I've noticed lately that as our world is spinning madly along that fashion is regressing. Seems to me like we are all looking back for things we had long ago. Take this 1940s greaseball hairstyle that George Clooney, the Beckham, all these footballers and stars are sporting, my old Dad had that haircut when I was a lad. So did I as it happens, I was allowed 2 fingers of Brylcreem to rub it in and comb me hair I had then with a short back and sides and a parting. In our car world now we have these Rat Rods, coming from America via a TV show Sin City Motors. Old battered cars with what they call patina, what we call rust, rubbed down and given a few coats of clear. And what's this Shabby Chic all about? Shops selling this are sprouting up everywhere round my way, and what I see is old tat rubbed down and given a matte wash coat of emulsion with a few flower transfers stuck onto it.
Well if you want to look a bit back in time to what was, how about this 1982 Series 3 88inch SWB belonging to my pal Mark Doe. It's got patina in spades, a bit of shabby chic and that other cool word the fashionistas have given us a "distressed look". Mark who is 41 and lives in Broadstairs on the South Coast has his own shop and off licence. As he left home to come and meet me with his partner Jackie, his flasher can bit the dust so he whizzed one in but he never had time to put the trim back. One of his regulars who comes in for his papers and a few bits is Mark's pal old Charlie, and he often used to come to the shop in his old Land Rover. Mark who drives a Focus and a Mazda sports car (which is for sale) used to tell Charlie how much he liked his Land Rover and they used to have a chat about it. The day came when Charlie came in the shop, leaned over the counter and said to Mark that "the Series 3 has to go and I want it to go to a good home, and as you always said you liked it would you like to buy it from me?" Mark was a bit surprised but after a lot of thought he did a deal with Charlie to buy it for £1500 and he took it home in October 2015. Mark loves bumbling around the town in it. When he takes it to work it stands outside his shop. He told me "I can't get over how many customers Charlie come in and admire it and tell me that their Dad or their Auntie had one and they ask me how it's going, and also how many people tell me they would love to own a Land Rover themselves one day as well".
A few months into the new year Mark joined the Invicta Land Rover Club and came to one of their club nights and that's where we met. He told me about his Land Rover and a few things that needed sorting out on it. Later on I put on a day for the ILRC at the off road site I look after in Elham Kent and Mark came along to try "ROBO" his LR off the road. He lasted about 10 minutes before the electric gremlins struck and brought him to a halt, but it was too late because he now had the bug and wanted to do more off road driving. Some of us were going to Wiltshire to do some green laneing and we persuaded Mark to join us. Mark told me" the first time I ever drove off road was at that club day at your site. Before we left for Wiltshire I had all the electrics sorted out and as my partner Jackie and I found it very uncomfortable I had parabolic springs fitted to it with new shocks. I also got a CB radio so I could join in all the chatter. Also I will tell anyone I am completely lost when it comes to anything mechanical but I did go to Halfords and buy a load of tools from their professional range, and I did manage to change that flasher can. It was a long drag to get there as my little 88 was flat out at 48 MPH, but we had a great weekend driving the legal rights of way. Mark also pointed out to me " I did everything that all those other Land Rovers did whilst we were there, I admit a bit slower though, but ROBO made it there and back and I cannot wait to go out with you again". So what has Marks Series had done to it so far and what are his future plans? The oil leaks and electrics were sorted out and some new seals installed and a full service was done and new headlights fitted. "But it still leaks Charlie" it will Mark forever. A complete new exhaust system and those parabolic springs and shocks were done. New brake shoes were next followed by a decent rope, recovery points, a tow pintle, 2 D rings with a tow hitch with the pin thru it. Some research Mark has done tells him that the original colour was Land Rover Masai Red, but he has seen one that is blinding white with black bumpers and wheels and he is thinking about that. He mentioned that he may have the tropical roof carbon wrapped, but he has not made up his mind about it yet. He told me " I love it to bits Charlie and I think it deserves to be restored, but it would not be a show pony, I would still like to come out with you and do some gentle driving off road. It's cost me around a thousand pounds because as I am non-mechanically minded I have had to pay to have most of the work done, but with the help of you Charlie and some of the other club members I'm doing my best to learn mate."