By on December 31, 2020

A gray, two-tone shape crossed the screen of my phone. What followed was one of those moments where one has no idea how to identify the thing upon which they are gazing. The Facebook ad was titled “1986 Other Other,” but what was it?

Presenting the Lands Precedent Sportswagon, from 1986.

It’s a bit difficult to gather information on the Lands, but the various sources around the interwebs do boil down to a consistent tale. The Lands Motor Company was established in the mid-Eighties by an unknown party, who saw the potential for a new kind of automobile. The goal was to combine the practical shapes of a wagon and minivan into a six-passenger luxury conveyance. A Precedent, if you will.

The shape was designed by Alain Clenet, who owned a coachbuilding company. Clenet made his name building the Neoclassical coupes popular in the Seventies and early Eighties, albeit of higher quality than many other examples. The mechanical portion of the Precedent was engineered by the well-known Corvette modifier Dick Guldstrand.

Guldstrand jumped ship to Ford and selected a Mustang 5.0 to power the Precedent. He combined it with the Corvette’s rear end since it was friendly to modification. The van-wagon body was made from fiberglass and used steel doors from a Citroën CX. The rear end’s large glass hatch contained integrated rear lights, which were borrowed from a Trans Am. Wheels for the Precedent were unique, and designed by Pirelli. You’ll recognize the headlamps from a Lincoln Mark VII. The whole car has a Nissan-meets-Discovery vibe to it, with Gladiator conversion style luxury.

Inside, utmost attention was paid to detail and the use of luxurious materials. Real rosewood trim covered many surfaces, while seating was stadium-style, and passengers lounged in captain’s chairs. There was also a television in the center console and an electrically-powered liquor dispenser.

The Precedent project cost a reported $1 million and saw two completed Sportswagons roll out of a factory in Elkhart, Indiana (a town known for conversion vans). One completed example was white, the other gray as shown here. One or the other has popped up on the internet over the years, usually with little information. Seemingly after the first two Precedents were complete, the company vanished.

Today’s subject is the gray one, which is presently for sale in Alabama for $9,500. With 6,324 miles on the odometer, it’s seen better days. The listing pictures are terrible, but we’ve found some from other sources when the Precedents were in better shape.

 

 

[Images: sellerseller, seller]

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36 Comments on “Rare Rides: The 1986 Lands Precedent Sportswagon, Ultimate Obscure Luxury Van Time...”


  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Part of me REALLY like the cobbled-together Robocop-era 80’s look and feel of this thing – kind of like a Civic Wagon, Colt Vista, or Stanza Wagon who took said their prayers, ate their vitamins and so on and thinks this is one of the coolest rides seen in a long time.

    The other part of me takes one look at it and the build quality and wonders what happens after one large crater pothole and can imagine the entire house of cards that is held together with tape, bonding agent, and blind luck and can imagine it folding up like a cheap lawn chair.

    For $9500, you’d have one hell of a conversation piece (at least.) Hopefully it comes with the cardboard box or milk crate already attached in the way back that holds the loose pieces and trim that gravity took over!

    • 0 avatar

      The front end is especially Colt Vista.

      I can imagine driving this down the road to the cacophony of rattling trim. I was initially wondering if it used Aerostar suspension bits, since I think it would be too much weight to work with Mustang.

      But it would’ve been in development at the same time as the Aerostar. So maybe it used Fox LTD stuff.

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        There is a very large rear hump elevating the third row so there has to be the beefed up Vette rear keeping things hopping around, especially when there is no one back there.

        And I wonder if the rear liquor dispenser still works?

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          That shifter handle is straight out of an Aerostar/Ranger/Tempo/Escort.

          Cars that use bits of trim from multiple makes/models creep me out. Prowlers have no business being exotic Intrepid/Stratuses inside. It causes cognitive dissonance.

          Are those Cavalier headlamps with Cadillac turn signals?

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            @iNeon

            The shift is Aerostar and the HVAC controls are also Ford. I believe the gauges are Ford also. The headlights are off the Mustang as I understand it.

    • 0 avatar

      Robocop era look was Ford Taurus. Nothing to do with Civic, Colt or Stanza. It looks like pregnant Taurus.

  • avatar
    chris724

    Utterly bizarre!

  • avatar
    salguod

    I kinda love it, but I can definitely hear it creak and rattle through the pictures. My aunt drove a old, used up, worn out conversion van in the 90s and the inside of this gives off very similar vibes.

    Oh, and those look more like Mark VII headlights than SVO Mustang.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    It truly looks like something that Clarkson, May and Hammond cobbled together in a shed in the Midlands.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    It looks like it smells of Cheetos and kid puke :(

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I always wondered where the designers of the Mercedes Benz R-class got their inspiration.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Looks like it can drive you straight to your final resting place.

  • avatar
    PSX 5k Ultra Platinum Triple Black

    I just can’t help but see so much Chevy Lumina APV minivan in the front end of this car. I know this preceded the Lumina APV, but I still see a very strong resemblance to the Lumina APV.

  • avatar

    I wish I did not have this car. But if (it was EV) then (I would consider) else no.

  • avatar
    Mackey

    Like many here, I’m sick and I like this thing for it’s pure 80s ‘future’ design, with execution that brings together a hodgepodge of random parts, with the glorious fit and finish issues that assuredly plague these things.

    I feel like Tyler Hoover (Hoovies Garage) needs this in his collection- seems like the perfect home.

  • avatar
    chris724

    In the last picture, what’s on the right, below the stereo? Super-luxurious cassette holders?

    • 0 avatar

      Mercedes had that too.

    • 0 avatar

      I had the cassette holder in my Euro Toyota and it was very handy. Duran Duran was mostly played. My next statenik kind of car had CD changer which I rarely used. Preferred to listen to rightwing radio talk shows which were plenty in Bay Area back then. Like Ronn Owen’s talk show in the morning or Michael Medved (Bear in Russian) when driving back home.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        I used to think a CD changer would be cool. My brother had one with the cassette of CDs in his trunk and I thought that was the coolest thing, but it never happened for me.

        Now I’d just like a CD player for areas where I don’t have good cell signal. I refuse to pay $18/mo for SiriusXM, can’t stand talk radio, and am not a fan of listening to the same 7 song set on repeat all day like you’d find on pop stations. In the market I find myself there are about 4 pop stations, Jesus radio, 6 country stations, 1 rockish station and I think a hip-hop station. Most have 7 song set lists which largely overlap. Enough to make a same person run screaming. Consequently, I tend to listen to Pandora on shuffle and there are a few zones where the signal is spotty. I used to pop a CD in during those periods, but my current car doesn’t have one. I’d even settle for VW’s solution where they plop the drive in the glove box.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          tankinbeans,

          I love the CD changer in my car. Almost never touch the radio. We have more pop stations where I live, but they are pure torture like you describe — playing the same songs three times an hour. FM is forty stations of slop — AM, I don’t even go there.

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      I’m pretty sure the cassette organizer is Ford parts bin like the rest of the switchgear shown.

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      I’m pretty sure the cassette organizer is Ford parts bin like the rest of the switchgear shown.

  • avatar
    RHD

    The rear lights are in the INTERIOR of the vehicle. I guess it was easier to do it that way.
    With such low miles, it might be almost worth the asking price just for the parts. The buyer (and the seller) have to figure out if its historical value is important or not. TTAC’s readers are also trying to figure that out. Kelley Blue Book isn’t helping out at all.
    On the other hand, what else can you buy for $9500 with less than 6,500 miles on it? (And why is the mileage so low?!)

  • avatar
    thegamper

    That is truly a unique piece. Love these really obscure vehicles.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The headlight assembly with the signal and side markers look like they’re off of a Lincoln Mark VII. The overall front appearance looks like a Merkur Scorpio. The rear is very influenced by the Toyota Tercel “Jesse Pinkman” wagon.

  • avatar
    renewingmind

    Considering they spent $1 million and made two of these, $9500 is a bargain. But the low miles tells you reliability … is going to be an issue. Still want it though.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Who’s gonna save it?

  • avatar

    What you get when an ‘85 Buick Century and an ‘85 Honda Civic Wagon had a baby…

  • avatar
    AlexMcD

    This is the answer to the question: If you gave a pile of random car parts to 1,000 monkeys could they design a car in the dark, while on LSD?

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