I have a confession to make, but it’s not about the missing office equipment accusations that keep coming my way – even though the pen I’m writing with was once Mark Saville’s, and it’s lovely, as is Mike’s calculator and Theo’s lifesaving medication.
Rather, I’ve been hiding an undisclosed project from family, friends as, quite frankly, it’s too good to share. I have a reputation for purchasing cars awaiting the metal claw and trying to preserve them for future generations to appreciate and laugh at, yet, in an act completely unfamiliar to me, I have purchased a genuinely working vehicle with little rust and, for the first time, it’s not on fire either.
I had no intention on bringing another vehicle into my life as my current troupe keep me more than busy, but after being introduced to Martin Domoney’s advertised Range Rover Classic, that promise disappeared. As did the entire contents of my bank account.
Suddenly in possession of a dark green 1994 3.9-litre V8 Range Rover Vogue, my immediate mission was on to hide it from view at a farm, miles away from prying eyes.
Except, my cover was blown by none other than Modern Classics and Classic Car Weekly editor, Keith Adams. Suddenly finding himself without sufficient means of transport, the freshly acquired Classic proved to be the only car available to help out. So the keys were handed over, along with stern instructions, to an editor grinning ear-to-ear at the prospect of a V8 Range Rover to take him home.
Sadly, what this meant was an announcement from Keith on social media – for all to see. The cat was very much out of the bag. So, as the world now knew I had a late Range Rover Classic in the shed, taking it out for a spin seemed like the right thing to do.
Unintentionally, this coincided with a visit from my Scottish grandparents, but misadventure loomed as the Classic was far from ready for heavy use. In fact, I hadn’t spent any time behind the wheel at all.
As the guinea pigs stepped out of Peterborough station they were met with the V8 roar of the Range Rover slicing its way through various taxis and sliding to a halt directly in front of where they stood.
The overall impression appeared to be positive, with flattering comments arriving thick and fast as we left the busy city centre for lunch in the countryside.
Unfortunately, the pub wasn’t due to open for quarter of an hour when we got there – so, much to their horror, I took them for a prolonged jaunt up a greenlane.
They sat in the back and enjoyed the wilderness tour in lavish comfort, despite holding on for dear life over radical gradients.
Upon re-joining the tarmac, we had company in the form of an edgy tailgating Vauxhall Astra. Even though there was a lack of rain, the windscreen wipers of the Vauxhall swiped away while the driver eventually started keeping some distance. The reason became apparent when parking up and exiting the Range Rover upon arrival at the pub.
There was oil splattered up the tailgate. The rear differential had decided it was now a colander, spraying oil around like a fire hose and caking the back wheels in black. Nevertheless, after a quick oil top up the Classic completed its journey and successfully saw the heads of the Brown clan off to the station – just in time for it to develop a misfire and loud CV joint click.
This superb V8 slice of British authority is now going to remain tucked away for special occasions and gloriously sunny jaunts after some TLC. Don’t expect to hear about it often, but when you do it’ll be for something truly spectacular - or when it's broken.
Your chance to win tickets to the LRO show!
Test your knowledge with the LRO.com quiz, brought to you by Footman James, and you’ll get the chance to enter Footman James’ competition to be in with the chance to win a pair of tickets to the LRO show in September.
Take a shot at our quiz here.