Friday, May 3, 2013

My Land Rover Memories...

Land Rover is currently celebrating its 65th birthday since the launch of the iconic Series I. I thought I would add my Land Rover ownership to the mix...

I had my first Land Rover experience as a kid growing up in Namibia.  A friends dad picked us up in his new Series III.  I can still recall the white, five door station wagon.  With no seat belt restrictions, the two of us jumped across from the rear bench seat into the back tub and chose a spot on the rear side facing seats.  My friend mentioned to his dad that we should bounce the Land Rover - I had no idea what he meant, but recall his Dad doing a u-turn on a tar road and the Land Rover bouncing in the turn. I know now that he must have engaged the centre diff and performed the u-turn, causing a major wind-up of the axle and the outer wheels bouncing to remove the tension.

Like many overlanders, I like my 4wds and have owned a few which I have thoroughly enjoyed driving...
Here's my list of my Land Rover history in order of date owned (starting in 1999):

1968 Land Rover Series IIa - 2.286d
This old Land Rover was my first foray into Land Rover ownership.   She was as noisy as a tractor and as slow as a donkey but she looked the ideal vehicle for a short overland adventure around Southern Africa.  Her brakes, radiator and electrics kept me glued to the local mechanics.  You can read my very amateur blog (early internet days) via To Africa and Beyond.

1994 Land Rover Discovery 200Tdi
This Land Rover was a pure pleasure to drive even if the sunroof leaked, and the clutch pedal required a heft shove to disengage.  I owned her for over three years, and started to modify her for overland travel whilst deciding if this was the right vehicle for a  full trans-Africa trip.
Average fuel consumption: 9.36l/100km
Sold her to fund the next vehicle...

1991 Land Rover Defender 200Tdi

Fully kitted for overland travel and having already completed 3 Trans-Africa trips, this was the vehicle for me.  You can read all about my trip on www.bigsky-adventures.com and all the additional overland adventures this Land Rover Defender has completed: Six Overland Trips
Average fuel consumption: 11.73l/100km

1995 Range Rover 4.6l (P38)

What a car to drive... but what a car to service and maintain.  Loved the 4.6L V8, hated the fuel bill.  Loved the space and ease of driving, hated the entry level computer diagnostics and the complex servicing.  Sadly sold due to running costs!
Average fuel consumption: 16.77l/100km



2000 Land Rover Freelander TD4


Wife loved it. I tolerated it.  Enough said.
Average fuel consumption: 8.57l/100km

1972 Land Rover Series III - 2.286d

This was one of my favourite Land Rover's to own and drive. I loved the simplicity, the canvas roof, the underpowered 2.286l diesel engine and the whine of the overdrive.  You can read a few more blog entries about this SWB Series III - Canvas Roof & 4wd Fun.  I regret selling her as she was close to original factory condition but still required plenty of maintenance.  I would buy one tomorrow if the family budget allowed for a 3rd vehicle... I still have a dream of doing a desert trip in a Series III SWB.
Average fuel consumption: 12.16l/100km


1996 Land Rover Discovery 300TDi

Having recently moved to Australia, vehicle prices have surprised me so an older Land Rover met the budget restrictions.  Kitted with rear shelves, 50mm lift, bullbar and snorkel, this vehicle has already traveled a lot of Australia with its previous owner and in my ownership is constantly exploring.
Average fuel consumption: 12.22l/100km

I am unsure what my next Land Rover will be as the current Discovery 3 & 4 models, including the Range Rover's are slightly beyond my budget and the maintenance costs scare me off.
Perhaps a Discovery TD5 will be the next vehicle however these vehicles are aging and might require a high level of maintenance.

Interested in more memories?  Read Scott Brady's Inspiration message.