GALLERY: Go Behind The Scenes On Our Range Rover Classic Film Shoot
You might remember the Caccavos from one of our earlier films, wherein we visited Dean, DonnaRae, and Austin to profile the family and their trio of BMW E28 5-Series, and although the M5 is a certifiable heirloom at this point, on our most recent check-in with them we found a group of British trucks in place of the German sedans.
Range Rovers have been a part of Dean and DonnaRae’s lives for decades now, but when their son Austin—who basically grew up in the back seat of one—started to view the SUVs as more than just suburban familymobiles with lots of leg room, the Caccavos found themselves experiencing a kind of Range Rover renaissance that saw each of them owning a Classic from the early 1990s. Better yet, they are using the trucks to the full range of their capabilities, from Home Depot runs to snowboarding excursions to exploring the woods for the sake of it.
They’ve also proven, unfortunately, the Range Rover Classic’s capacity for lifesaving. Last Christmas, the family was returning home from an off-road outing when a driver in the oncoming lane drifted over the double yellow and into the front end of the Range Rover. The truck was totaled, but all three of its occupants walked away from the ordeal, in the process catalyzing their appreciation for the machine that had previously only been tested on the metrics of enjoyment.
Range Rover Classics had been in the family’s garage and driveway for decades—they bought their first in the late 1990s—and it seems that the affinity is all but genetic. Growing up in one though, Austin was never particularly interested in the Land Rover brand, preferring sports sedans to 4×4 SUVs to navigate the grids and canyons of greater Los Angeles. His dad’s Range Rover Classic was thought of as a perfectly fine family hauler but not much more than that. Over the course of the last few years however, he came around to the charms and capabilities unique to these British workhorses, and developed new ideas of what constitutes an enthusiast vehicle. After moving north to a section of California more topographically suited to outdoor adventuring off the asphalt, he found a Range Rover for himself, one that he describes as “the worst one he could buy off of Craigslist.” That was the totaled in the accident, and the ’91 Classic that replaced it has been the opposite of a lemon.
Dean and DonnaRae’s interest in Range Rovers goes further back, with Dean remembering when he’d read about them in magazines before they were offered for sale in the US. He eventually found one to buy in the late 1990s that had been kitted with the era’s top options—think car phones—and has kept one in his possession ever since. He never expected three of them to occupy his garage, but it’s actually a rather practical setup, seeing as how diverse the truck’s use cases are, along with the fact that once you’ve learned how to maintain one doing so for three is easier than starting from square one on something different; when a family friend came to visit at the new house, he asked upon seeing all them together “So one of them runs and the other two are for parts?” Dean laughed and said they weren’t Toyotas—they all work. Maybe an incendiary claim for the FJ faithful out there, but all in good fun.