This UK firm transforms old Range Rovers into $200,000 collector cars – here’s what it’s like to drive one

A group of Kingsley Cars Range Rovers in a shop parking lot.
A group of Range Rovers. Kingsley Cars
  • Kingsley Cars is a UK firm that restores classic Range Rovers for wealthy clients.
  • The firm offers a variety of upgrades and customization, and cars can run well into the six figures.
  • A Kingsley Rover is a thing of beauty: perfect paint, beautiful upholstery, and smooth driving.
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Wealthy drivers can be a hard crowd to please. They want everything to be perfect all the time, unique to them, and generally wonderful. The problem is, car manufacturers have to cater to a broader church, leaving the well-heeled in something of a pickle.

That’s where companies like the UK’s Kingsley Cars, which specializes in classic Range Rovers, come in. Driving one, you’ll learn that a fully modified Kingsley Range Rover is a thing of beauty to behold. Its paint is perfect, its panels line up (which isn’t a given on original cars), and there’s not a stitch out of place inside.

The interior of a Kingsley Cars Range Rover.
A Range Rover. Kingsley Cars

That’s to be expected, since Kingsley’s restored Range Rovers run clients well into the six figures. With time, money, and an original, unrestored car (either procured by Kingsley or provided by a customer) to work on, the firm will create its version of Range Rover perfection.

The state the car is in doesn’t matter too much, because a full mechanical and cosmetic work-up is undertaken before the restoration starts.

A blue Kingsley Cars Range Rover.
A Range Rover. Kingsley Cars

Classic Range Rover bodies are notorious for rot – succumbing to bad weather, mud, and, for want of a better phrase, slowly dissolving over time -and Kingsley knows where it’s likely to appear. Unsalvageable panels are replaced with fresh ones, and weatherproofing is applied under the skin to future-proof the car.

The interior is stripped out, re-trimmed, and made perfect. A modern digital radio and a refreshed air-conditioning system can be added. New tech isn’t simply jammed into the existing space and left to stick out like a sore thumb – making the upgrades look natural is part of the deal.

The interior of a Kingsley Cars Range Rover.
A Range Rover. Kingsley Cars

Kingsley can go over the mechanicals as well, modernizing suspension and either updating the Rover’s old V8 engine to more than 300 horsepower or popping a Chevy V8 in its place. You can have a (lovingly and comprehensively rebuilt) manual or automatic gearbox, depending on your spec and preference.

Even without the full Chevy V8 engine upgrade, the Kingsley Range Rover is impressive. It won’t keep pace with a modern performance-tuned Range Rover Sport SVR, but you won’t get anything other than admiring looks as you go – which isn’t usually the case in the modern Range.

A group of Kingsley Cars Range Rovers in a shop parking lot.
A group of Range Rovers. Kingsley Cars

As far as ride comfort goes, the old Range is up there with the best despite its comparative age. This is, in no small part, down to the work Kingsley’s done to the suspension.

If you’re in a hurry, it’ll whisk you along in a bubble of speedy calm. The moment you come to a corner you needn’t back off too much, though do expect its tall body, weight, and physics to come into play: it doesn’t corner like a race car by any means. Drive sensibly and you’ll be just fine, riding a V8 couch.

A line of Kingsley Cars Range Rovers.
A group of Range Rovers. Kingsley Cars

It’s comparatively quiet inside as well. Tire and engine noise appear when you press on, but they don’t really become invasive. When pressing on becomes an issue, Kingsley’s custom brake system will slow you neatly enough.

Being an old car, the visibility on offer is incredible. It’s also much smaller than you might think, so it’s almost a sensible proposition for the city. Almost.

A brown Kingsley Cars Range Rover.
A Range Rover. Kingsley Cars

The thing to remember is that a Range Rover restored by Kingsley is unlikely to be someone’s only car – it’s more of a cool addition to a collection. As such, they are not cheap.

But if the price is right for you, give Kingsley a call and they’ll get to the bottom of what you want. After driving one, you’ll be wanting everything.