It started with an exasperated post in my own Facebook timeline, bemoaning the abysmal parking on my street (see below), and how people cheerily seem to enjoy partially blocking my drive for no good reason. You won’t be seeing many posts like this from me in the future, but for some reason, last weekend really got to me, perhaps heightening a slight feeling of cabin fever I have in my current home.
Anyway, some of the comments were hilarious. My mate Angie said, ‘So a Sophie out there who can’t spell as well as can’t park (and presumably, drive) has left you with a tantalising quest to find the right person. What’s that ‘M’ for, I wonder… ‘Moron’?’ Rob added, ‘Just reverse out and fuck it up’, while Adrian quietly stated, ‘Get an old Defender and wipe the stupid front (and number plate) off.’
In my personal messages folder, my old Mucker, Jason Kennedy, said, ‘if you really want a Land Rover, mine’s going spare. It’s due its MoT on the 12th February, it’s had the usual welding most recent years but far from a basket case. Its actually in Northampton at the moment and I guess it’s worth £300 as it will probably need a battery.’ And from there, the inevitable happened, a deal was done, and I’d become the owner of a very nice 1998 Land Rover Discovery Aviemore edition. There’s nothing like a spite purchase.
Actually Jason wasn’t wrong. It really is a long way from being a basket case, and that’s evident in the fact that Jason’s had the car since 2006, and he’s absolutely doted on it, even nominating it for AROnline‘s Car of The Month feature back in 2008. You can read all about that over there. It’s led a life, mind, having been seriously off-roaded in its time, but you’d not really know to look at it – at lease since I washed it – basking in the parting words from my (Discovery-mad) MoT tester, ‘that’s a good ‘un, look after it.’
But I’m getting ahead of myself now. I went to collect the car from Jason’s mate, Craig Gwinnett, who’d been looking after the car, and he drove it back to me on account of me losing my lift – interestingly, I noted that it went very well, easily keeping up with the appalling Vauxhall Mokka that I had the misfortune to be driving that weekend. Logistics done, I booked it in for an MoT, and come the Tuesday I rolled it in for the test, it came as no surprise to learn it had failed.
But actually, it wanted very little, other than a small patch of welding and a few bulbs. Total cost to get through was £150, which in my book is a very big win. So what am I left with? A really straight Land Rover Discovery 300TDI Auto in a very nice colour, and which drives very indeed. It stops straight and true, and happily cruises at 70mph. It ever has its original load cover, and a very useful dog guard. On the commute to work, it’s superbly relaxing, and it feels like it’ll storm down to the south of France without a wobble – which I might just do if I ever get the time.
Jobs to do? Put better speakers in, stick a standard grille and front valance on it, and… enjoy! thanks, Jason, I am now back in the British car owners’ club.
I’ll keep you posted.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.