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Land Rover Diary

Part One: A Land Rover is Bought

First Posted: 20th Aug 2010 19:53

Hello, my name is Alister, and I am a Land Rover addict.

It has been 10 years, 9 months, 23 days and 6 hours since I last had a Land Rover...

But now, I've got one again - and I won't let anyone take it off me!

Three weeks ago, I owned a 2005 Ford Focus. it was... a car. It did car things.

I was not a member of a Ford Focus forum, I did not delight in the history of the make, I didn't wave or smile at other Ford Focus owners.

It was a method of getting from A to B, with the occasional trip to the C side. (ughh, sorry).

Then, the 1.6 Turbo diesel Focus became a diesel, quite drastically, with magic smoke and everything.

My tame garage bloke sucked his teeth, and shook his head: "sorry mate" he said, "it'll cost you more than the car is worth to get that fixed properly."

"What do you mean, properly", I asked.

Turns out that to buy a new Turbo would be about £600, but then the bloke showed me an eight page fax he had received from Ford, on enquiring about the fitting procedure. Basically, any bit of the engine to do with the oil system, including intercooler, oil cooler, oil pump, sump, sump pickup filter, oil feed pipes, brake servo, vacuum pump - in fact most of the ancillaries on the engine, would have to be taken off and cleaned out or replaced, so that the warranty on the new turbo wasn't invalidated.

"By the time you've paid the labour on that lot" he said, "you could have bought a new car".

Now eighteen months ago, when I bought the Focus, I had spent quite some time gazing wistfully at Ebay, looking at all the lovely Land Rovers, before deciding, regretfully, that it would make much more sense to get a modern, economical, cheap to tax car, so I did.

So what happened? We had the worst winter for 20 years (or thereabouts) and the Focus was, not to put to fine a point on it, crap to drive on snow and ice. I live in the Peak District, half way up a steep hill with lots of sharp bends. from home, I can either go up, or down, but never flat. The Focus (an estate) seemed to have all its weight distribution at the rear, so it didn't want to steer, and it didn't want to grip. I got it stuck, quite a few times.

And now it was expensively broken.

I went to work, cursing cars in general and mine in particular. A colleague said "my cousin is selling a Landy, if your interested". Interested! I could have kissed him... but I didn't, instead, I went to see the Landy.

It was a 1997 P reg Ninety. It had no bumper, it was full of straw and farming type deposits, and it had a big dint in one front wing. The dashboard was hanging off, and strange wires appeared and disappeared from all over the interior.

BUT, it had just had the suspension polybushed, the shocks replaced, the steering rebuilt, a new front propshaft, a new brake servo, and new brake pads and calipers, the timing belt replaced, and the exhaust renewed.


I said yes. Well what would you have done?

Tune in to the next exciting episode, and find the answers to questions such as:

what is lurking under the middle front seat?

What the hell is that wire for?

Where did all my tools go?

What the butler saw...?


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