Being the odd one out in the Range Rover set

| 7 Apr 2012

First of all, thanks to Chris Martin of New South Wales for sending me the Range Rover plaque that now proudly stands among my Fiat 130 trinkets. Chris, you don’t know how much I appreciate it! 

As you'll read in the next column in the magazine, I did get myself a Range Rover, but not the one at Brightwells, which I now realise belonged (or belongs) to a writer on a magazine I dare not utter the name of.

Such is my enthusiasm for the Range Rover that I went to the Newbury 4x4 show with 'my girlfriend' who is called Mia (I tend not to name her so as not to raise the hackles of my former spouse, but I suspect she’s got better things to do than read my waffle). 

Anyway, the show was a new experience for me. Refreshing in that parts were cheap and people were friendly, pretty much like the characters you find at other classic car events, but slightly more hairy and with a mild Deliverance vibe going on. 

Having said that, it was me that felt a bit clueless, a silly, trendy knob with my obsession for pure original two-door Range Rovers.

For once, I was the person with the metaphorical 'pony tail', but I was willing to listen and learn.

The message I was getting was that bits for the two doors are pretty rare now and everything I particularly needed – poncy plastic interior bits, 'RANGE ROVER' lettering etc – was "rocking horse s**t". 

With a bit more digging, however, we did find people who understood what I was trying to do, including a guy from Stoke who buys up two door parts from warm European climes. 

I managed to buy a rear tail-gate, the rare early spare wheel cover and tool ‘curtain’. 

I bought an excellent bonnet for £5, but it turned out to be the wrong one for my car which has exposed hinges. This almost started a punch-up between two stall-holders over whether it would fit my car. 

Anyway, after an unpromising start, I came away very satisfied with my parts haul. 

The perfect end to a near-perfect day was a terrible old Norman Wisdom film (A Stitch in time) on the TV followed by a brilliant documentary on the Group B rally cars.