QOTD: Trucking Great Nineties Design in Europe?
In the Wednesday QOTD last week, we began our considerations of the truck and SUV models from the nineties which aged most gracefully. American offerings were the first up for discussion, and the majority of you chimed in to agree with my assessment of the GMT 400 trucks as some of the best-aged designs. There were so many great GMT variations from which to choose!
Today we move on to Europe, which may be more challenging.
- All selections must be model years 1990 to 1999.
- Picks must be from a European manufacturer, even if sourced from an import (eg. Opel Monterey).
- The only eligible body styles are trucks and SUVs.
Though your author will likely never own one, the gracefully aging European SUV below comes to mind readily.
It’s the charmingly blocky Land Rover Discovery II. The first Discovery model stormed the European market in 1990, as Land Rover’s first family friendly SUV. It had seating for seven people, and was much less agricultural than the Defender. Discovery was also considerably more affordable than the luxurious Range Rover, but offered some of the same brand prestige for people in the Midlands or wherever. The Rover Group drove profits by enforcing cost saving measures like switches from the Rover Maestro and Montego. In 1994, the first Discovery made its way into eager North American hands, and shortly afterward returned to dealer service bays.
1998 saw the introduction of the Discovery II. Wearing very similar sheet metal to the original, all body panels were redesigned except the skin of the rear door. Utility declined slightly with greater overhangs, but luxury increased over the outgoing version. 2003 saw a visual facelift, with more modern looking front and rear clips, the former of which tracked closer to the new Range Rover. Discovery II lasted through the 2004 model year before its replacement by the filing cabinet chic LR3. The II is odd enough to look great, even today.
Time for your Euro truck and SUV style selections.
[Images: Land Rover; Opel]
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The picture above of the Opel looks a lot like an Isuzu Trooper from the late 90s.
I honestly can't think of any 1990s SUVs out of Europe, aside from the Mercedes trucklet that they used in Jurassic Park 2. That's the only one I've ever seen. There's a G-Wagen running around here, but I think it's too new. Otherwise, that would probably be my pick.