Rare Rides: The 1986 Lands Precedent Sportswagon, Ultimate Obscure Luxury Van Time

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

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: seller, seller, seller]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • Tagbert Tagbert on Jan 03, 2021

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

  • AlexMcD AlexMcD on Jan 04, 2021

    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?

  • Ted Lulis Head gaskets and Toyota putting my kids through college👍️
  • Leonard Ostrander Plants don't unionize. People do, and yes, of course the workers should organize.
  • Jalop1991 Here's something EVangelists don't want to talk about, and why range is important: battery warranties, by industry standard, specify that nothing's wrong with the battery, and they won't replace it, as long as it is able to carry 70% or more of its specified capacity.So you need a lot of day 1 capacity so that down the road, when you're at 70% capacity with a "fully functioning, no problem" car, you're not stuck in used Nissan Leaf territory."Nothing to see here, move along."There's also the question of whether any factory battery warranty survives past the original new car owner. So it's prudent of any second owner to ask that question specifically, and absent any direct written warranty, assume that the second and subsequent owners own any battery problems that may arise.And given that the batteries are a HUGE expense, much more so than an ICE, such exposure is equally huge."Nothing to see here, move along."
  • Roger hopkins The car is in Poland??? It does look good tho...
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X The push for EV's is part of the increase in our premiums. Any damage near the battery pack and the car is a total loss.