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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Does anybody have the faintest idea why? Is it illegal in the US to have a normal gearbox ? Or a diesel engine?

It just seems totally weird to me as 90%.of Defenders were diesel and probably 99% manual. I have asked today some folks who have been many years in the Land Rover trade here and like in Europe, nobody has ever seen an automatic gearbox as factory provided in a Defender.

We have many ex US discos here, you recognise them easily because the have some sticky side repeater in the bumper and a canister under the bonnet.

Those are all v8 auto.

What about Rangies? Were they all fitted with auto boxes?

Surely the 2 doors weren't?
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Rangies were only sold in higher spec with basically every option in the US. All V8 EFI, all auto, and no two doors (even people in the UK weren't buying those anymore). Between 1987 and 1992 they could however be ordered with (electric or manual) cloth seats, no sunroof and an ABS\sway bar delete after they became standard.

The first Defenders came in 1992, 110s with only a 3.9L V8 and 5-speed manual. The next two years it was replaced by the 90 that was also 3.9 V8 5-speed only. For the final year of importation in 1997 an option for the 4-speed auto was added along with the newer GEMS 4.0 V8. The Discovery also only came with a V8 but unlike the Rangie did have a manual transmission option, maybe 5% of all Discos sold have them.

The 90\110 were imported as novelty vehicles, but otherwise Land Rover was establishing itself as a luxury brand. Manual transmissions and diesels are counterproductive to that here in the states.
 
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