The Range Rover and their various types on Paris Dakar Rally:
as a winner on the first edition in 1979, the Range Rover has been a part of the rally history till the 2000 years. Hard to tell how many took part, with more or less success and above all, what is of some interest for us, the many versions and modifications…………..
The 1979 winner, 4th behind 3 bikes was more of less a basic vehicle, with 3 persons: Genestier-Terblaut-Lemordant, it has been reproduced as a transkit, to be fitted on a Heller plastic kit by Graphyland, and then by Norev in their press Dakar collection; Starter used to have a built up model on a Gaffe basis in their Dakar winner collection.
In 1980 we begin to see much modified cars, and the Range Rover offered a good opportunity, just to tell about some ones: the Bastos cars with all the openings made of soft materials, the pick-up of Neveu, the José Lourseau’s , Granja with a magnificent colour scheme…..
1981 will also see much modified cars, The Rubson one, shortened pick-up, and some almost « works » cars as the Metge-Giroux VSD sponsored car, which will be a winner in Dakar. This model has been reproduced first as a transkit for the Heller plastic kit (the only Range model available at the moment) by the Automodelisme94 shop who became « the » specialized shop for Dakar models, then by Starter , on a Gaffe specially made basis in their built-up Dakar winner range, and finally by Norev in the press Dakar collection.
In 1982, the Autorama driven by René Metge and Bernard Giroux, once more VSD sponsored, did not finished, and it is a new one, Pierre Lartigue, on a E.T.T. prepared car who will be the fisrt Range to see the finish line in Dakar, fourth overall. E.T.T. will be, with Halt’Up a well known actor for making powerful and reliable Range Rovers. The Lartigue’s car is still very near the standard ones.In 1982, a strange roofless Range pick-up engaged by Neveu, Cyril’s brother, with a sister car, only one finished 30th averal.
Lartigue’s car and the pick-up are available in the Gaffe range, although in 1983 the shop Automodelisme94 issued a Decal for the Lartigue’s Range.
In 1983, the new 110 Land Rover gave the occasion to improve the Range Rover, giving him its chassis with a lengthened wheelbase which will improve stability at high speed. Autorama of René Metge, with two VSD sponsored cars for him and Patrick Zaniroli, and a third 33 Export sponsored car for Jean Pierre Gabreau will enter the Rally, The cars are very near the standard ones, the main noticeable modification is the rear wheel arch which is forwarded, as the wheelbase had been lengthened by 25 cm! Also, the front bonnet and wheel arches are a one piece assembly. None of the 3 cars finished the rally and it is still P. Lartigue again on a E.T.T. Range with Butagaz sponsors which will be the first Range, third overall. This model has been made as an exclusivity for the Rallye Raid 43 CluB, on a Gaffe Base, and reserved for the Club members.
Many decals made by Shounet or Cubalile allow to make on die-cast or Gaffe bases many models, such as The New-Man cars of Sarrazin, but many others…..
The really much modified cars arrived in 1984, as both E.T.T. and Halt’Up used Carbon fibre and Kevlar to assemble 4 cars, Pacific sponsored for J.P. Gabreau and P. Zaniroli and Malardeau sponsored for X. Lapeyre and G. Dupart; the cars have the lengthened wheelbase, the front and rear ends have no more to share wiyh the standard cars, the doors are shortened in width and height. Zaniroli will finish second and Gabreau 11th. For the models, a decal (not as perfect as it should) has been made in Italy, to fit the Heller kit, but this time Gaffe made a resin kit of the car as well as a standard (although with plain rear panels) car which allowed to make a rather more convenient version, Heller again made a decal sheet for the Pacific cars, and with some modifications, it is possible to make good models or these very colourful versions. The Gaffe made a complete kiy for the Lapeyre’s Malardeau car.
As for 1983, many decal sheets exist to make other versions.
In 1985, Plein Pot, with Raoul Raymondis use E.T.T. knowhow for their entry, two cars, a long and a short wheelbase, with same bodywork, similar to the Pacific 1984 entries. These models have been reproduced by Gaffe but are no more available. De Paoli engaged a Range with a Rover 3500 body, and alonside this car there was a Standard 2 doors car and a rear shortened pick-up styled car. You may find the three kits, many independent decals too to make more models……
1986: Halt’Up has worked on the aerodynamics of the Range body and it gives the Pastis 51 three cars engaged, long wheelbase and a streamlined body, apart the windshield and door glasses, not a lot is left from the basic Range!!
By E.T.T., and always for Plein Pot, the LWB car saw its rear end modified with a
kind of « cabin », the same will be seen on the Monroe sister car. All these models are reproduced in the Gaffe range.
Another way to get a lengthened Range, always by E.T.T. is seen on the René Boubet’s Total car, the body is lengthened on the front, the rear end beeing left standard. The model is still available in the Gaffe Range.
Still many decals made by Shounet or Cubalile for many Range models, standard, modified, E.T.T. bodies and so on…………
1987: a Rover 3500 prototype had been developed by E.T.T. but The Rover Factory decided to better promote the Range Rover as the 3500 life was on its end. That is why the Pastis 51 bodies were modified to include the new Range front end and front and rear lights, to look more like a « Range ». Two cars for Plein Pot, Zaniroli and Raymondis, and a third one sponsored by Chayto and Richemond for Patrick Tambay. This body will be seen on a lot of entrants in the following years, till the mid nineties. Zaniroli will finish second overal behind Vatanen’s Peugeot 205 T16. These kits are available in the Gaffe range.
E.T.T. made two cars almost identical to the 1986 ones, for Canellas (7th ) and Porcar (10th), with Camel Spain sponsoring, models available also.
Many decals available too for making other models.
1988: near the Peugeot, it was necessary to have a less heavy car, this was achieved with the Proto Rover, developed by Halt’Up; on the now reliable lengthened chassis, a new smaller and more slim body appeared. Four Camel Sponsored cars for P. Tambay, P. Zaniroli, S. Canellas and Smith. Tambay will finish 4th and Smith 5th. Kits available in the Gaffe range. By E.T.T., three almost identical cars for R. Boubet Gould sponsored, and Camel Spain cars for Porcar and Capdevilla, always LWB cars, but this time without the « cabin » seen previous years, and different front ends between Gould and Camel cars, the doors now have the standard dimensions. The Gould car is now unavailable, but not the Camel ones, always by Gaffe. Many Range Rovers engaged, and we can see many Halt’Up modified bodies: Miller (Telefunken), Pozzoli (Itas), Feider (Mercator), de Brauwer (Dhollandia)……………….declas to be seen by Shounet or Cubalile.
In 1989 and later, the Proto Rover from Halt’Up will continue to challenge the Peugeot and other Mitsubishi on the rally. The ultimate evolution will appear again with Halt’Up on the T2 Range Rover, with a cantilever base suspension. Raymondis with his Leclerc sponsored car, S. Servia on a Trident entry, Tambay on a Matrama Range in 1992 used this type of car.
It would be too long to enumerate here the existing decals for Range Rover models, the choice is enormous, by Shounet or Cubalile mainly and the bases exist to make almost all the existing real cars………….