24th March 2020

Overfinch: style and substance

Overfinch, the original name synonymous with making Land Rovers go faster. Ironically, that wasn’t its original name. Founded as Shuler Press in 1975, the name by which it’s famously known was only adopted in 1985 when it became the UK-based specialist.

The company’s original foray into helping the gentleman’s finest 4x4 to fly was a package that included a set of quad Dell’Orto carburettors to aid the Buick-derived V8’s breathing, complemented by additional tuning bolt-ons. However, that was very much only the start, as Shuler Press worked closely with Land Rover to finely hone future iterations of the Range Rover Classic design, including developing a three-speed automatic gearbox in 1979 alongside a close-ratio five-speed alternative.

A Shuler-prepared Range Rover even won the gruelling Paris-Dakar rally in 1981.

Things really stepped up a notch in 1985, when Overfinch celebrated its independence and announced itself to the market with a Ministry of Defence deal to provide fully armoured Range Rovers. More than thick-gauge bodywork and toughened glass, the armoured cars featured heavily reworked chassis to cope with high performance and significantly increased weight.

For its mere civilian customers, 1985 also saw Overfinch launch its 570 S model, which featured a 5.7-litre GM-sourced V8, four-speed automatic and a host of bespoke styling and interior touches. It became clear that Overfinch wasn’t just about performance, but style and luxury, too.

The company continued to broaden its horizons, also turning its attention to the venerable Land Rover Defender. The farmers’ favourite was comprehensively re-engineered to feature the same iconic 5.7-litre V8, an Overfinch high performance transfer box and luxury hitherto never associated with the ladder chassis classic.

Over the next 10 years, Overfinch continued to evolve its range of enhanced luxury and performance Range Rovers. To mark a decade of its now famous name, the company launched its super-car baiting 570Ci; arguably the pinnacle of Range Rover Classic development.

In 2000, the 630R version of the Mk2 ‘P38’ Range Rover moved things along further, boasting more power and luxury than ever before as a celebration of 25 years in business. Overfinch also trademarked its Air Ride Technology suspension system, confirming its reputation as specialist engineers and a cut above the growing number of Land Rover tuners.

Latterly, Overfinch has continued to thrive. It’s launched award winning designs, a litany of special editions and bespoke packages for the latest generation of Land Rover’s growing range. This includes models developed to meet specific market requirements, such as North America.

Do you have a V8 Classic enhanced by Overfinch, or perhaps you have memories of small-block fuelled high jinx when the company burst on to the scene? We’d love to read your experiences below.