Despite its almost standard looks, this brilliant two-door Classic is a unique machine, thanks to a history with one of the greatest groups in history, and its bespoke conversion by the company that would later become Overfinch.
Originally commissioned by Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, the 1981 Range Rover has been extensively modified by aftermarket specialist Schuler.
What is a Schuler Range Rover?
Schuler was the precursor to Overfinch, a household name for faster modified Range Rovers (and lately for more design-focused upgrades across the Land Rover stable). The name changed in 1985, and until then Schuler UK was a UK subsidiary of a German parts supplier. It had started offering performance upgrades for Range Rovers from 1975.
The ex-Led Zeppelin Schuler’s engine is the familiar Schuler-inspired 3.5-litre Rover V8 with a different camshaft, smoother exhaust and modified valve timing to achieve an extra 40bhp.
The firm introduced a 4×4 system by Ferguson Four (of Jensen FF fame) to couple the V8 to an automatic gearbox – something not available from Land Rover at the time. With the addition of an ABS system by Maxaret costing £1495 (over £8000 in today’s money), the upgrade package nearly doubled the cost of the base vehicle.
Schuler Range Rovers are extremely rare. Unique touches for this particular 1981 example include a premium audio system with Pioneer TS202 speakers and CD changer, and of course those Wolfrace Slog Mag alloy wheels.
Current owner, Kieron Maughan of Rockstar Cars, says: “This car had all the features that we now know as the luxury Range Rover, long before the ‘In Vogue’ edition was created, making it a Vogue prototype if you wish.”
The dials, wheel and shifter are all non-standard goodies
Range Rover ‘Led Zep’ restoration
We showed the car in print in 2015, shortly after Kieron acquired it and returned it to service. He has since pieced together its history and recently treated the car to a professional teardown.
“It received Ziebart rust protection from the start, so in terms of a two-door Range Rover it was well preserved and the chassis was very good,” Kieron tells us. “We had to replace a few panels, some sills and the spare wheel arch, but we fixed where we could to keep it as original as possible.
The Pioneer speakers have also been restored, and although the original head unit has been lost, the original amplifier remains.
“Classic Bodyworx was responsible for the bodywork and paint, and did a great job of preserving the originality,” says Kieron.
3D printing was used to create unobtainable trim pieces around the lower portions of the door openings: part numbers 390636, 390631, 390632 and 390637. ‘Jay de Jabawoki scanned and reshaped the item, redesigning the four components to accommodate modern resin 3D printing methods. Jay is very experienced in what he does so he worked with a number of different materials before selecting this particular type of resin print for the particular conditions of a heavy door slammed on it repeatedly.
Custom decals were needed for the original Wolfrace alloys as all of the existing ones on the market were too small. Kieron has used and recommends Andy to SDS racing graphics.
‘The trim has been kept as original as possible, and famous four came to the rescue many times,” says Kieron.
3D printed trims