This is a casting I really wanted to get up close and personal with from the moment I saw the first images. I’m not a huge Land Rover nut like some of the die-hard Defender fans for example, but I’ve got a soft spot for many of their vehicles. And the original Range Rover is one of the coolest models the British brand has ever made in my opinion. Sadly due to the woeful presence of any Matchbox in the UK let alone the Moving Parts range, I knew my chances of getting one were slim to none. But thanks to fellow Lamley man Graham Heeps I finally have the chance to look at this one in more detail.
The first model to wear the Range Rover name, the first generation or “Classic” as it is now known went into production in 1970 and survived in one form or another until 1996! Originally a 3-door only model, a 4-door arrived in 1981. Designed as a vehicle that would be equally at home on or off road, the Range Rover was as comfortable winning its class at the Paris-Dakar rally (1979 and 1981) and being the one of the first vehicles to cross the Darien Gap (which it did in 1971) as it was parked on the driveway of a country house, farmhouse or indeed in front of a Mayfair or Soho apartment. Contemporary reviews were full of praise at the all round capability of the model and over 320,000 were sold. The platform of the car also proved incredibly versatile and gave rise to many coachbuilt specials as well as specialist conversions for military and emergency service use.
The Matchbox version is marked as a 1975 model and is finished in trademark Bahama Gold.
And it’s a fantastic diecast and a real credit to Matchbox. I’ve said this before: models like this prove there are serious car people behind the scenes at the orange brand. Any brand can fill their line up with supercars and JDM hero cars but cars like this are brave choices to replicate and deserve celebration.
The 6 spoke wheels look very OEM here and the beige interior is a great choice that contrasts wonderfully with the exterior colour.
The moving part here is the huge bonnet which opens to reveal a replica of the famous 3.5 litre Rover V8 powerplant.
The decal work and detail on this are very good with only a few small areas on the C-pillars where the QC has slipped but I’m really being picky. It’s a great looking little model and looked stunning in the autumn light.
This is the time of year where we Lamley writers begin to reflect on the year in diecast and put our opinions forward on what we think have been the 1/64 highlights of the past 12 months. We’ll each be picking a top 10 of 2022 at some point and needless to say this Range Rover will be on my list. Stay tuned to see what else makes the cut.
(Find the Matchbox Moving Parts Range Rover on Ebay)