Vantagefield was founded by David Linder and Graham Chalkley in 1982. David and Graham by then were already involved in the high-end car modification bussiness working for/with companies like Rapport Engineering and Robert Jankel's Le Marquis.
Because Vantagefield never did a lot of press the name of Vantagefield isn't that well known by a large audience compared to names like Glenfrome and Wood & Pickett. However in the Middle-East Vantagefield really was a big name and the company was one of the big players in the 1980s. As Mr. Linder told me: "You don't sell more of these cars just because you're picture is in some magazine".
Vantagefield converted a wide range of cars: their core bussiness was converting Range Rovers in all ways imaginable, from convertible to stretch, from luxury upgrade with new interior to six-wheeled hunting cars. Vantagefield also did Mercedes (convertible, 1000SEL/1000SEC and stretches), Jaguar (luxury, stretch and convertible), Rolls-Royce (luxury and stretch) and even brands like Audi, Volvo, Nissan and Toyota/Lexus.
Vantagefield wasn't just a conversion company, they also had their own leather which they then sold to other conversion companies as well. At one point they were even the second suplier of leather to Rolls-Royce.
The special thing about Vantagefield is that they still exist today and they still make special car conversions (from stretched Maybachs to six-wheel, six-door Range Rovers). The main reason for that is that Vantagefield never owned their own body shops. The out sourced all of their coach work to shops that worked soley for Vantagefield. This allows the company to be able to be more flexible and they don't had to fire anybody when times got rougher. Mr. Linder told me the first Gulf War (1991) really almost got Vantagefield into bankruptcy because many customers from Kuwait wern't able to pay for the cars they had ordered because the Iraqis seized all their income.
The early 1990's: an ex-military Hummer converted by Vantagefield to a civil use version.
Text: copyright Bram Corts 2013