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How To Love A Land Rover: Part One

Thus Sunday marks a truly sad day in Automotive History.  As of January 29, 2017, it’ll be exactly one year since Land Rover stopped making the Defender.  Remember when that happened? People completely freaked out. ‘No more Defender’ they cried. ‘OMG this is THE END’ they screamed. ‘Buy, buy, buy’ called every collector with an extra pile of cash.  Because of this, I’ve noticed more and more Landys on the Westside of LA and even more in the Hamptons.  One thing is clear: America’s Land Rover love affair is stronger than ever.

But loving a Land Rover (and I’m not talking about any pussy Disco or a posh Range Rover either) takes a particular skill set. I’m here to tell you what’s required before you take the plunge.

Stacie Burrows (of Mommy Tonk) gets it.

Step One: Toughen The F*ck Up

I owned a Defender 90 in the late 90s and I’ll tell you this.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  After a week of driving it, I could crack a walnut between my thighs.  While this had its obvious advantages (for both bikinis & weenies), the unforgiving clutch was tougher than a John Deere.  So you’ll wanna put on your big girl panties before getting behind the wheel.

Step Two: Think Like A Queen

The original celebrity endorser of the Land Rover is this badass bitch:

photo courtesy Land Rover USA

Now Queen Elizabeth could probably get a handful of Spandex-clad hotties to cart her around Balmoral if she wished.  But she doesn’t. You know what she does? She puts on some gum boots, a dumpy sweater, a gorgeous silk scarf and gets her royal ass behind the wheel.   She is also entirely capable of fixing them herself, after being trained as a mechanic during WWII.  So ladies, if you’ve got a dog in your purse, go get a G wagon.  Gentlemen, if you’re into bedazzled designer jeans, be prepared to suffer the wrath of this guy:

photo courtesy: Land Rover USA

Step Three: Let Go Of Clean


land rover

The Land Rover (Defender, Series, etc) is meant to get dirty.  So when you join the Landy tribe, you’ll need to retire your wax and toss your chamois in the trash.  My mom’s Series IIa was cleaned solely with child labor & rainfall:

Series IIa Land Rover

If you’re wondering about the hair cut, that was the year I got scissors in my Xmas stocking.

Step 4: Get The Hell Outta Town

Land Rover on a beach

A friend spotted this camping in Malibu.

Land Rovers were designed to go places. No, not places like the mall.  Places like the desert, the mountains, the bogs of Scotland, whatever floats your boat.  (Of course Land Rover made a floating Rover back in the day.)  This is the car that can take you across the desert using just a roll of duct tape and your own urine, so don’t waste it on paved roads.

photo courtesy Land Rover USA

Step 5: Chill

If your Landy love has just begun and you don’t find yourself currently with a noisy, smelly, unpredictable British beast in your driveway, have no fear. The Defender replacement is reportedly coming in 2019.

For the next chapter, I’ll review a tricked out Defender from East Coast Defender.


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