When the Range Rover was launched in 1970, it was remarkable just what a firm grasp Rover (the Rangey was originally launched through Rover car dealers) had on what it had created.
One of the launch adverts describes it as a four-in-one machine: a luxury car, a performance car, an estate car and a cross-country car. Other period ads portrayed the car as the choice of the rich, powerful, influential and style-driven. They were right from the off and, over the last 40 years, nothing has changed.
I can quite understand the rage that these huge, superior, machines induce in ordinary road users. There's an aristocratic hauteur about the Range Rover, which clearly risks provocation. Indeed, the way the driver is elevated above the throng, looking down on mere mortals, I wonder if it triggers folk memories of the local Lord of the Manor on his horse.
All true, but I'm a complete sucker for the Range Rover and its blinging little brother. Earlier this week I was driving four 2012-model year Land Rover products on the empty roads around Kelso and the Cheviot hills. In 18 years of this game, it was one of the most awe inspiring days of driving I've experienced.
The trees had turned and the sun was low in the clear blue sky. Piloting the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover V8 diesel along the B-roads and over the hill tops was like driving through a film set: everything was picture perfect, side-lit, like some high-budget period drama.
The effortlessness of making good progress in these cars (the Rangey's V8 flat-line 516lb ft makes it feel like a giant electric motor) and the high-point driving position combine - especially on a day like this - to deliver one of the definitive driving experiences.
Super saloon in the Austrian Alps? Sure. Ferrari in Northern Italy? Absolutely. But add a bright autumn morning in the country by Range Rover to your list. That's as good as it gets. On four wheels, anyway.