1: The Styling
The genius in the (lack of) details. Instantly recognizable old school, utilitarian, rugged, purposeful.
The original Series 1 was even more straightforward and lacked any ‘design-detailing’ except possibly the front of the fenders curving down at the nose.
Whether this was deliberate or a cost-saving exercise (presumably the latter) it has certainly stood the test of time!
Is that even a real word? A tough one to define but essentially it defines the experience of driving something that rattles, shakes, bounces, and makes all kinds of noises.
Every gearshift and rev of the engine is deliberate and the whole experience is so satisfyingly analogue.
The list is pretty much endless with dozens of things that you (or Solihull neither) may not even have thought of, such as side window demisters or those fiddly little, wide-angle, stick-on rear-view mirror enhancers or let’s sjine our light on some upgraded headlights (very handy, trust me).
Besides that, there are the obvious ones like:
- Roof racks
- Suspension lifts
- Steering guards
- Rock sliders
- Extra fuel & water tanks
- Side steps
- The list is endless…
Like the seats, for example. They go forward and backwards, and the backrest leans back and that’s about it!
No electric adjustment, height adjustment, cooling, heating, five massage functions, and active side bolsters…
And let’s not forget that the seat base comes out as well. Where else can you find this kind of convenience?
5: Sense of adventure
Whenever you get behind the wheel you feel like:
- you’re conquering outer Mongolia
- crossing the Darien Gap
- discovering darkest Africa
- or doing a far-east expedition!
So even though you’re doing the commute to work on a busy highway trying hard to keep up with traffic, mentally you’re in the Sahara following a camel track to a set of GPS coordinates.
6: the ‘Sense of knowing’
Allied to point 5 is the feeling that You CAN. Go. Anywhere!
- Climb a rocky mountain pass? Check!
- Wade through a deep river? Check!
- A muddy track? Check!
You may need to engage low range in the older models in order to tackle a particularly steep driveway – but you’ll be able to get to anywhere off the beaten track. Nothing short of a Unimog will be able to get further.
7: It’s a mobile workshop
You travel everywhere with all the tools you’ll need. Most Land Rovers have, onboard:
- Jumper cables
- Set of sockets – metric and imperial
- Spanners – metric and imperial
- Tow rope
- Tree strap
- Duct tape
- Cable ties
- Phone number of your favourite mechanic on speed dial
And you are always happily ready to help out anyone stranded on the roadside (even a Jeep). Also; most repairs are done down some dusty, mud-rutted bush track, way in the weeds in the shade of a pine forest…
They are ALL as nuts as you – maybe even more so. And they are always ready to help or offer an opinion! All of them are different – the vehicles as well as the owners…
9: Turning us all into mechanics
Easiest vehicle out there to repair – how many vehicles out there can you repair with a hammer, pair of pliers, and a screwdriver?
And let’s not forget the most important part – you’ll be spending so much time fixing it that you really get to bond with it.
And, eventually, it will cost you so much money, you can’t really afford to stop using it, right?
As you know already, every single one is unique, there are no two trucks that look alike! I would argue that the aftermarket options is a list longer than the one at Rolls Royce, and you can even get your Defender to look as sumptuous. Just don’t expect the ride to be as cosseting (go back to point #2)
Whether you need some bigger wheels and tyres to tackle the Pyrenean slopes, a set of lights for your rural country lanes, perhaps a winch and bullbar, or a roof rack for your expedition needs.
High street bling with a full leather interior, custom paint and a nice set of wheels. Or take the roof off and travel alfresco with a flapping canvas attached to a flimsy little roll hoop. Sleep in it. Drag a 3.5-ton trailer to wherever you need to.
Safari-equipped vehicles don’t come much better than this and there is a host of aftermarket improvements to be made like stronger half-shafts, diffs, gearbox ratios, and underbody protection.
11: Pleasingly Classless
I don’t know if there is a vehicle that is more classless than the Land Rover. I mean if the Queen of England preferred to drive around her estate in a 110, then it’s good enough for me.
And you can find them anywhere, whether it be carrying a bundle of hay for the cowshed; the military had them in use for decades. Utility companies, fire brigades, forestry, expedition, game viewers, offroad racing…
And then you find them, shiny and clean as ever, parked outside the Dorchester on Park Lane, Central London…
12: The history…
You know, how far back the lineage goes
- the origins
- the design
- the romance
- the character
The utilitarian origins, the military, the adventures, the expeditions
The most prominent Land Rover challenges:
- Camel Trophy
- Darien Gap
Wait a minute. This brings us back to points number 4, and 5… And 6!