4s is joining its sister brand, Jaguar, in offering a “Heritage Driving Experience” that lets just about anyone get behind the wheel of some classic vehicles.
As with Jaguar’s program, the Land Rover Heritage Driving Experience will be offered in the U.K. only, operating out of Land Rover’s customer test facility in England’s West Midlands.
Participants can choose from multiple packages with different mixes of vehicles, and get instruction from Land Rover’s own pros. The driving packages range in price from £85 to £250 ($130 to $384), or participants can choose to just ride along as a passenger for £40 ($61).
The entry-level “Series I, II, and III Vs Modern Defender” option is exactly what it sounds like, providing access to the off-road ready models that are arguably the soul of Land Rover.
There’s also a “Historic Drives” package, which includes both on- and off-road driving in one of three vehicles: a vintage Series model, Range Rover, or 101 Forward Control, with its unusual flat-nose design.
“Range Rover Then & Now” offers a retrospective on Land Rover’s current flagship. Drivers get to compare a classic Range Rover with a brand-new 2015 model on a track and off road.
Finally, “The Collection” includes an example of every significant model from Land Rover’s past, including production vehicles, military vehicles, and ones prepped for expeditions. It sounds like a diehard Land Rover fan’s dream.
For a carmaker that’s been around as long as Land Rover, history is a very important. It imbues the brand with a caché that goes beyond the talents and pitfalls of any vehicle it’s selling right now.
Most carmakers like to talk about their history, but Land Rover deserves credit for letting at least a few people get a much more substantial taste of it. And for exposing a fleet of valuable classics to the potential abuse of John Q. Public.