I really wanted to get out on the trail this fall and I felt like it was my turn to plan and lead a trip. I looked for a non-OU-Football weekend and found two one in September and one in November. The initial inspiration for the Capulin Volcano trip was seeing a similar trip in OutdoorX4 magazine. We had some interest in the trip from several people in the Oklahoma Land Rover Owners group but in the end only two of us made the commitment to the overland adventure.
This weekend I turned half a century old. In today’s United States of America that is no great fete. We have peace, security, great medical care, and a thriving economy (well…sorta). So turning 50 years old is pretty easy. I have always tried to take pretty good care of myself. So today at 50 years I still feel like I did at 40 years.
In 1964 Land Rover offered the iconic Series II. Imagine a configuration of a Series II and it was offered that year. It was the farmer’s friend. It was a reliable workhorse. With a Dormobile kit it was a camper. And it was a staple of overland travel in the third world. And…I want one.
Who in their right mind wants a 50-year-old Land Rover? Me.
These Land Rovers are dirt simple. They are sturdy, mechanically simple. If you have a diesel model there are about three wires under the bonnet. Electrically easy to sort out. Keep the rust off of her and you are golden.
Ideally, I’d love to own a totally restored version. You can only imagine that those go for northward of 50,000$(US). I am not a car collector. I could not possible afford to have a 50,000$ toy sitting in my garage. I would want to use that Land Rover. I would need to drive it….often, perhaps even as my daily driver. I imagine in a more romantic version of my life this mythical 1964 Series II would be my “Rocinante”. That was the name Steinbeck gave to his camper truck which he used to travel across the United States in 1960 with his dog Charley. (If you haven’t read the book, Travels with Charley, you need to.)
I know that driving a 50-year-old car on a daily basis is not practical. This is Oklahoma. It has a range of weather that includes -30’s of Southern Canada all the way to Sub-Saharan Africa 120F. My commute at this time is 50 miles a day in stop and go traffic. Finding parts is easy. Rovers North takes care of that for most Series models. Sadly I am in the farthest shipping zone from them. Getting parts quickly is impossible. This alone makes owning a Land Rover let alone a 50-year-old model “problematic”.
So for now I will just drive my 21-year-old daily driver. Perhaps when I am retired or semi-retired I’ll buy a 1964 Series II. I want to do some overland traveling and I can’t imagine doing it in a modern automobile.
As I mentioned in the Okierover Video Blog #3, I recently got a Service Engine light.
I don’t see Check Engine or Service Engine lights very often. I forgot that this was not the CHECK ENGINE light. So I rambled on a bit on the video. Here’s how to reset the SERVICE ENGINE light on a Range Rover Classic.
Find the SERVICE Module under the passenger seat. Just remove frustration, move the seat all the way forward and lift it up too.
Turn the ignition on. With a paper clip or other metal bar pierce the paper sticker on the top (it has probably already been pierced) and insert the rod. You will feel the pins and if you look at the instrument cluster the SERVICE ENGINE light will go off when you have satisfied the reset.
Now if I could only find something to short out to fix the ABS / Traction Control problem…oh well.
My new job has me eating in some new places. I went to Tucker’s Onion Burgers on the “Classen Curve”. It’s basically a high-end strip mall west of Chesapeake City in Oklahoma City’s north side. I snapped the picture while waiting for my onion burger…mmmmmm, onion burgers.
any of various activities involving the re-enactment of historical events or the recreation of living conditions of the past
Some people think living history is just a bunch crazy people dressing up in old-timey clothes and hanging out at historical sites. You’ve seen the popular media make fun of living historians. Conan O’brien did a segment on it. (I laughed.)
I was eating at VZD’s on an unusually pretty day back in January when I spied what appeared to be a Cord pull up in front. The owner came in and I asked him if that was indeed a Cord. He said it was a 1969. Four hundred were made.
He told me about them being made in Oklahoma. I found this snippet along with a Youtube video.
These cars were made on an assembly line in Tulsa and later Mannford, Oklahoma for three years. It is a production of the original Cord inspired design but gone is the Lycoming V8 and front wheel drive..instead there is a 5.0 liter Ford power plant. A Chrysler 440 engine was also offered. The body is made of a fiberglass like material, apparently scaled down from the original dimensions of Cord. An earlier version by another company had a Corvair power plant and front wheel drive…it did not last in the marketplace…it was replaced by these Lear models.
I found a history of the Cord company and its principals on this site.