LIFE’S TOO SHORT …… DRIVE SOMETHING NICE!

That’s what one of our local dealerships say. Why you ask? …. easy assuming I get over this bout of Stage 4 Cancer and all those side effects which seem to be building up, rather than going away. If I can get past all that  then I feel I will be in the mood for something “nice” and bring a new round of driving pleasure in my remaining years.

Over the years I’ve had 4 Range Rovers starting with my first one out in Saudi Arabia during Gulf War I and then selling that one when Operation Desert Shield turned into Desert Storm. All the costly prestigious all wheel drive vehicles were given to incoming nations who were part of the alliance. Immediately the war was over these nations departed and the vehicles were returned to the dealerships from whence they came. As no self respecting Saudi would dream of buying a “used” vehicle these were sold off at knockout prices to the gullible Brits who were working for British Aerospace…… and that was me!

1989 RR No1, the Maroon cheapie, and at this stage I’ve sprayed the wheels silver chrome ….. electrics next!

I kept getting in the “wrong” side only to find somebody had stolen the steering wheel!

The first one was a Maroon colored resprayed effort which was good on the spraying but the sprayer had disconnected all the electrics and then failed trying to do the rewiring. I believe the number of things that didn’t work was close to 98 and with lots of free time in Saudi I diligently worked my way through them and got lots of items working, including central locking, which I didn’t even know it had. I also sprayed the wheels.

The maroon one all badged up and electrics nearly finished

The Brown Desert Storm “return” which I bought for about 7000 GBP with 4000 miles on the clock ……. British Aerospace bargain

Not my first choice of color but the very cheap price at the dealer’s was the deciding factor. No problems with this one and I sold it a couple of years later to a dart playing friend as my overall plan was to buy a NEW one about 4 months before leaving the Kingdom and then drive it home across the Middle East and onward through Europe. The plan was sound but just before I went to order there was the flare up in Bosnia which curtailed my plans right there. I suppose I could have rerouted and gone by boat to Italy and driven from there but I liked my original plan better.

Back home again and plans evolve to move to the USA and I end up buying a really nice White one from the owner of a building company who gives me my first contract.

First one in Phoenix from the company that gave me my first contract

Its a work truck

That one gets a ton of miles on it  before I change it to a much newer BRG County LWB model which is everything a RR should be and in this one the AC actually works!!

No 4, the BRG LWB County

 

…….and then it snowed …… in Phoenix ????????

I don,t believe it !!!

However these newer models had a problem or two including the brakes that needed to be completely changed, both discs and pads, every 50,000 miles. The pads were too hard and scored the softer discs causing the problems which I can only hope they have solved on the current models.

The ill fated Pheasant Shoot and a dead water pump on the way home + a night drive in a tow truck

Mine also blew the water pump on a pheasant shooting trip to Oklahoma which needed a tow in at night all the way back to Phoenix.

As an Englishman, I’ve driven most British cars and as I’ve been flashing through adds of late I have to say there are some beautiful cars out there. Like so many things in life the “sedan” seems to have it’s writing on the wall a bit like letter writing has become e-mails, telephone calls are rapidly becoming texts, etc, etc. Certainly its easy to see why as the current SUV’s offer so much more. You can’t go “hanging basket” shopping, winter firewood collecting, fishing with made up poles, replacing 8′ light bulbs, or easily transporting skiing equipment, or your bicycle, ……. and perhaps another item that is sadly lacking (other than Audi) is 4 wheel drive if you live in snow country as we do.

Must get up in the loft and find my old photo albums and see if I can find any of the “RR” pictures from the 90’s. I also remember coming back from Saudi after Gulf War I and test driving a Vauxhall Lotus Carlton which was at that time rated as the fastest saloon car.

Quite something! Bit bland inside, love the Lotus badges

For any Brit who knows cars this Wolf in Sheep’s clothing was not the prettiest car out there, and Vauxhall had a terrible reputation for producing “rust buckets” where all the metalwork rusted through in the wheel arches, around the front grille, door frames etc. However this monster of the Lotus Carlton had a top speed of 177 mph and blistering acceleration! Needless to say I didn’t get close to that on a British road but the salesman let me take it to 140 on the  M5 and I have Edward on board but I don’t think he would remember any of it.

Another car for some reason I have never owned is the Jaguar and there are a couple that still have a degree of appeal…… the first being the S-Type ……. here’s one down in Cave Creek where we used to live and only priced at $6800 with less than 50K on the clock.

Not bad

Pretty wheels

Pretty and unusual wood

Oooooooooh !!!!!!

Other Jaguars that come under my microscope are the XF, XK, and the XKR . The best has to be a supposedly Italian Racing Red ? which I have never heard of so I’ll give the seller credit for something new … and it is gorgeous! …. I think its Burgundy!

Italian Racing Red ?

V nice, and maybe just affordable ?

This one I have to see!

Down in Scottsdale

Another one is slightly cheaper but not quite as gorgeous

Not too shabby !

Better in the driveway

Very nice dash

AND then ……… here is a car I never thought I could NEVER own ….. but no? surprisingly I COULD just afford this ……..

What could it be ??????

Well Mr Bond ?

…… is it ? ……. can it really be?

I’m nearly convinced ….and my first two initials ? A. M.

Maybe I should change my name ? How about….

ASTON MARTIN DOWN

Well just when I thought the searches were complete along comes another Jag, the X model, which surprises me as its AWD ? didn’t know that the Jaguar came with AWD as an option.

Good looking car in green

Very cheap too, must be worth a look and test drive at $2850 ???

Getting closer, maybe Christmas or the New Year ?

 

TONY DOWN  or A.M. Down ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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