1997 Land Rover Range Rover – Kensington Edition


Condition: Used VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): SALPV1448VA369430
Year: 1997 Engine: 4.6L 4554CC 278Cu. In. V8 GAS OHV Naturally Aspirated
Make: Land Rover Drive Type: 4WD
Model: Range Rover Mileage: 66,000
Trim: Kensington Sport Utility 4-Door Vehicle Title: Clear

Rover fans, EAT YOUR HEART OUT!  I even can’t stop dreaming about this truck and it’s in MY garage!  Just when you thought all the low mileage P38 Rovers had been accounted for, along comes this GORGEOUS Beluga Black beauty!  Only 66,000 miles grace this odometer!  That’s right! Read that again!  And now for the icing…this beauty is a SUPER RARE Kensington Edition!  A 66,000 mile, serviced, gorgeous Kensington!  It’s like a Cobra in a barn for us P38 fans.  I can’t wait to talk all about this truck!

Let me begin with a little background.   This gorgeous Rover was ordered as the TOP of the line truck in 1997.  Not only was it ordered with biggest engine Rover offered (the 4.6L V8), but it was optioned with the SUPER RARE Kensington Edition package.  How rare is super rare? Try 650 trucks out of almost 170,000 P38 Range Rovers ever made.  Kensington Edition were made in 1997 model year only and a $3,000 upcharge (almost $5,000 in today’s money). Aside from the dual zone climate control, sunroof, leather interior, power windows, locks, mirrors, seats, etc, etc, etc, that every P38 came standard with from the factory, the Kensington Edition took it much further!  The special package added a leather wrapped center console, loads of burled walnut covering the dash, HVAC, radio, window switches and ashtrays, a special burled walnut cupholder in the center console, leather covered emergency brake handle and a 300 watt Harmon Kardon 12 speaker sound system.  And those little details make a huge difference.  The cabin becomes increasingly warmer in feel and finish and steps up the details of luxury to a level not even seen in future generations of Range Rover.  The Kensington Edition was available in two color combinations: Beluga Black and British Racing Green, both only with Lightstone Leather with Ash Black piping on the seats.  It is truly in a BEAUTIFUL color package.

This black beauty was ordered and delivered from Land Rover in Southern California and has stayed in sunny, dry, temperate Southern California since arriving here.  It is rust free!!!! The truck was driven and kept as collector item in many regards.  It was extensively serviced by Land Rover of Anaheim and even while being driven very little, kept in dry storage, started often and serviced with dedication and care.  It keeps getting better!  Let’s continue to the service!

The Condition and Service:

This truck has been ENTHUSIASTICALLY and PROFESSIONALLY maintained and serviced and is a high standard for Rover service!

Let’s start on the engine and drivetrain:
This engine has EXTREMELY LOW MILES for the year (less than 4,000 a year!!), only 66,000 miles appear on the odometer and the entire truck shows the same care.  There has been A TON of scheduled and preventive maintenance performed to this truck to keep in near brand new condition.  The engine is very healthy and has loads of smooth power!  Even while in storage this truck was started often and driven to maintain lubrication of seals and overall integrity.  It was kept in the same regard you would keep a classic car and it shows!

As part of the preventive service schedule, this truck received brand new OEM head gaskets and OEM headbolts.  This service was done within the past 500 miles as part of this truck’s “coming out of storage party”.  THIS is the maintenance you want to see on a Rover!  The truck runs COOL as can be and has never overheated.  The heads were cleaned and resurfaced as part of the service and ready to go!!

No knocks, no bangs, no burning oil, NO ISSUES!

While being serviced, the valve cover gaskets, valley pan gaskets and seals, valve stem seals, front cover gasket and upper intake gaskets, all resealed among a few other minor seals.  NONE of these were leaking, but were done in order to keep with the same high regard and care.  The upper and lower intakes, valve covers and front cover were thoroughly cleaned.  Even top of the bellhousing that is normally coated in a normal Rover scoop of oil is DRY.

Even in the oil change we don’t see skimping. What we see is a OEM dealer only Land Rover oil filter.  Not your $5 special at Pepboys.  We see a $20 OEM oil filter paired with the right 20/50w oil. Details!  Take a look at the next Rover you check out.

The radiator was flushed and cleaned in order to keep maximum flow and keep this beauty nice and cool.  The temp needle NEVER moves past 12 o’clock even with the AC on and in traffic.  The proper OAT coolant is used and brand new!

As part of the overall service a brand new water pump was installed as well!  Not once did this truck show a need for it, but it was done as part of the dedicated service to keep it in tip top shape and ready for the owner to go LOADS of care free miles.

Brand new radiator hose and valve cover breather hoses

BRAND NEW Champion coppers (the RIGHT plugs) and NGK wires.

BRAND NEW battery!! Cranks hard and fast everytime!

Brand new AC Delco belt!

Recently adjusted and tight, only a couple notches on the handle holds the truck tight

The trans was just given all new fluid and shifts great!

New gear oil in the diffs!

No scents or rattles!

Check out the overall cleanliness of the engine bay!  This is not a steam clean special.  This is a labor of love.  A consistent cleaning to keep things looking great.

Lets move to the suspension and brakes:

Brakes pads have good life and the truck brakes great.  No ABS lights!

Fully functioning and serviced EAS system!  Not spring converted! Check out the pictures to see the off road, regular and access mode settings!  This alone is an increasing rarity!  The P38 air suspension rides so smooth and soft with the EAS and truly is a treat.  Truck self levels and airs up and down quickly!

Great feeling OEM shocks.  They are soft on bumps and tight in corners.  The trucks handles wonderfully and is paired wonderful with the EAS.

4WD Low and High both work great!  The center viscous is great with no bucking or hopping in tight u-turns.

Let’s continue to the exterior:

The paint is very nice!  It is a 8+/9 out of 10 easily.  Shiny, beautiful Beluga Black paint was recently polished, finished and waxed.  It looks FANTASTIC.  CLEAN and CLEAR CarFax.  Check out the roof picture below! Mostly ALL P38 Rovers start to see serious clearcoat chipping on the roof paint.  So much so, it’s near impossible to find a truck without signs of it.  Not this truck!  There are few minor dings and flaws which are very hard to see in pics and in person, though a small ding on the hood is worth mentioning.  Remember this is a near 18 year old truck with what appears to be totally original paint, there may be some minor scratches, wear etc, but they are well below any expectation level for Range Rovers or cars of this year.  Even against more modern cars the paint will compete head to head – it really is quite nice.

Rover nuts…. this P38 wears THE tires to have: the OEM correct Michelin XPC tires with LOADS of tread!  It just keeps getting better this truck!!!! Full sized Pirelli Scorpion spare tire in trunk.

The Mondial wheels shine like crazy!  They were just recently polished and look great.  There is some minor pitting on the inner spoke side of the chrome, but because of the overall shine and shape, not very noticeable.

The bumpers are in GREAT shape and free of the typical sun fade or plastic degradation that is so common in them.  They, along with the other plastic or rubberized plastic trim, shine beautifully!  The lower grill and valance are very nice and the foglights are free of cracks or issues!  These little bits of trim quality and integrity drastically increase the look and beauty of a P38!

Rover P38 grills are known to crack in places…not this beauty!

Take a look at the pics – the plastic on these mirrors are usually faded and showing major age signs….not here!!

Also known to fade are the rear Leatherette panels beside the tailgate.  They are in great shape with no fading and shine with a deep luster!

Not to let a pebble defeat this truck, the windshield is great shape!  The door glass is wonderful shape!  Most Rovers see lots of chipping and fading on the tinted windows.  Not this one!!  Great tint.

The Rover has a factory trailer hitch and is ready to tow.  In the spot of the tow hitch is a great shape OEM Land Rover trailer hitch cap!

Nice undercarriage!  No rot or trail scars.

Onto the cabin:

The Lightstone leather seats are fantastic!!!  There is NO tears, NO split in half seams.  They are incredibly supportive with what feels like zero foam wear. The leather is SO SO SO soft and comfortable.  Without exaggeration: they are likely the combination of the best quality and comfort I have ever experienced in a P38 Rover.  I truly love driving this truck.  You sit high and comfortably in these buttery soft seats!  The Ash Black piping sets off the Lightstone leather perfectly!  The leather has been cared for tremendously and has been recently cleaned and conditioned.  Look at the arm rests!  These split at the seams if you look at them wrong – not this truck!!

The headliner is BRAND NEW.  OEM Rover headliners tend to sag over time due to poor glue.  Worry not with this brand new OEM color replacement!

Very nice carpet in the truck!  Only minor flaws if you looked hard could possibly take away from being near factory fresh.  The truck also includes the OEM floor mats as well which are in nice shape, with some minor wear.

-HVAC Panel
Take a look at the pics!  No LEDs out!  No little “textbook” error symbol!

Rover fans….seriously, you may need to get some fresh air after this one.  BOTH heated front seats work.  Did you black out?  Are you back?  Seriously though, both work!  I am just as dumbfounded as you and used them last night even though it was 70 degrees with the AC blasting just because I could.

All power seat functions work perfect!  Hard to find in a P38!

All windows work smooth and quickly!

Sunroof works great!  It is quick and smooth.  Most Rovers (IF they work) are slow and clunky.  Not here.

OEM radio is in great shape and sounds amazing!  OEM 6 disc CD changer in the trunk and works great!!!

AC is arctic cold and heat is earth core hot!

Power mirrors work perfectly!

Take a look at the pics.  The self dimming ink has not popped and bled in the mirror like 95% of other P38’s.  A true rarity!!!

Stunning wood on the console, doors and dash! Take a look at the close up pics, it is SO hard to find wood in this shape!  And all of the extra HARD to find Kensington wood is near perfect!!

The leather is very nice, no tears or issues!  It has been conditioned and feels great in your hands!

Leather on the shifter handle is smooth and soft and shifts smoothly!

The glove box is clean, the limiter strut is in place and works as it should and the box closes tight and without effort.  Another rarity!

The leather covered console changes this Kensington Edition so much from a run of the mill P38.  The soft, leathery side to the center console is much more comfortable place to rest your leg, the leather console lid makes for a wonderfully inviting place to rest your arm should you not choose the buttery adjustable arm rest.  The console lid is near perfect.  There is a small couple inch discoloration on one side of the console.

Load space cover in place (usually they are missing!) and in great shape!  Rear carpet is fantastic!

The Experience
Driving this Kensington is fantastic. It is Lexus quiet inside, pulls and handles like a sports car and is as comfortable as a Rolls Royce.  It has all the power it had from the factory and then some, and from even a little gas is torquey and responsive. I hope you can tell by my long ad that this truck is a great pre-owned and beautiful Range Rover.  It even smells new, cleaned, leathery and wonderful inside. This Kensington was a truck reserved only for the wealthiest individuals and was optioned as such.  This was nearly a $70,000 truck in 1997 as it was optioned with its rare package – over $100,000 in today’s money!  There are other P38 out there.  If you find one with more methodical service and lower miles, I urge you to buy it! Remember, Rovers take a little extra care and feeding, so a Rover with questionable, unknown or poor service history is worth little if you add up all the service that will need to be done to make it a reliable, beautiful, solid truck again.  Don’t spend big money on a truck from a “turn-em-and-burn-em” style dealer when all they do to promote the truck is say a few things they think people like to hear.  As you may tell from my ad, I know the care that these trucks need and the details that make them tier 1, from a tier 2 or worse and I hope to have addressed them to those of you that know as well.  If an ad says “Low miles and well cared for”  Ask questions!  If you don’t get thorough, well addressed answers, start planning more money and more aspirin.  This is a NO RESERVE AUCTION!  If you were to add up all of the recent items in this truck, you would find well over $7k in recent retail scheduled and preventive service.  This truck is ready to go live LOADS miles of beautiful, reliable, enjoyed life in your hands.  Don’t buy an unserviced truck for a little less than spend multiple times as much to get it to this level of service!

Feel free to ask me any questions at all.  Residents around the country I am happy to be flexible for your arranged shipper so that you can get your new truck as soon as possible.   CA residents, registration is paid up until October 2014!

My standard disclaimer/mantra for any car regardless of service or price: The truck is sold with no warranty.  You are buying a used car.  Eventually every car will break, if you find one that doesn’t please let me know.  I do my ABSOLUTE BEST to offer only cars that are of TOP NOTCH service.  I am not a dealer, just a guy who loves Rovers (among other cars) and hope to pass along my passion and fervor for these trucks.  That said if ever you encounter an issue I do my best to provide advice, direction or even parts if I have them.  Please understand that it is a used car and will have minor signs of use.  That means please do not expect a showroom brand new truck. Please adjust your expectation level to that of a 66,000 mile truck that however is well above average for its year.   This is very low miles for Range Rovers of this year, but please just remember that no 66,000 mile truck is perfect, even brand new cars aren’t perfect.  It is though a clean, VERY nice truck! Please only bid if you intend to buy.  If you would like to have an Ebay 3rd party mechanic service check out the truck I MORE than welcome it.  Please have the truck checked out before bidding and not after, if you intend to use that service. Please check your local laws and registration procedures before buying.  Please ask any and all questions ahead of purchase.  All sales are final, you are buying as-is, the sky is blue, etc, etc. Sorry to have to give the boring speech.

Please feel free to ask any and all questions!!

It’s a Rover world, we are just living in it!