The third-generation Range Rover was launched in 2001, and within a couple of years it was becoming awfully common outside prep schools and golf clubs everywhere. After all, this was the luxury car of choice for yummy mummies and captains of industry alike, which is why at the end of 2005 British company Stratstones of Mayfair introduced a Mk3 Range Rover with a difference.
Built for those who needed to stand out from the hordes of Vogues that lined the pavements around Tarquin and Portia’s prep school, the Mayfair was a stretched Range Rover posh enough to put all of those nasty standard examples in the shade.
The Range Rover Mayfair was conceived by Mayfair Vehicles, an offshoot of Stratstones of Mayfair, and the king-size SUV was elongated by either 300mm or 600mm, depending on the depth of the owner’s pockets. The car in the pictures had the poverty-spec treatment, so it was just 300mm longer than standard; this was by far the most popular of the two lengths on offer. At £52,990 for the 300mm extension, and another 20 grand for the 600mm, it was no surprise that very few chose to go for the full monty.
Of course the stretch was just the start of the expense, as Mayfair Vehicles was very keen to maximise its clients' spending. To that end there was a panoramic glass roof option which was a snip at just £5970, and while you were at it you may as well have spent another £3500 on the accompanying electric sun blind. And there was no point having a limousine without ticking the box for the reclining rear seats (with a central fridge, naturally). In which case that was another £13,990 thank you very much.
Within weeks of the Range Rover Mayfair's unveiling a few Brits had already signed up for one, but unsurprisingly it was Dubai that proved to be the most popular market. At the time Mayfair Vehicles’ Jason Manning commented: “The Range Rover has a massive following but it’s not roomy enough in the back. Our car resolves that, but as it’s just 60kg heavier than normal, it drives like a standard car. You don’t even need a new vehicle; a used one will do”.
Because the Mayfair had been developed for diplomats and captains of industry, there was the option of full armouring. That potentially added another £150,000 to the cost of the car, and rather more than 60kg, so you really didn't want to be asking for the full armour-plated treatment if your start point was an asthmatic TD6 powerplant up front…