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The futurologist

1 year ago

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Mel Nichols | Journalist


3 January 2023

Recently, in a street in London, I saw a black 1991 two-door Range Rover. On its tailgate and flanks, in an imitation hand-written script, were the letters CSK. I wondered if its owner knew what they stood for. I hope so, for they honour a remarkable automotive engineer whose achievements included the creation of the Range Rover, and thus the omnipresent market sector it spawned.

The CSK badges declared that, thanks to firmer springs and twin anti-roll bars, along with a new 185bhp 3.9-litre version of the all-alloy Rover V8, the return of the two-door body and every option in the book, this was the ultimate version of the original 355 series Range Rover, and one of 200 built in 1991 to celebrate the Range Rover’s 20th anniversary.

Thankfully, Land Rover’s marketing department had more imagination – and awareness of the car’s birthright – than to dub the first sporty Range Rover ‘GT’ or ‘GTI’. Calling it CSK paid tribute to Charles Spencer ‘Spen’ King, the free-thinking engineer who’d been instrumental in the Range Rover’s genesis.

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