1964 A Good Year for Land Rover a Good Year for Me (Post #515) 10/12/2014

50 years
50 years.

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.

1964 Land Rover

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.

50 years happy

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Honey Springs 150th Anniversary, Going Home – Part 3 (Post #412) 11/13/2013

Having thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and after bidding adieu to my friends it was time to turn the Range Rover west out of Rentiesville (Wikipedia) and get home to my 21st century life. It was the day of the 238th Marine Corps’ Birthday and Mrs. Okierover told me she had baked me a cake. What an awesome wife.

I told her I was going to take the long way home. I new the leaves were turning and I wanted to see Dripping Springs State Park with the leaves changing. But before I could get out of the Honey Springs National Battlefield site a quite unexpected surprise made me stop. Continue reading “Honey Springs 150th Anniversary, Going Home – Part 3 (Post #412) 11/13/2013”

Branson, Missouri (Post #294) 6/6/2012

I had never been to Branson, Missouri before this last weekend. I have never had any interest in going to Branson before this last weekend. And sadly, after visiting, I still don’t.

My wife and I needed some alone time. We’ve been through a lot in the last 8 months and decided to treat ourselves to a trip. My wife has been trying to get me to “stay in a cabin by the lake” for 15 years. I’ve told her a dozen times I stay in cabins by lakes all the time and that she should come with me some time. But my kind of cabin is not her kind.

We didn’t do any shows, or theme parks or even any restaurants. So maybe if I had I may have a totally different opinion.

The Inn.

So Mrs. OkieRover found a place called Crystal Cove Bed and Breakfast. I will now tell you about it. I didn’t like the bed, way too soft for me. Another couple mentioned the bed softness at breakfast on Saturday.

This was our first Bed and Breakfast, so we didn’t know “how it worked”. We showed up to breakfast 5 minutes late on Saturday. I was embarrassed. The innkeeper was serving when we managed to walk the 25 feet to the dining area from our room.

We are lazy travelers. We usually don’t even have a schedule when we travel. The fact we had to be somewhere “promptly” was going to be an issue.

We chatted politely with the other guests. My wife is painfully shy so this is not in her wheel-house. I can talk to a mailbox for two hours so I carried us. We ate and it was wonderful. Thick cut bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuit, juice, hash browns. We were the last to sit and the first to git. We had a loose plan to visit my brother in Springfield which was an hour drive one way. We were expected for lunch, so we got up.

We went down to the lake and took a few snaps and then got on the road to Springfield. We were almost immediately halted by the ridiculous traffic heading to Silver Dollar City. I won’t bore you with how there weren’t enough lanes to carry the traffic or the 15 minutes we sat in traffic waiting for people to turn left. We should have gotten more intel about this. I blame myself.

We visited with my brother and nephew and after a little forgetfulness on my wife’s part we headed back to our room. We were both pretty wiped so we just napped. Then we watched the Oklahoma City Thunder put it on the San Antonio Spurs. So much for your sweep Spurs. As of this writing the Thunder is one win away from playing in the NBA Championship.

That was a HUGE “Keep Right” sign
Our “cabin”
Sunlight through the prism of a lamp.
Koi pond. Not big enough to eat  yet.

Water fall on the koi pond near the dining area.
Scenic Overlook

Sunday came and I rolled Janie out and told her we needed to be early for breakfast. We got down there at 8:45am. Unfortunately for us…breakfast on Sunday was at 8am. UGGGGH! So we tried to excuse ourselves as the innkeeper was telling us he was just getting ready for church. He insisted we eat. French toast. Again, delicious, but maybe too rich for us. Once again we were totally embarrassed. I mailed a letter of apology today. (I know, old school, but I felt it was necessary. We are not “those people”.)

The route.

We took 412 out of Tulsa and wandered through Arkansas to Southern Missouri. The trip home we took all secondary highways. It was a nice drive home.

On the way home we ran across this interesting gem.

He had just pulled in to the gas station ahead of us and I had to stop and talk to him. It was a Series 2 but with a twist. The frame was totally roached out. They had a Ford that had rolled and was a solid frame but no body. So he and his father married the two. It even still had the Ford steering column. The frame was a bit longer so they added the stretch in front of the windscreen just behind the bonnet.

He was really enthusiastic and said they had a great time working on it. That’s the spirit. He had Mastercraft tires on it and I asked him how he liked them. He said they weren’t all that loud and had a nice narrow look which is signature to these vehicles. I hope he reads this and contacts me. I’d love to know more about this unique rig.

I took this last picture of the Series and we were back on the road. I did not see even one Range Rover Classic the entire weekend. We saw a few Discovery’s and a two Range Rover second editions.

All in all a good trip. I’m not sure I have any more interest in going back. But for a 5 hour drive, it was very scenic and a nice change of pace from our normal routine.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

February 4th, 2003 (Post #21)

February 4, 2003
Today my Rover rolled past 123456 on the odometer. I bought it when it had a mere 88,000 on the clicker. I had to make an extra trip today so I was unprepared to take a picture of the odometer. With that many miles on my Rover I have been considering another purchase. As many of you have read I want a Series truck real bad. I mention edit to my wife on an errand the other day and she asked the obvious questions.
Are you getting rid of this one to get that one?
Will you be working on it all the time?
Will it be more reliable?
None of these questions were actually answered by me. Better not to promise things I can’t control. I will probably have to wait until the finances look better to get a project like a Series truck. If I could get one now it would just rust in the driveway for lack of funds.

“Why don’t you buy an already restored one?”
That is an excellent question, you deserve a cookie. My answer is, I probably will. But I must wait just the same. The list below of repairs pending will be added to soon. I will be evaluating
my truck for off-road action. I want to make the Southwest Oklahoma trail ride so as not to be a burden to my fellow travelers I will need some repairs. More on that next week. For now wish for snow this week.

Happy Birthday my love…
Today is my wife’s birthday. I would like to wish her many, many more. She has made
my life so complete. Even though she hates my Rover I love her dearly.