In my last post I mentioned the Range Rover Great Divide Expedition. Here’s a video and some more detail about what was probably the coolest 4×4 launch in North America.
Back in 1989 Range Rover had only officially been in the North American market for a couple of years and it’s reputation hadn’t been established here the way it had been in Australia and Europe. So for the launch of that year’s model, with its upgraded, 3.9-liter V8, the company’s North America subsidiary felt it needed to show potential buyers that its new, luxury SUV could climb more than just the hill to the local country club.
To that end they offered the automotive press a genuine adventure, a 13-day, north-south loop along Colorado’s Great Divide, the spine of the continent. The route crossed back and forth across the continental divide 15 times and included a crossing of the highest pass in North America, Mosquito Pass, at an elevation of 13,188 ft.
Journalists were ferried in from around the world to “soft landing spots,” hotels and lodges along the 1,200-mile route, and then taken out relay team-style, for several-day stints on the trail. The Australian contingent wrote about their share of the adventure in a 1990 issue of Connections, The Range Rover Magazine. Click here for a Flickr set of the magazine pages.
The trip was such a success that Range Rover offered a special Great Divide Edition Range Rover for the 1991 model year. The 400 GDE models were equipped with special bumpers, badges, and, in some cases, dealer-installed winches.