Range Rovers 1970 to 1986
  1985 RR


1970: UK Range Rover Launch

Photo: Jay's 1985 US Range Rover


This page covers the period between the introduction of the Range Rover in 1970 and its official debut in the US market in 1987. During the interim period there were a number of vehicles imported by companies that converted them to meet US regulations, and these are still seen on the road today (see picture at the top of this page).

Lynn's RRLand Rover introduced the Range Rover on June 15th or 17th 1970 (different sources have listed both days).  The Range Rover first went on sale in the U.K. on September 1st 1970.  Demand for the Range Rover was well above projections and there was a waiting list for the first couple years so Land Rover suspended plans to sell the Range Rover in the United States.  By the time Land Rover caught up with the demand for the Range Rover at the end of the 1974 model year, they had pulled out of the U.S. market due to slow sales and the high cost of meeting more and more stringent U.S. safety and emissions regulations.

Photo at right: Lynn Helm's 1975 2-door Range Rover. It had
Zenith carbs, a 5 speed manual transmission, factory air conditioning, power brakes but manual steering, rear window wiper, washer and defroster, and tinted glass.


Land Rover Managing Director Tony Gilroy requested a report that would study of the possibility of re-entering the U.S. market to sell the Range Rover. 


19851985 engine

Land Rover UK Ltd. formerly announces plans to market the Range Rover in the U.S. through a subsidiary of Land Rover-Leyland International Holdings, Ltd.

Range Rover of North America was incorporated in the United States.

The Range Rover had a totally welded frame for the first time this year replacing the bolt-together frame.  Land Rover switched to the welded frame to try and reduce the huge panel gaps that most Americans would find unacceptable on a $30,000+ vehicle.  Fuel injection replaced dual carburetors on the V8 in order to meet U.S. emissions restrictions. (Photo: Engine bay of 1985 RR imported to US by third party import company).



October 27th was the official opening of Range Rover of North America’s (RRNA) Maryland Headquarters.  The first U.S. dealers received their framed charters from Britain’s Princess Alexandra at the ceremony.  The first U.S. Spec. Range Rover (after two years of development under the code name “Eagle”) rolled off the Solihull assembly line November 18th.

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Page revised February 10, 2012