There was once a time when “custom” or “aftermarket” actually meant that a car would look special or unique. But at this stage in the aftermarket world, it all looks the same. Custom jobs are too predictable; wings, wheels, tires, graphics– boom, put some underglow beneath the chassis, and you’re ready for a ride night in the parking lot of your local strip mall.
Custom should be better than that. Custom should be truly different from anything on else on the road. That’s what Sam Averbuch and team lead Shawn Orr at Preval understood when they embarked on this one-of-a-kind 1995 Land Rover Range Rover woodie convertible. There are very low numbers of convertible conversions of the Range Rover- and this is the only one we know of that sports wood siding.
According to Averbuch, it’s no average woodie either. Upon closer review, the sides are not clad in wood paneling, but actually a 3D hand sculpted epoxy that brings it to life in a way seldom seen in cars.
“The point of doing this,” explained Averbuch,“was to really push what we’re doing with our product line at SEMA and AAPEX.”
Averbuch’s family has been in the Detroit automotive recycling business for four generations, and it is that mentality of reusing and recycleing that inspired this project. Combined with this business, Preval, which makes professional-grade aerosol sprayer systems. (yes, his team used their patented sprayers during the process).
But the defining element of this vehicle came from Thom Hunt, owner of Big Bamboo Studios. Hunt creates 3D designs, decorations, and background settings for amusement parks, casinos and zoos.
“In the past,” explained Averbuch, “he’s done life size structures, helmets and motorcycle gas tanks, but never an entire truck before. What we all agreed would be the most impressive design was some kind of wood siding– without killing any trees– that you could reach out and touch.”
In addition to the “wood” sculpted paneling, the Range Rover received an entire interior and exterior refreshing. They stripped the dated gold paint in favor of matte black and red, which contrasts well with the siding.
Key mechanical modifications and mindful aesthetic updates fell to Bob Bothur from Soundz Good customs in Chicago. “Bob’s work was really instrumental inside and out,” said Sam, “he was responsible for the lift, shocks, brakes, Mickey Thomson tires, LEDs and a lot more.”
Inside, Soundz Good stripped the carpeting in favor of wood floors, putting in matching wood paneling, a Kenwood sound system, and a Clarion digital front and rear entertainment system. “The interior wood really helps the car come together as a true woodie,” said Sam.
In addition to the one-of-a-kind appearance, the mechanical upgrades mean that this Range Rover has the potential to be a beast on the trail. As you can see here, it has already gotten a little dirty off the beaten path. Thankfully, some vehicles are meant to get dirty.
Before a long career of off-roading and turning heads on the street, the Range Rover Woodie is going to SEMA and AAPEX (the lesser-known sibling to SEMA). Sam is looking to wow the crowds at these shows with his team’s creation.
“We’re in the process of identifying 20 to 30 different events to bring the Range Rover to,” explained Sam, “We want to show how we did it and hopefully inspire more fun, innovative ideas, as well as create awareness for our products and the process.”
So what creation could be next for Sam’s team? If you ask him, the sky is the limit, and ideas for the next project range from motorcycles to sportscars to even recreational vehicles. Judging from how this Range Rover turned out, it seems like Sam and his team are capable of anything!