We promise – this six-wheeled Range Rover by Carmichael is not a prank

We promise – this six-wheeled Range Rover by Carmichael is not a prank

The ‘classic’ Range Rover has left its imprint on everything from the western suburbs of Paris to the most opulent ski resorts, and it’s making a huge comeback these days. According to Gautier Rossignol, Director of Aguttes On Wheels, “The classic Range Rover, introduced in 1970, has become one of the world’s most iconic vehicles due to its great looks, comfort, and practicality. As a result, it has become the epitome of the chic and elitist automobile “.

Nonetheless, we have discovered enthusiasts who would be dissatisfied with a standard Range Rover. For them, this six-wheeled, four-wheel drive Range Rover sold by the Parisian auction house Aguttes this weekend may be their vehicle of choice, prompting Gautier Rossignol to smile and add, “You actually don’t need to pay 600,000 euros to drive a six-wheeler and have the pleasure of parking in front of the Ritz in Paris!”

This six-wheeled Range Rover has a unique history, particularly in continental Europe and in left-hand drive. In fact, the base will be familiar to British drivers, as it was created by Carmichael Ltd, a company that began converting Range Rovers into six-wheel drive vehicles as early as 1971. Carmichael Ltd then aimed for a commercial application with fire and rescue tender vehicles. The Range Rover with a long wheelbase proved to be an ideal vehicle, with extra carrying capacity and space for rescue equipment. There were 400 units made, with the majority being for commercial use and a small percentage for personal use. As a result, this Range Rover is extremely rare.

“The owner of this very special car, Mr D, is a Parisian antique dealer and a huge fan of long-distance adventures,” says Augustin Delalande, one of Aguttes On Wheels’ car specialists. He became acquainted with the Range Rover world through a close friend who happens to be one of the most knowledgeable Range Rover specialists in France.”

In the early 2000s, the pair decided to race across Africa in a Carmichael Range Rover. Unfortunately, an accident in the African desert in which the car flipped over ended their dream of finishing and ended the life of the car. When they returned to France, they went in search of a second Carmichael. Mr D, who still fantasized about crossing Africa, envisioned himself driving a six-wheel Range Rover in Paris to transport his numerous art pieces.

Mr D’s knowledgeable friend sourced him a white 1976 Carmichael ltd six-wheel Range Rover in the UK in 2008, which is said to be an ex-BBC car and possibly a car made to order for the Pope’s visit to the UK before it was canceled. Mr. D. bought the car on the spot and drove it back from the UK to France, which he describes as an adventure: “I was driving on my own, I had to get out of the car at every French highway tollbooth to pay, which earned me a volley of horns every time!”

The original plan was to drive this car every day in Paris, but due to reliability and rust issues, it was decided to completely restore it in 2012. And Mr D decided to do it right: the tired original body was removed and replaced with an LHD P38 lengthened body made by Christian de Leotard, the French expert on everything with six wheels. If de Leotard is well-known for his LWB six-wheeled Range Rovers, he is also well-known for designing a one-of-a-kind R5 Turbo with six wheels!

In terms of the engine, the more powerful Range Rover 3.9l V8 was chosen to replace the 3.4l V8. “Overall, this car combines the best of both worlds: a Carmichael ltd chassis with the elegant de Leotard body,” says Augustin Delalande. Let me add that this car is now a 6X4, as the previous owner removed the driveshaft connecting the two rear axles. Of course, a new driveshaft can be installed to convert it back to a 6X6 configuration.

The car, with its distinct allure, has become a common sight among Parisian art dealers. Once inside, you’ll notice how the beige leather interior has developed a beautiful patina, as is typical of a classic Range Rover. It is also enhanced by the presence of a panoramic sunroof, which allows more light into the interior. The car’s body has recently been completely repainted. Only a few flaws typical of a handcrafted assembly are visible.

“First of all, you don’t have the impression of driving a car that long, the handling is really surprisingly easy,” said Augustin Delalande, who drove the car around Paris, particularly in Place Vendôme. We drove around Place Vendôme, and all of the tight corners were’swallowed’ very smoothly. This car is deceptively simple to drive and comfortable.”

Mr D was unable to travel to Namibia in his 6X4 due to his busy schedule and recent travel restrictions imposed as a result of the global health crisis. The only solace was a recent long-distance vacation to Spain, which confirmed

For those who adore Range Rovers and want to stand out from the crowd, this vehicle is a must-have.

Photos: Kevin van Campenhout © 2022

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