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2018 Ultimate Adventure Derange Rover

Part 1: The Derange Rover

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Verne SimonsPhotographer, Writer

A following of die-hard enthusiasts is what transforms a vehicle from simple transportation into an icon. Sure, the top of the pile belongs to Jeep—at least in the USA. That’s for several reasons. Jeep was the first mass-produced and widely available 4x4. Over the years, several models have mixed extreme off-road capability, looks, and ruggedness. But another brand with history almost as old as Jeep carries quite a bit of off-road clout internationally too. That’s Land Rover.

The problem with Land Rovers in the USA is that they were (and are) initially expensive. Parts could be expensive and hard to get too. The company just didn’t sell many vehicles here compared to Jeeps and Broncos and other 4x4s available in America since the 1940s. Also, rather than the bare-bones utilitarian models available elsewhere in the world, most Land Rover product sold in the USA were all tarted up with luxury fluff and chuff. Luxury items usually mean electronics, admittedly not one of the brand’s historic strong suits. Long life, moisture, vibration, and other factors caused the dreaded Lucas electrical systems to fail with fervor and frequency, dinging the brand’s reputation here in the colonies. But elsewhere in the world the Spartan Land Rover models just kept chugging away on farms, ranches, cities, and remote locations, for militaries, civilians, corporations, and more, often in countries where Jeep suffered the similar cost and supply problems that Land Rover suffered in the USA. Off-roading in Africa, Australia, Asia, and South America has always included Land Rover products.

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So despite this history and Land Rover’s off-road clout, Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road hasn’t messed with a Rover product for many years (if ever). But Ultimate Adventure 2018 will rectify that. We are taking the brand’s flagship Range Rover model and de-luxobarging it. It will still pay homage to Land Rover products and adventures of the past, but it will also be big, bad, and different.

With a tip of our pith helmet we say, “Cheerio, govna!” and introduce you to the official vehicle of the Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road 2018 Ultimate Adventure, the Derange Rover. With help from our UA sponsors and others, we will transform this 1989 Range Rover Classic from a neglected relic of off-roading past into something greater than the sum of its parts. As of now the project is just getting started, but we already have (or will be using) such parts as a Warn winch, a Cummins R2.8 turbodiesel, suspension parts from Skyjacker, big ol’ 38-inch Falken tires, a T-case system from Offroad Design, a pair of Ultimate Dana 60s from Dana, and some parts from Offroad Power Products. Tune in regularly. You’re not gonna want to miss this one!