Bringing Vintage Rovers Back to Life
By Hailey Bethke | Photography courtesy of Coolnvintage
In a world full of noise, there are few moments when we quiet the external chaos and find our center. Yet we do not always need meditation, a yoga class, or a tropical getaway to offer a reset. For Coolnvintage founder Ricardo Pessoa, driving with the windows down in a Land Rover Defender and fully embracing the road ahead is where he unlocks pure bliss. “When you drive a vintage Land Rover, you have to separate what’s important from what’s not,” he says. “Leave your phone at home. Whatever you need to take care of, do it before you hop in for a drive—because now everything is about the journey. Not a bad metaphor for how to live life, is it?”
At Coolnvintage, each Land Rover is meticulously restored by a team of detail-driven craftsmen in Lisbon, Portugal. The vehicle is completely stripped down to its chassis before undergoing more than one-thousand hours of deep work. The result? A timeless, one-of-a-kind product that operates with the look of a retro vehicle and the ease of modern driving—all while maintaining a cool aesthetic, of course.
Inspired by his lifelong passion for the iconic vehicle, Pessoa says he first tasted real freedom while driving a Series 3 Land Rover. To him, vintage Land Rovers embody simplicity, honesty, stillness, and beauty: four qualities that ground him in the present moment. In a tech-centric world, Pessoa is passionate about finding ways to appreciate the beauty that comes from the journey in front of us. Coolnvintage only takes on about ten vehicle renovations per year, pushing the current wait for one of their iconic Defenders to 2025.
To him, vintage Land Rovers embody simplicity, honesty, stillness, and beauty: four qualities that ground him in the present moment.
In the meantime, you can rent their four-bedroom luxury villa in the seaside village of Comporta, Portugal! The home, designed by José Alberto Charrua, comes fully equipped with a classic orange Coolnvintage Defender for taking adventures with friends and family and exploring the area, where the warm-hearted locals value simplicity and work ethic.
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