RAY MASSEY: Reborn is reincarnation series of cars produced by Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic Works


RAY MASSEY: Reborn sounds like it could be an aged rock band – but is the reincarnation series of cars produced by Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic Works division

Ray Massey Motoring Editor For The Daily Mail

Reborn sounds like it could be an aged rock band – but is in fact the reincarnation series of cars produced by Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic Works division.

The company’s experts from Ryton-on-Dunsmore, near Coventry, hunt down old, collectable and salvageable examples of the firm’s best loved vintage cars — and bring them back to life.

Out for a spin: Ray Massey revs up the Reborn Series 1 Land Rover

Out for a spin: Ray Massey revs up the Reborn Series 1 Land Rover

Out for a spin: Ray Massey revs up the Reborn Series 1 Land Rover

You can see some of them in action at this weekend’s Goodwood Revival in Sussex. I have been behind the wheel of a few of them, including the original Series I Land Rover from the late Forties, a swinging Sixties E-Type Jaguar and a pukka original Seventies Range Rover.

The car firm has tapped into the growing market for old-style mechanical ‘stuff’ — a revolt against the digital age and anything that needs wi-fi or 4G.

Other car firms are capitalising on the trend, too. Aston Martin is bringing back the classic 007 DB5 and Prince Harry had a converted electric E-Type at his wedding to Meghan.

‘Reborn’ works like this. JLR Classic’s experts scour the world for ‘base’ vehicles suitable for the ‘reborn’ treatment. They must be 80 per cent original. So what are they like to drive? Charming. With all the little niggles and nuances that you would expect from a classic car.

Behind the wheel: Taking the Range Rover out for a spin was enlightening too

Behind the wheel: Taking the Range Rover out for a spin was enlightening too

Behind the wheel: Taking the Range Rover out for a spin was enlightening too

Anyone under 40 probably doesn’t know what the ‘choke’ on a car is — never mind what it does. Yet when the E-Type began to stutter, I instinctively felt myself reaching for it to ensure it fired up correctly. 

Taking the Range Rover out for a spin was enlightening too. The shift-stick requires not only listening to the revs, but ‘feeling’ them as well.

And the green aluminium and canvas Series I Land Rover 4X4 with a 1.6-litre engine is astonishing. Its post-war construction from 1948 is simple and brilliant.

Bygone era: Anyone under 40 probably doesn't know what the 'choke' on a car is - never mind what it does

Bygone era: Anyone under 40 probably doesn't know what the 'choke' on a car is - never mind what it does

Bygone era: Anyone under 40 probably doesn’t know what the ‘choke’ on a car is – never mind what it does

Jaguar Land Rover Classic director Tim Hannig said: ‘This is a wonderful way to keep our rich automotive heritage alive.’

Driving force: The reborn Range Rover will set you back £140,000, the Land Rover Series I £75,000, and the Jaguar E-Type (pictured) £295,000

Driving force: The reborn Range Rover will set you back £140,000, the Land Rover Series I £75,000, and the Jaguar E-Type (pictured) £295,000

Driving force: The reborn Range Rover will set you back £140,000, the Land Rover Series I £75,000, and the Jaguar E-Type (pictured) £295,000

There’s always a catch however. The reborn Range Rover will set you back £140,000, the Land Rover Series I £75,000, and the Jaguar E-Type £295,000.

MERCEDES-BENZ LAUNCHES FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC CAR 

Mercedes-Benz has launched its first all-electric car — the plug-in EQ-C SUV — as a rival to Tesla’s Model X and Jaguar’s award-winning I-Pace.

With a claimed range of 280 miles on one charge, it will go from rest to 62 mph in a swift 5.1 seconds up to a limited top speed of 112 mph.

Premium: No prices have been announced but don't expect much change from £40,000 to £45,000

Premium: No prices have been announced but don't expect much change from £40,000 to £45,000

Premium: No prices have been announced but don’t expect much change from £40,000 to £45,000

It is the first of ten new all- electric models M-B plans to have on the road by 2025 as it ‘flips the switch’ to electric power. The battery can be charged from 10 per cent to 80 per cent capacity in 40 minutes, M-B says.

No prices have been announced but don’t expect much change from £40,000 to £45,000, I’d guess.

It will be unveiled officially at next month’s Paris Motor Show. Order books open next year for delivery in 2020. Arch rival Audi will be going live with its e-tron electric car later this month.

Such commitment is giving a real boost to electric cars as a potential for realistic pollution-free motoring.

 

VOLVO’S NEW DRIVERLESS CAR HAS COCKTAIL BAR AND SOFAS 

Cheers, Volvo. Its new, driverless car will have them queuing in the aisles, with its cocktail bar and comfy sofas.

And because it’s not you, but the computer that’s in control, you can’t be done for drink-driving — in theory.

Raising a glass: As the computer is in control, you can't be done for drink-driving - in theory

Raising a glass: As the computer is in control, you can't be done for drink-driving - in theory

Raising a glass: As the computer is in control, you can’t be done for drink-driving – in theory

It could even act as a bedroom on wheels so you can sleep en route to your destination. Real workaholics could use it as an office.

Mind you, will the authorities really trust driverless cars to have a bunch of tipsy passengers on board without one sober nominated driver to take control, say if the car’s central computer blows a fuse? 

As Volvo this week unveiled the 360c electric self-driving concept car, boss Hakan Samuelsson said: ‘It allows consumers to spend time in the car doing what they want.’

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