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Discussion Starter #1
I gotta ask. Can a 95 classic be a safe and reliable car?
Now before any potential flaming, yes, I have started my research (and am continuing to do so) but I don't want to invest too much time in doing so if this is just a bad idea to begin with, so here is the scenario....
This car would be for my wife. She LOVES old Range Rovers and I decided that if we were to get one, it would have to be a 95 since it seems to have the classic look with the "modern" interior and some tech.
So as I said, it would be my wife's daily to tote around our one year old and take trips to the mall and such.
The car would honestly not see much action in regards to actual driving as my wife does not work, and most anywhere she goes is within 25 miles of our house (P.S. we live on the west coast of FL).
She currently drives a 2017 VW Tiguan that we have had since November of 2016 and just clicked over 19k miles (which includes a few out of state road trips that would total roughly 3500mi.) so yeah, that averages about 700 miles a month but in actuality is probably less.
My concern is of course, safety and reliability, and here is the catch, I would NOT want to spend over $10k on one.
I am (reasonably) mechanically inclined, so some DIY here and there does not scare me off, and I would anticipate needing to put some money into the car perhaps right from the get-go.
But I don't want to be spending tons of money on repairs nor do I want the car to be down for periods of time.
I also have reservations about its safety. I suppose one gets used to all of the modern car offerings in terms of safety so I have a bit of a mental hurdle to get over when I'm thinking about a 25 year old car that's job is to transport and protect my family.
My wife has this vision of us getting one (in BRG of course) and slowly re-doing it (making sure it is reliable and re-doing the interior and putting in a stereo with Car-Play).
She thinks that once we throw some money into it that everything will just be all rainbows and butterflies, but I'm realistic.
So I guess my question is, all things considered, should I even be considering this?
If you were in my shoes, knowing what you know about these cars, would YOU go down this road?
I appreciate those who took the time to read this, I look forward to discussing your thoughts.

-Vance
 

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Of it can be safe and reliable, if properly maintained. However, many of the 95 parts are one year only.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Of course, and I don't doubt it...necessarily.
I looked over the maintenance checklist that is stickied and nothing looks TOO crazy. And yes I do realize that the 95 has lots of "one year" parts, thus, making them more difficult (expensive) to find.
But I was hoping to hear a little about some real world experience perhaps from someone who was, or is currently in a situation similar to myself.

To be honest I think I'd rather have a Disco.
She had an '03 back in high school when we first met and she loved it.
I'm not trying to talk her out of the RRC but I want to show her this thread with some real world opinions.
 

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IF she REALLY LOVES old Range Rovers she will accept the occasional technical issues (and cost) and will drive the car with safety in mind.

Because of course as a car compared to a 2017 VW Tiguan a RRC requires a completely different mindset. There will be issues and hardship (cost). Forget any high speed accident/rollover/etc which can easily be disastrous, you don't go and drive these cars at peak traffic in the dark with rain. You just take the Tiguan for that!

Obviously people on this forum all think it is worth it! When it all works these are very nice cars to drive and very practical in terms of space and comfort. I expect if you look after it there will be very little depreciation, possible even an increase in value.

The general rule for old cars is: Do you homework and buy the best you can afford. Cheap cars quickly turn expensive. Ideally you buy a car that is largely sorted. $10k is possible but is still very much lemon territory if you are not careful.

The later models are more complex with air suspension etc. There are plenty of sites where you can study the development history and aim for the most suitable year. I would agree that 1995 being such a limited run can be challenge in parts.

It also helps to work on you skills and plan to do most if not all maintenance yourself. This means you need enjoy it. Garage rates are high it will quickly add up.

Good luck!
 

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Hi vbrad26,

It’s great that you and your wife are interested in an old Range Rover. I have a 1991, which I enjoy the hell out of driving whenever I get the chance. Not to dissuade you two, but there’s a unique relationship in owning and maintaining an old Land Rover that isn’t all dark but isn’t necessarily all rainbows and unicorns either. Keep in mind that a 1995 Range Rover is really a design from 1970 that had enough updates shoehorned in to make it commercially-viable in 1995. Mechanically these vehicles are straightforward, but they can develop electrical gremlins that are hard to pin-down.

Like what @RRToadHall said, a lot of parts are unique to the 1995 model year, i.e. it’s the only RRC that uses a serpentine belt. Other issues are the air suspension, which I recommend converting to springs, and engine block cracking on the larger displacement 4.2L engines. I believe that it’s also the only first-generation Range Rover with driver and passenger airbags.

While ~$10k will net you a decent RRC, you and your wife will need to learn how to perform all of the basic maintenance and familiarize yourselves with everything under the hood, especially her if she plans on making this a daily driver. She has to know the vehicle inside and out in case it ever strands her somewhere and be willing to get her hands dirty to fix it. Owning an old Range Rover is very involved and requires dedication and religious maintenance. That said, despite all the work I’ve had to do, I’ve never once regretted owning my Range Rover. It’s a timeless design that exudes adventure, and it’ll teach you more about cars in a year than you ever though you’d know. Find a mechanic who’s deeply familiar with old Land Rovers. Buy the Haynes manual, and download the workshop manual (link below).

Good luck, let us know what you two decide

http://www.landroverresource.com/docs/rangerover/Range_Rover_Manual_1992.pdf
 

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I'm tempted to say no due to some caveats, but based on personal history I have to say yes. My wife daily drives a 95 LWB and a 2002 996TT with about half the days in each. Incidentally I paid exactly $10k for the one she is daily driving so I guess that is a yes.

In practical terms it may be a little more complicated. My total investment in the truck is well above $10k after replacing the tires that were too old to be safe, repairing lots of little things that weren't working, bringing the maintenance up to date, putting in a new battery, and some cosmetic fixes inside. If I back out cosmetic fixes like refinishing the wood and the registration and sales tax costs that are specific to my location it is more like $14k.

If you have a spare car it isn't a massive inconvenience when something breaks and a AAA membership will get it towed home or to your mechanic. Even if you have to do significant repairs on it, it is likely to be cheaper on average than the annual depreciation on a new SUV.

Safety would be my biggest concern based on your list of requirements.
 

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I would not limit your search to 95s only. As stated, lots of hard to find & NLA parts plus their prices tags are much higher. You could probably find a better condition earlier model that will be in your price range. Check some of the other Rover sites for vehicles for sale. I always feel better buying from an enthusiast.

Good luck!
 

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lots of hard to find & NLA parts plus their prices tags are much higher.
Good luck!
Fake news. Name something important that's NLA only on the soft. Meanwhile, the entire AC setup of the hard dash is not present.


To OP:

Reliable: For an old car, why not? I've had basically every cool old 4x4 there is and with a little care they'll give you the luxury of occasionally breaking down in comfort of your own driveway. Rust will rack up bills a lot faster than tending to the mechanicals.

Safe: No. Thin pillars and crumple zones from the 1960s aren't up to today's safety standards. They were good in their days and still do pretty well in rollovers but I'd obviously bet my life on the Tiguan over any RRC.

95s are the best choice for a family. Common sense controls, interior stays together much longer and a bit more behaved electrically. Went from an 89 to a 95 LWB on coils, would never go back.
 

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For a family hauler I would also recommend a LWB over a SWB. My SWB started getting very little use once I had a LWB in the driveway.
 

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We are talking about 24+yo vehicles. We raised our kids in a 1996 D1 and drove it for 16 years daily driver duty - heavy, fun, versatile and safe. I don’t think any of that has changed, but new vehicles could be considered inherently “safer”. Now we have a 95 LWB and aside from an ARB bumper, I’ve put it 100% factory stock - right down to functioning EAS. We love it and I would never put it on coil springs, it’s just an incredibly functional system! Now that I’ve invested the time and efforts to really know it (and reset the smaller, nagging issues) it is again a robust , solid vehicle.
 

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I spent five years daily driving a 93 LWB then traded up to a 95 LWB. Coming out of a 2017 vehicle will be a bit of a shock. The RRC will be slow and old feeling, part of its charm to be honest. I would strongly recommend having her test drive a couple before committing just so she knows what to expect. They have their quirks and will require maintenance. It is great advice to buy the best version you can afford to try and curb some of this. Parts support is excellent and they're easy trucks to work on. This forum will be your new best friend.

With that said, I have owned five Classics and always enjoy the experience.

Good luck and jump in with both feet and realistic expectations. You'll absolutely love it.
 
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