Cars

92 Range Rover

My 92 Range Rover Classic 3.9L which I have had for 18 years.  It's approaching 320K miles and has been in three countries, not counting England.  Ken Parker at RR Austin has maintained the car and without him, it would be in a boneyard.  

Except for the aluminum both-together body the only untouched components are the wheels, body and the axles.  It weighs 6,000 pounds and gets about 17mpg on the highway.  When I bought it, it was taller than the Ford F150 pickup and was considered to be a big SUV.  Not anymore.  A 2011 F150 towers over the Rover and their driver can see down into the Rover's interior.  The huge coil springs make highway driving smooth but you have to slow up for curves since it lean during a turn.My last big trip was to Alaska: 13,000 miles.  The orginal Michelin tires are no longer made so it runs on the equvalent Toyo tire.  Too bad, the Michelins were much quieter on the highway but the Toyos have no trouble with snow.  

If you have one these and it seems to leak radiator fluid, check the head gaskets.  They start leaking at about 150 miles.  Don't wait, change the gaskets.  Also have the front axle coupling lubed every two years.  Ken Parker at Land Rover Austin has been keeping this car going since it was born in Coventry.  Without him, it's off to the boneyard.

The latest disaster was the transfer case.  I needed a lot of parts which weren't available even in the UK.  The only alternative was a salvaged transfer case.  We'll see how well that works out.


My Dad bought this 1968 VW new and gave it to me the same year.  The engine has been rebuilt twice and the interior replaced.  The transmission was repaired ten years ago.  It now lives in a carport in the high desert.  It runs fine and I drive it to the local bar about once a month.  Once every three bar trips, someone offers to buy it.  I think I have driven this car over 120,000 miles but I can't prove it since the speedo only goes to 99.999 miles and I lost track of how many time it has rolled over.  At best, the VW gets 26mph which seems low.  Other VW fans say they get 40mph.  A local expert at Austin Vee Dub thinks the carb mixture jet needs to be replaced.  Someday I'll do that.The VW can sell for $6500 easily.  No one has ever offered to buy the Rover.  A true fan in snow country might give $4500 but the exceptionally high mileage would likely force the price lower.  





The 1972 VW I bought Yellow Guy fifteen years ago when I saw it sitting in a driveway in San Antonio.  I knew my kids would like it and it lived up to 10 years and as a high school and college transport.  The engine wheezed to a stop and Austin Vee Dub rebuilt it to the 1600cc displacement. This year of VW is much better than the 1968 shown above.  The 4th gear is higher meaning you can go 75mph with the engine screaming in the back.  I think it gets at least 32mpg, maybe better and it's quieter than the 68.  My son and I drove this guy to the border of Guatemala.  Fixing this car in Mexico is easy since there are so many old style (Type I) bugs in that 
country.  Some Mexican bugs even have air conditioning.  Amazing.  Yellow guy lives in Sierra Vista, Arizona now.  My grandson will probably learn to drive in this car.  That would be something.  I hope they still make clutches.




My son stands next to my MB 380SK which I bought on eBay about 6 years ago for $5k.  The car lot said the engine was blown and be prepared to put a new one in.  A local tech said someone had filled it with diesel fuel.  He drained the diesel and put in new fuel injectors and fuel filters for $900.  It works fine now - the air conditioning almost works and I'm still trying to get the bugs out of that system.  This cruiser weighs about 3500 pounds and gets 21mpg on the highway which is pretty good for an old car.  I had a MB450sl twenty years ago and I can't recall them having such a cramped cockpit.  Maybe I was shorter then.  Very fun car. this car shuttles between Texas and Arizona as my son and I swap cars. The MB380 is probably the lowest cost V-8 powered convertible around.  It is a good looking car is the midst of 2011 sports cars.  On top of that the value keeps going up.  The cost of parts is high and the number of technicians who can service them is dwindling.  My son takes good car of this car.  I only want to drive it in the winter.