For a moment I want you to think about how your Land Rover makes you feel. Soak it all in. No matter which model you drive, be it one of the modern classics like a 90s model Range Rover or a 1947 Series 1, you know how proud you are to drive it. You are proud because you know how much work goes in to keeping that beauty ON THE ROAD (or OFF as it may be).
If you are a steady reader you know there are probably two dozen issues outstanding on my 1993 Range Rover Classic LWB. Many of you have referred to your vehicles as “rolling restorations”, and they truly are. Finish one project and there is another to start and if this goes on continuously you qualify for the title of rolling restoration.
I have taken my Range Rover off-line one time for a restoration. It was 3 years ago. I needed to get a great many things fixed in anticipation of my daughter RovErica driving the Classic as her first car. Now while the logic of allowing a 16 year old to drive such a classic Land Rover can be debated, the repairs were long over due. We could also debate whether or not a 1993 Range Rover is even classic, but lets pretend it is for this argument. I could not imagine passing a Series vehicle on to a teenager.
The Range Rover Classic was just enough different from everything else in the parking lot and had a high enough “neat-o factor” that it would deflect the inevitable scorn of her classmates. When it started to show the two years of hard driving RovErica gave her, the neat-o factor digressed to the what a piece of junk factor.
Waving at vehicles is a man thing. Motorcycle riders wave at each other with a hand extended low about where the hands of a clock would be at 4 or 8. They are way too cool to wave up high. Jeep drivers wave to fellow Jeep drivers. Jaguar drivers wave at other drivers. And following suit Land Rover Drivers wave at fellow enthusiasts. I qualify that with the word enthusiast because I have learned that in only a few cases do women wave. I’ve been smiled at once by a woman I waved at. She was in a Discovery 2. In my experience, NO WOMEN wave. Women driving Freelanders, LR2 and LR3s or any of the new Range Rover models refuse to wave. Zip, zero, zilch. I’m not sure if it is self absorption or what, but they don’t seem to appreciate other Land Rovers. This will lead me now to conclude they are not enthusiasts.
Now compare that to when you see a Discovery heading your way and a fellow male of our species is driving, you will get a wave if they see you. You can almost gauge the involvement or pride by how they wave. They are probably at the very least an enthusiast and they might even be a hobbyist if the wheel wells are full of mud and there is any measurable amount of kit hanging off their Landy.
Discussing this with my wife reveals one universal constant. Women are not automobile enthusiasts. For the most part women don’t really care what they drive. My wife, like many women, does not understand the male fascination with cars or even motorcycles for that matter.
This year’s snow storms here in Oklahoma often clear the roads of the casual driver. Your Land Rover to Everything else with tires ratio goes up drastically. This is expected, as road clearing in Oklahoma is more of a hobby of a municipality than a mission. And if the cars in your driveway were priced at 60,000$(US) or more you are 34.67 times more likely to have your neighborhood streets cleared by the city than any of the “other areas”. Squeeky wheel gets the grease, etc…
So the road conditions often dictate the vehicle you drive. Ground clearance is everything. My son’s Scion xB sat idle for six straight days. When you venture out on the snow covered roads you see a lot of Jeeps, Toyotas and pickups. This is when you see the Land Rovers. And this is when you see the enthusiastic Land Rover drivers.
You will get waves and driver’s often point and give a thumbs up when they see you passing the opposite way. They know you are in a capable vehicle. They also know that it took a lot of work to get your Land Rover out on the road to drive down to Braums to get milk.
I have found myself lately recognizing other classic vehicles on the road. And this is where I tie the whole theme together. Encourage the brave men who choose to drive a rolling restoration.. If we are to see the truly classic cars on the road we need to encourage the drivers when we see them. Tell them you like their cars. Give them a thumbs up.
One of my favorite shows on the air today is Wheeler Dealers. I’ve mentioned them before. Mike Brewer and Edd China buy and restore iconic cars (60s, 70s, and 80s) and then try and sell them on for a profit. I them on my local HD cable provider on the HD Theater Channel. You can watch these guys take a beater of an auto and transform it to a usable daily driver.
You can follow the rest of the show by going over to Youtube. Its a great show and it follows the theme here, keeping the classics on the road.
I have seen a few classic cars lately that are really great. I’ve gathered a few pictures of vehicles that are similar so you will know what I’m talking about. There are others driving around the little burg I live in. These are the latest I’ve seen and were fresh in my mind.
A classic Ford Falcon is now buzzing around Norman. I pulled up next to him on Porter Avenue and with my window down I told him I
really liked that, with a point, and said good job. His reaction was to smile and say thanks.
My best friend drove a Ford Falcon in high school so these vehicles have a special place in my heart. The difficulty of keeping it on the road was evident the moment you got in. The passenger side floor board was completely rusted out and a speed limit sign had been commandeered to serve as a floor board.
Just this Friday morning I saw a 1965 Chevy C10 blazing down I-35. It looked even worse than this example. I rolled up next to him and drove next to him until he noticed me. I gave him a big thumbs up. The smile on his face was indescribable. It was obvious that this truck represented something special to him. It looked like a labor of love as well. The panels were mostly straight and it was in need of a paint job.
When the snow was falling yesterday I saw an 80s model Jeep CJ7 on the I-40 MLK off ramp. He had a high lift jack mounted next to the external spare tire. He had a winch on the front and this Jeep looked like it was well loved and well used. The scruffy fellow behind the wheel smiled and waved when I pulled up next to him and pointed and mouthed “I liked that”.
So as you are driving around waving and recognizing your fellow Land Rover owners, give a shout out to those other auto enthusiasts that choose to drive other classic rolling restorations.
Thanks for Reading and Happy Rovering.