What is it?
Somewhere that looks like nowhere particularly special, in a nest of workshops behind a petrol station forecourt on the A40 just to the west of Oxford, is a place where one of the most influential British cars ever designed - the original 1970s Range Rover - is being brought back to life.
Kingsley Cars is the kind of place you need to see in order to really believe that it exists. Proprietor Damon Oorloff has nurtured it from personal obsession to burgeoning professional operation over the past twenty years. There are now a number of firms in the UK that’ll offer you a ‘remastered’ Range Rover, but Kingsley is the sort of firm on which those other firms almost wholly depend because they do the really important structural restoration work, and know these cars top-to-bottom and inside-out.
Oorloff runs it with a mixture of passion, compulsion, thinly-veiled mania and expert skill for these much-loved aristocratic SUVs, and expects nothing less of the twenty-something technicians he employs. The dime tour would be worth ticketing all on its own, if only more car folk even knew where to go to find it.
Kingsley offers a number of restored and ‘restomodded’ Range Rover Classics, having most of what it needs to strip, weld, recommission, repaint and rebuild them on site; and it has just added this, a special model intended to avoid London’s new ultra-low emissions zone charge.