Sunny weather never lasts in Britain – but which cars are best for tackling the deluge?
What - Holland & Holland Range Rover by Overfinch
Where - Silverstone, UK
Date - March 2010
Price - £143,000
Available - now
Key rivals - Bentley Mulsanne, Rolls-Royce Ghost, a shooting lodge in the country
The ultimate (country) sports car for the landed gentry, this very special Range Rover embodies the best of British engineering and craftsmanship
We like - the base vehicle is already pretty special, truly exquisite craftsmanship, having a self-replenishing bar in the back, 'old money' feel
We don't like - muddy wellies will ruin the deep pile carpeting, matching guns will cost another quarter of a million, should alcohol and firearms really be stored together?
Gallery: Holland & Holland Range Rover by Overfinch
A Range Rover tuner and customiser with over 30 years' experience, Overfinch specialises in tailored Range Rovers with bespoke bodykits, wheels and interiors. Bling with a uniquely British twist, its products are sold all over the world.
Back in the day Overfinch specialised in big horsepower engine conversions for Range Rovers but these days you can buy a supercharged V8 Rangie with over 500hp off the shelf so the market for performance upgrades is not what it once was.
Hence this tie-up with celebrated gunmaker Holland & Holland, builder of shotguns for royalty, landed gentry and other well-heeled types. And with it a deliberate move away from the blingier end of the market and toward to a more traditional breed of Range Rover driver.
Given that a bespoke pair of Holland & Holland shotguns costs nearly double the £143k price tag of this customised Rangie you get an idea of the kind of market it's aimed at, the interior alone trimmed to a level likely to make even Rolls-Royce owners green with envy.
These days Overfinch's mechanical modifications rarely extend beyond tuned exhaust systems and, in some cases, beefed up Brembo braking set ups for showing off behind the firm's massive alloy wheels.
After all, when the base product is as good as this why meddle? There's a pleasingly classy V8 woofle from the exhausts though and one that's decidedly more bassy than the standard set up. It's pitched perfectly too - loud enough for added presence but not in the least bit chavvy.
Ride and handling
Again, mechanically the Overfinch Range Rover keeps all the standard features of the 2010 model year Range Rover, including its sophisticated DampTronic self-adjusting dampers whose sensors respond 500 times every second, adjusting the damping according to speed and other parameters.
Like all Range Rovers, the Overfinch isn't a car to be hustled but one that can waft like a limo on the road and then hitch itself up and go stomping across the moors to join the weekend shooting party.
Compared with some of Overfinch's blingier, footballer-spec styling options the Holland & Holland is rather more discreet and classy from the outside. But it's really gone to town on the interior, creating one of the most lavish cabins you'll have ever seen on a 4x4.
The detailing on the wood veneers is simply exquisite and the craftsmanship matches that found on a Holland & Holland shotgun, complete with engraved metal inlays of the gunmaker's diamond-shaped logo throughout.
The leather has a thickness and a suppleness simply not found on regular luxury cars, the smells and textures clearly in a different league. Which is just what you'd want after a day stomping across bleak, windswept moors.
And having blasted away at a few grouse and locked your priceless Holland & Holland guns away in the special boot-mounted cabinet you can enjoy one of the Overfinch Range Rover's other special features - a fully stocked drinks cabinet.
Obviously you'll need someone to drive you home but the ability to drive the Overfinch right into the thick of the action, drop the split tailgate and treat your fellow shooting party to a glass of Pol Roger Champagne, Balvenie single malt or Ivan the Terrible vodka is sure to impress even the snootiest of hosts.
And the best bit? For the first year of ownership this on-board drinks cabinet is, to quote Overfinch, 'self replenishing', and will never run dry. This feature alone is enough to seal the deal for many!
Economy and safety
A supercharged 5.0-litre V8 luxury 4x4 is never going to be especially eco-conscious but the 2010 Range Rover does incorporate plenty of new tech to boost efficiency, including direct fuel-injection, variable valve timing and reduced internal friction.
For the petrol 19mpg and 348g/km are still far from green, the diesel is not much better at 294g/km but at least it is able to crack 25.4mpg. Some may question the safety of having firearms and large quantities of alcohol in the same vehicle but in every other respect the Overfinch is as safe as any other Range Rover.
MSN Cars verdict
It would be easy to think of this Overfinch as a bit of a gimmick but you don't get a company like Holland & Holland putting its name to something on a whim and for the kind of folk who buy its bespoke guns this car is the perfect accessory.
And though incredibly extravagant and opulent there's a certain class about the way it's been realised that goes down especially well with customers in America, the middle east and China for whom British craftsmanship remains the pinnacle of good taste.
|Need to know|
|Engines petrol||5.0 V8 supercharged|
|Engines diesel||3.6 V8 turbocharged|
|Torque (lb ft)||461-472|
|Top speed (mph)||124-140|
|Rating||Holland & Holland Range |
Rover by Overfinch
|Ride and handling||*****|
|MSN Cars verdict||*****|
related stories on msn
Latest Cars videos
Take a lap around Road America with Paul Holton in the Rebel Rock Racing #87 Porsche Cayman ST. Paul and his good friend Jon Miller piloted the #87 in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge at Road America, part of the Continental Tire SportsCar Showcase. Paul Holton is an up-and-coming professional race driver. The 17-year... More Take a lap around Road America with Paul Holton in the Rebel Rock Racing #87 Porsche Cayman ST. Paul and his good friend Jon Miller piloted the #87 in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge at Road America, part of the Continental Tire SportsCar Showcase. Paul Holton is an up-and-coming professional race driver. The 17-year-old senior in high school is one of the quickest, most adaptable racing drivers in his class today. He plans to study Cinematography in college as he pursues a career as a professional racing driver.
Date 19 mins ago, Duration 2:44, Views 0