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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After laying down a high bid on BAT for the Unicorn, I had settled that this was fair if the vehicle was truly a 2k mileage P38 with no major issues. That said, this board and the maintenance challenges of this model had raised legitimate concerns that I might have gotten a bit over my skiis.
The plan was to fly into Seattle and drive her 350+ miles to Sandpoint, ID as a shakedown run. Perhaps not the smartest idea but the selling dealer and mechanic had convinced me that the Unicorn was real and she was ready to roll after new rubber, airbags, tie rods, filters, 2x fluids and other accoutrements.
Turns out, they were correct and the price might be worthy - so long as she performs as well over the next 18 years. We plan to use her for light third daily driver duties including town dinner runs, regional mountain biking and hiking, and some easy local boat launching. Likely 2k-4k miles annually.

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This was the odometer display when I picked her up in Seattle on March 18, 2019.

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Per the provenance on this vehicle, the GM of LR Seattle bought her from the original owner’s estate in Dallas, TX off ebay at $27k in Fall 2018 and subsequently completed the needed upgrades and maintenance via the dealer shop foreman. Reportedly the original owner was an older lady with an orchard to run, but right after purchase she moved back to Europe and left the Rover parked streetside for most of its life, to the point where the airbags eventually deteriorated leaving the rig sitting on the bumpstops. At the time, the P38 showed 1817 miles and the second owner/dealer then put on another 200 miles to get her squared away properly. Despite my willingness to invest in additional PM or replacement parts, the Rover mechanic recommended no further work or needs and merely stated “go drive it”. FDB63722-6BDE-4C35-B999-F15F76C2B9C2.jpg
Everything else appeared as near new including exterior, interior, under bonnet, and under carriage. The only signs of its 2001 vintage were some relatively minor corroded bare steel parts under the hood and chassis, rusted rear corners on the roof rack winch plate, and some tree sap on the hood. She is only missing the new car smell.

Under bonnet has all new hoses and belts, or if original, as new.

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Before departing Seattle, I picked up an Iland diagnostic tool, basic tool bag, and AAA membership before heading out into the wild. I was jittery and paranoid when pulling onto I-90 as the Rover had not really seen any normal driving for nearly 19 years, but she purred and seemed to relish the highway. Smooth is the best description for powerplant, transmission, suspension handling. The 4.6L is not the fastest powerplant for a medium large SUV but she moves around with zero stress. The air bags began the day at full height but settled down into highway mode quickly. Handing is firm but damp without the jolt of springs/leafs on our other trucks. Wind noise was nominal despite the rack, the fairing seems to break it down well. Tension began to disappear, so I started to get to know her a bit without of course, first reading the owner’s manual.

Picked a good day as Seattle was blue skies and a record 73F temp on March 18, so started up the AC which shockingly blew cold with no odors or noises.

Stopped to see the falls at Salish Lodge and drove down into the town of Snoqualmie to indulge her with some 92 octane fuel.

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The Rover seemed to sit nearly as high as our half-ton GMC truck, but with a lower bottom window beltline that provides for copious visibility out of the huge greenhouse windows. All the glass looks original with RR UK stickers and heating elements on the windscreen - though there oddly is no rash, pitting, or spiderwebs. We tend to need to replace windshields every three years or so in the Mountain West, so the clean glass was noticeable.

Crystal clear views were tremendous:

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In her element on Snoqualmie Pass Summit @ 3k’ elevation:

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Home in Sandpoint. Drove her around a bit day 2 in town, she has now had 500+ recent miles after a long hibernation.

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Everything functions well and as intended. The only two items that were not tested are the winch and sunroof, the latter I am fearful to operate as warned in other posts on this board. I also failed in getting the Iland diagnostic tool to connect properly so will have to wait on any code reports until later this June. Out of abundance of caution, already have a new full hose and belt kit in the garage, along with two new front door latches. Much appreciate the wealth of knowledge and input from this board, despite a good start, it is much needed.

Meanwhile, the Unicorn waits for her next romp. Hella nice to stretch the legs:

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Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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52 Posts
Great to hear how satisfying your first long trip turned out---great report and photos--good for you! Looks like it found a good home.

As another first-time P38 owner, I am amazed by how quickly I have fallen in love with my H&H and it has become my go-to driver
 

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Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks folks. Will report back later this summer. Only hope the wife doesn’t lay claim to the Rover.

^Now curious to see an H&H in person, they look stunning in pics.

Apologies for the crappy formatting and duplicate pics at the end. As a noob, my started thread was not posted until a day after being mod reviewed, and I missed the 15 minute window to edit it and clean it up properly.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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1,433 Posts
I does look nice.
It has a winch on the front? I can see the winch cover.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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4,220 Posts
Indeed, that's the factory winch mount and cover - so I would be assuming there's an original Warn winch under there....

I've managed to get a hold of a factory winch mount and cover, but found that pretty much every standard winch won't fit under the cover as the free spool levers are too high.

But I digress...
Lovely looking RR, and at 2K miles... amazing! That also looks like the ultra-rare Safety Devices roof rack and ladder... she's definitely a unicorn!!
 

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Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You guys have eagle eyes. Indeed it is the original factory installed Warn winch and SD rack. Anyone have a lead on replacement winch cover bolts with the nifty half turn lock (only have 2 of 4)?

I will sandblast and powder coat the rack which rusted In the rear corners, but may need to replace the winch mount. These, the tie rod couplers (replaced) and the exhaust are the only real corrosion on the vehicle, all fairly minor.








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