Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography

No, this is not a duplicate post. Yes, this was my submission for LaLD Car Week. A review of the model was requested, and here it is a month later:

If you were to ask most people, auto enthusiasts included, what was the first luxury 4x4, the answer you receive would most likely be the Land Rover Range Rover. They would of course be wrong, as that distinction belongs to the Jeep Wagoneer. But what is surprising is that not only was the Range Rover not first, but when it was introduced in 1970, being a luxury SUV wasn’t even part of its mission. Eventually, however, the wood came, the leather came, and now the typical Range Rover owner will likely drive around a mud puddle rather than joyously splash through it. While the Range Rover has pretty much been the standard bearer of the luxury SUV segment for over 2 decades now, that achievement wasn’t enough for the folks in Solihul. They weren’t satisfied with the Range Rover just being your bad weather alternative to your S-class. They wanted it to replace your S-class altogether.

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Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
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Much like Land Rover, Welly has also has some upmarket aspirations. In addition to adding details to their basic models with the FX line, they also created the GT Autos line. Unlike the FX line, there are no basic or stripped versions of the GT Autos models.

  • Accuracy 13/15
  • Fit and Finish 13/15
  • Features 7/10
  • Value 7/10
Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
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Taking the model out of its foam clamshell, you’re immediately made aware of the model’s rather substantial heft. It’s not a concern of mine, but I do know there are collectors out there who like the impression of quality that a heavy model has, so if this is you, then Welly is off to a good start. Give the exterior a quick once-around, and it seems that Welly has done a good job in the accuracy department, with the exception of a too tall tire profile and less than realistic looking brake discs. But there are enough good things about the model to make you forgive them of that error. One of those good things is the grille. Though it’s not perforated, the depth of the casting and the paint effect applied to it really makes it stand out, even with the less than perfect paint job on mine.

Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
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Another nice features of the model is Welly’s use of separate pieces for added realism. For example, the silver trim that starts with the door “vents” going back to the taillights is made up of individual pieces. Heck even the silver strip in the tailgate is a separate piece. I have other similarly priced models where this effect is done with just paint or foil.

Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
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Of course having separate pieces does you no good if they don’t fit or line up properly. Thankfully the Range Rover has no such problems. Panel gaps and body fit are excellent with the exception of the hood along the fenders, though the shadow left by the clamshell hood could be exaggerating the issue. The worst part though is the gap between the hood and doors. My Kyosho Audi R8 has a similar problem, so maybe it’s just something with this style of hood. The paint is pretty good and the orange peel is minimal, but the metal flakes of the Firenze Red paint show a little bit of pooling along some of the panel edges, casting a slightly darker hue in the process. Inside the model is a nicely executed interior, though I wish Welly would have modeled the optional 4 seat interior. The floor and cargo area are flocked in black “carpet” while the soft touch seats are done in a nicely contrasting light bone color. Various controls around the interior are actually molded in 3D and finishing off the interior are real metal sill plates at each door. The hood opens on realistic hinges, but it doesn’t open very far. Under that hood is a typical modern engine bay, but Welly makes the most of it.

Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
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Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography

I got this model back in December for $68 from American Excellence. When I last checked about a week ago, it was still available for that price. Welly also made the model in black and white, but those versions are closer to $100. Even at that price though, the Welly still represents a good value.

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Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
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Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
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Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
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Illustration for article titled Thursday on the Thames: Welly Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography

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