Tune up time…Dammit (Post #90) 5/28/2008

The next person I hear say the reason for the high gas prices is high demand, gets a good ol’fashioned hole stomped in the middle of them, which I will then proceed to walk dry.

It’s not demand…it’s the F@#%ing speculators. Seriously, 90% of drivers are doing the same thing they do everyday, drive to work. Where’s the increased demand? It’s all bull shit.

As many of you Land Rover fans have discovered, 4$(US) per gallon gasoline and the SUV lifestyle do not have positive affects on your wallet. It’s been so bad that I have actually started to car pool again. Something I never thought I’d have to do again.

I car pooled back in the early 2000s when gasoline was a halcyon 1.65$(US) a gallon and we thought we were getting raped with those prices. When I changed jobs (and buildings) I stopped. But now I am back in that building and have two other guys in my car pool. With this car pooling I have had to give up my beloved books on tape and my quiet time each day. But it has saved us a lot of money so far.

So when the Atlantic British catalog came in the mail and the gas mileage on the Disco dropping below 14mpg and the price of petrol inching toward outrageous amounts the perfect storm of common sense and dammit I’ll do it have come together.

We are taking a vacation out to Huntington Beach to visit some friends this summer. And we have decided to drive. Mostly because the price of flying and renting a car is completely outrageous. And besides, who wants to be trapped in a plane, in coach, with a hundred other unhappy flyers for four hours plus airport lay-overs?

Answer: That would not be anyone one named OkieRover, nor any of his spawn.

We have two choices of transportation to Kalifornia.
A 2003 Land Rover Discovery SE or a 2002 Ford Taurus
Lets compare… Pros and Cons

Disco – roomy, not as roomy as a 1993 Range Rover LWB but I don’t have the money or time to convince my wife we should take the Rangie to Kali.
Taurus – not roomy, not at all
Disco – comfortable leather seats
Taurus – probably the most uncomfortable seats in any car known to man with the possible exception of the Mustang I ride in one out of three weeks to work
Disco – individual climate controlled environment and rear air
Taurus – two temperatures in the front, hot or cold, one temp in the back, hot
Disco – 14-15mpg on a good day on the highway
Taurus – 32-36mpg on the highway at 90+. We know that because we drove it to Denver one Thanksgiving and my son ratted my wife out for going 100mph while I was napping. We got really good mileage on that trip.

So as you can see it’s an easy choice and we have a clear winner. We are taking the Disco. Besides just think of all the great things we would miss if we flew on our way out to see Marty Moose:


Most of the New Mexican desert
Most of the Arizonan desert
The Grand Canyon
Las Vegas
29 Palms Military Reservation
Los Angeles traffic
San Diego
Padres baseball
Yuma, Arizona
Roswell, NM

And missing the chance to hear my son coin a new phrase describing Kalifornians and their driving abilities. Floridiots was his last entry from our 2005 vacation to Ft. Myers.

Yeah okay, I’ll give ya the fact it’s gonna be a long boring drive. But who wants to miss the Mother Road?

51ZK07AT8YLYeah, that’s what I thought you’d say…but we’re still gonna drive.

So nearly 500$(US) later and we have new sparky plugs, plug wires, and oxygen sensors on the way to get the Disco tuned up for the long drive. Now if I can just avoid ethanol on the way out there we should be able to get there in comfort. Making food into fuel is stupid. It’s made the cost of food go up and everyone that voted for it in congress needs a red hot poker up the tail pipe. Yeah I’m kinda passionate about that. Maybe I’ll blog about that in the future.
Hopefully we can get 16-18mpg while we enjoy each other’s close quarters company in a Land Rover heading west like so many of our relatives did 75 years ago.

But this time we are bringing cash and riding in style.
Go ahead call us Okies, we’ll just smile and yep, we sure are.
Thanks for reading and happy rovering.