Land Rover breathes new life into a 1978 Range Rover, but is it worth the money?

Land Rover is giving 10 lucky — and wealthy — enthusiasts the opportunity to buy a classic, first-generation Range Rover that has been comprehensively restored at the factory. The first example in the firm’s Reborn series was completed recently, and it will be displayed in public for the first time during the Retromobile show in Paris.

Land Rover’s expert technicians began with a 1978 two-door Range Rover, a sought-after model never sold in the United States. Every single component down to the instrument cluster was removed, taken apart, and restored with new, period-correct parts sourced from the company’s Classic Parts division to guarantee authenticity. The Range was given a fresh coat of Bahama gold paint before being reassembled.

A look under the hood reveals how far engine technology has come in the past 40 years. In 1978, the Range Rover was powered by a Buick-derived, 3.5-liter V8 fed by a Zenith-Stromberg carburetor. The engine generated 132 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 186 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm. It spun all four wheels via a four-speed manual transmission.

The naturally aspirated V8 was rebuilt during the restoration process, and every part that’s visible with the hood open was given a fresh coat of paint. The engine bay looks just as good as it did 39 years ago when the Range rolled off the assembly line — if not better.

The restored 1978 Range Rover is for sale, but its price tag isn’t for the faint of heart. Buyers interested in one of the 10 classic 4x4s from the Reborn series need to set aside at least 135,000 British pounds, a figure that converts to roughly $170,000. That figure can increase depending on the model chosen and the options selected.

For that price, Land Rover fans can drive home in a brand-new Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic. It comes with 21-inch wheels, 20-way power-adjustable front seats, and a 500-horsepower V8 engine, but it doesn’t have the original model’s timeless charm or classic car smell.

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