Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Confessions of a Landrover Owner

26 Comments

Not all Landrovers are equal, some rattle, some leak, some are gobble fuel some are more economical; but their fans and admirers tend to be a loyal bunch.

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It is time to come clean, I use the generic term Landrover in my blog, but my brother-in-law (BiL) says I am misleading my readers.

This is because I now drive a ‘softy’ Landrover Discovery,like this.

I think BiL is just being a bit picky, because he likes to go out and play (in a considerate way) in a his ruffty tuffty Landrover 90 (hardtop) it is a bit of a boy thing.

I am sorry none ‘Landi,’ readers you must be losing the will to read/ live by now; let me flesh out the story.

15+ years ago when winters were snowier than they are now, (the expectation being it will snow soon, to the extent the local taxis ran on studded ‘snow tyres’ all winter) I needed a van, for my flower shop that could get me safely out of the lanes and off to the wholesale flower market in the Dark City at four in the morning (the loneliest hour of the day.) so I bought one of theses.

Over the years we have used our Landrovers for all sorts of adventures, pulling coal lorries out of ditches, rescuing neighbours cars form the sheet ice ‘bob sleigh’ runs in the steep lanes, bringing hay in from our field, dragging the carcass of our dead pet cow up the field (with her calf trotting along beside, so the ‘knackers man’ could take her,the mum, away; (I drove, Tom then a baby in his car seat and Mr UHDD doing the nifty work with ropes and directing me through the gate ways) not a pleasant way to spend a summers morning.

I have even helped get some one off on their way to hospital when they were taken ill and the lanes were full of snow, some of the time I wish it was a little hatch back, that didn’t need a three acre feild to turn round in but it is for when push comes to shove, it’s towing capabilities and the fact it is as sure footed as a Tibetan Yak, in snowy conditions that the Landrover continues to keep our custom.

When we had children the ‘110 Hardtop’ no longer met my requirements (bit of a squeeze up front with the baby seat, no room for another passenger.)

So now a family, we bought one of theses.

They seat 12 people, but only if they are size zero; the reason this ‘gesture seating’ is fitted (or more accurately number of seat belts) is because a twelve seater counts as a mini bus, and there fore it is exempt from VAT on the purchase price (but you need a MOT certificate from the first year) This helped to make the purchase even more attractive. Then selling the business our needs shifted again and that dear reader is how we arrived at a Landrover Discovery.

When you buy a Landrover new, you often get to go and learn how to drive them, it is a worthwhile experience, once you get over the apprehension that builds when you realise that you are going to drive it off what appears to be a cliff, certainly that’s how it looked to me at Eastnor Castle.

And poor old Inspector Gadget cant even get his 4×4 off the tarmac.

‘Large 4X4’ get a lot of flack; Stonehead describes some of the hostility he has faced from the ‘environmentalists’ when out and about in his Landrover if you have read his posts you will know how well researched, constructed and articulate his arguments are, which makes the ‘punch line’ in in ‘I drive a killer machine-apparently’ , err well, direct and spoken from the heart and very funny.

I have had the odd bit of grief, but that may be (for all I know) more to do with my driving style than my choice of vehicle But after reading Stoneheads post I shall have to give a little more consideration to the matter,should I be accosted whilst going about my business, what will my punch line be? I could always show them what I keep in the boot, it might give them a bit of a shock, should they need.

I must away now, it’s shame really, if I had the time I could have told you about the time BiL got his Landrover stuck in the bog below the outfall from our septic tank and we had to tow him out with a dumper truck.

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Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

26 thoughts on “Confessions of a Landrover Owner

  1. You know how to make a bloke laugh! I’ve never heard the deranged rantings of a Land Rover fanboy described as “well-researched, constructed and articulate” before. I’m going to be chuckling for days now.

    As for a comeback line, how about “it’s run on recycled fat, I got a great deal with a surgeon who does liposuction on people like you”.

  2. We (squaddies) went over from Ford Jeeps to LandRovers when I was in the army in the ’50s. We cleaned them, lived them, cleaned them, smelled them, and cleaned them until rescued, years later, by Mr. Demob! Got a genuine soft spot for them now, though.

  3. I’ve no problem with them being used where you are but here they are a fashion accessory and totally unnecessary, being used just for the one mile school run and supermarket shop. I rarely ever see any that aren’t gleaming, and as for driving them through seven foot width restricters or parking properly heaven help the rest of us!

  4. Echoing what Flighty says – Landys in the countryside are a necessity – you use them to the maximum ‘off road’ capabilities.

    However, the people I object to are those who compare to
    (a) my ex-colleague, who had a 4×4 for driving her son to school. This machine was always spotless – she used to take it to the car wash if it got even the smallest fleck of mud on it
    (b) the wife of the man who owned the property that my previous boss rented. We had to use the back entrance to the offices because the property (manor house with acres of land – we rented converted stables) was too posh to have sordid business people come in the front way. The back entrance was a one lane track – paved over, but not in great repair. I had a little hatchback at the time that didn’t particularly enjoy driving down it at the best of times. The Wife had a monster 4X4. When she met me head on on this track, she forced me onto the grass and nearly into the ditch so that she could keep on driving on the road…

    4X4s are not needed in a city!

  5. Oh dear, this is the sort of naive zealotry that results in people spitting at me, abusing me and throwing things at my car, simply because I drive a 4×4.

    Contrary to populist suburban thought, there are people who live in cities or large towns and need to drive 4x4s. They include landscape gardeners, builders, sub-contractors for the railways, energy companies, water companies and road construction firms, vets, farriers, farmers (yes, there are still remnant farms in some cities and many larger towns) and smallholders who live in town but have land out in the country. There are others, too.

    Also, it’s not 4x4s that are the problem in towns and cities.

    If you’re complaining about them because of emissions, then you should be targeting any fossil-fueled vehicle that’s used for an unnecessary journey. Which is worse – the landscape gardener in the 4×4 who drops his children at school on his way to work or the “green” eco-mum who drives her kids the 500m to school in her hybrid hatchback? And why target a 4×4 in preference to a a large 2WD MPV with a V6 engine? Or a 2WD coupe with a V8? Or a 2WD estate with a V10?

    If you’re objecting to 4x4s on safety grounds, ie they squish children on the school run, then are you also objecting to the big MPVs? White van man? Or the 7-10 tonne lorries used for many larger deliveries? All have poor rearward visibility compared to most small to medium cars, many have longer braking distances (especially when loaded) and all do more injury to pedestrians and cyclists than small cars.

    And if, after that, you still want to ban 4x4s, then please define which ones are to be banned and which are not as four-wheel drive is simply a drive system that can be employed for a range of reasons and purposes, on-road and off. Cars with 4×4 drive systems range from the Fiat Panda through to on-road estates like the Skoda Octavia and on-road coupes like the Audi R8 and then to soft-roaders like the Volvo XC-70, and then on to the more civilised off-roaders like the Toyota Land Cruiser and finally the utility workhorses like the Land Rover Defender.

    If you ban all vehicles with 4WD from cities, then you ban a lot of cars that only have on-road use in mind. If you start allowing exceptions, then people will find ways around the ban.

    And finally, can someone please explain the obsessive hatred of clean, gleaming 4x4s? I can understand criticising someone for wasting water by washing any car once a week, but to condemn a 4×4 owner simply because their car is clean and shiny smacks of envy, jealousy and spite.

    In actual fact, many farmers and smallholders – ourselves included – keep our 4x4s clean for reasons of bio-security. Our Land Rover is a little faded in place due to age, but it’s jet washed and disinfected quite often. When we’ve had newer 4x4s they were too, and so they did indeed gleam.

    That’s why I find the over-focus on 4x4s to be misguided and naive.

    By all means target all unnecessary journeys, by all means target cars that consume large amount of fuel and emit large amounts of pollutants (especially new cars as well-maintained old cars are actually better in all-round environmental terms), and by all means target unnecessary or unsafe traffic close to school (or better still, anywhere there are pedestrians).

    But don’t turn 4x4s and their drivers into scapegoats for all the motoring ills, or because it’s more convenient than tackling your own wastefulness.

    (And UHDD, sorry if this is a bit OTT but it’s something that does annoy me!)

  6. Stonehead I agree with most of what you say. Please note that I’m not in the least envious, etc of such gleaming motors but wish that many of the drivers of them in the ‘posh’ area where I work wouldn’t park illegally, and often dangerously, speed or often seem over hesitant in certain situations due to the vehicles size. The same area borders on the countryside and I see many similar vehicles that are clearly ‘working’ ones, which are usually being driven confidently and properly.
    There are, of course, many other types of vehicles that are overlooked as ‘road villains’ , but perhaps we should all be looking at ourselves rather than the machines. It’s your third to last paragraph which really hits the nail on the head so to speak.
    This is an emotive subject and one which, as a driver, I certainly have mixed feelings about.

  7. Stonehead, it’s OK, sounds like that was ‘best out than in’ !
    My take on this is that from a safety perspective and in regard to a vehicles ‘green’ credentials its not what you do, but the way that you do it.
    A dangerous driver can be in a Reliant Robin (I was once hit by a ‘runaway’ Robin) the driver of the ‘greenest’ car may think nothing of nipping to New York for a bit of Christmas shopping, leaving ‘security lights’ blazing and the heating on full ,back at home.
    It’s the opposite of my post earlier in the week, the beauty isn’t in the detail, it’s in the bigger picture.
    That said I found myself face to bumper with an Audi Q7,in the school car park today; it is an absolute beast of a car
    http://www.audi.co.uk/audi/uk/en2/new_cars/q7.html
    I can’t think of a vehicle with quite so much ‘attitude’ it is like something off a comic strip.
    I did wonder just what exactly the owner was ‘saying’ to the outside world, in the choice of this vehicle, I am safer than you? more assertive than you? (from what I ask)
    This observation probably pulls the rug from under my earlier comments, but hey ho I am only human 🙂

  8. I’ve had a couple of glasses of home-brew cider, so I feel much better now, thanks! I’ve even managed to see the humour in two vegans emailing me death threats. 😀

  9. Oh come on that’s half a story! do tell us more!

  10. Try meeting a Hummer or a super stretched pink Yank limo, which are fine in Las Vegas or Miami but not on roads hereabouts. Now these I am prejudiced against!

  11. Stonehead 🙂 Thanks for the words – I probably am a little bit prejudiced! It’s probably a case of pushing the sins of the few onto everyone (the same as with kids wearing hoodie tops, students going out for a drink, or cyclists that won’t stop at red lights!) – I shall try to moderate my way of thinking…

    “But don’t turn 4×4s and their drivers into scapegoats for all the motoring ills, or because it’s more convenient than tackling your own wastefulness.”

    Nah – I wouldn’t do that 🙂 I’d rather use the chavs in their souped up red junk-mobiles who use the roads in our area as a racetrack… 😉

  12. UHDD, it’s just my usual failure to toe the “green” line. I say that I try to tread lightly, but it’s repeatedly pointed out that I “fail” to stop eating meat, I “fail” to stop driving a 4×4, I “fail” to be an animal liberationist, I “fail” to be a new man, I “fail” to buy into New Ageism, and I “fail” to be a feminist lesbian. I have to say the latter would be rather difficult to achieve…

    Over and above that, I fail to let the hard-core vegan greens have freedom of speech or right of reply on my blog – except in direct response to very specific posts – Annoying the Radical Vegans, Take a Chill Pill, I drive a lethal killer machine and the like.

    As a result, they tend to get a little angry, forget their pacifist philosophies and tell me I ought to die in particularly gruesome ways. After all, while it’s not okay to hurt, kill or eat animals, it’s perfectly okay to crush, kill and destroy the beastly oppressors because they are human.

    They also react extremely badly to hard logic and get very, very wound up if you suggest their uptight attitudes suggest they might be in need of a little lurv!! 😀

    Flighty and Jo, your further comments have elevated you a lot in my estimation. People who aren’t afraid to step back and reconsider should be rightly proud of themselves. I’m not saying you should agree with me, just that it’s rare to find anyone who’s prepared to rethink their comments.

  13. Something went wrong with those links. Search for vegan on my blog and you’ll see what I mean.

  14. As a 4×4 owner myself I agree entirely with everything Stonehead has said.

    People tend to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to demonising things without thinking it through.

    My next vehicle is going to be a 52 tonne 1980s Chieftian Tank…for using when I pop to the shops and that.

  15. I take it you won’t be bothering with pay and disply then?

  16. I will adhere to the Bye-laws and Regulations of the Big City Municipal Transportation by Motorised and/or Horse Drawn Vehicles Act of 1895 and will indeed purchase a Parking Permit for the use of parking in the streets and roads of this fair city of mine…

    ….then again I just might not.

  17. I will adhere to the Bye-laws and Regulations of the Big City Municipal Transportation by Motorised and/or Horse Drawn Vehicles Act of 1895 and will indeed purchase a Parking Permit for the use of parking in the streets and roads of this fair city of mine…

    ….then again I just might not.

  18. I’d prefer a Saracen, effectively an armoured, 6×6 estate. Just the thing for nipping to the shops, collecting pig feed or taking a short-cut through Aberdeen’s rougher estates…

  19. Cheiftian Tank…heavy but packing one hell of a punch.

    Saracen…good people shifter (as in getting them out of the way).

    Scorpian Light Tank…agile, nippy and turns on a sixpence.

    My 4×4…shifts once it gets going, electric windows for speedy lobbing of missiles and/or abuse at passersby, lots of room in the back for that newspaper or Kit-Kat bought from the shop, tow-bar for dragging the trailer around with that one piece of wood in it.

  20. LOL, the people shifter has an appeal.

    Our Discovery has a little hook in the front passenger footwell, I think it’s designed for the ‘lady of the house’ to hang her handbag on, (she wouldn’t be driving unless the gentelman of the house had been at the ale, would she?) or maybe it’s the place to hang a brace of pheasants; but we use it as a ‘curry hook’ to hang the take- way on, or as it’s called in stoneheads world the carry a ‘carry out’.
    Humm, I need food….

  21. I’ve just had a thought. I think I have a photo somewhere that will amuse both Kingmagic and UHDD. I’ll scan it and pop it on my blog once I find it…

  22. If and when, you could email it to me and I will add it this post

  23. I haven’t found it yet, but I’m sure it’s here somewhere. I’m hurtling around the streets in an LP2 (the Aussie Universal Carrier). It’s the convertible of APCs…

  24. I had a 4 x 4 – my husband always wanted one – and we got one. Trouble is – it was me that had to drive it all the time. Then I reversed it off my drive – straight into my daughter’s Yaris – oh want a noise, oh what a crunch. Another time I reversed it into my neighbours car and didn’t even know I had done it until he knocked on the job and told me (the white paint on my bumper gave it away!

    Needless to say we have an ordinary car with reversing sounds !!!

  25. @Abigail, you look like you know what you’re talking about. Do you mind sending me your email address? I would like to talk more with you.

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