You may have already guessed it, I’m Scottish (I think it was the kilt that gave it away). So when I spotted the Scottish Land Rover Show was happening in Edinburgh I decided it would be wrong if I didn’t make the long haul north from LRO HQ in Peterborough to check it out.
As luck has it, my Range Rover P38 DSE has been behaving itself recently, and the plush leather seats made for a luxurious journey. But it wasn’t a quick one. Or a cheap one - with an average figure of only 21mpg.
I’d left stupidly early in the morning - 2am - to ensure I arrived before the show’s gates closed and was welcomed by members of the Under 21 Land Rover Owner’s Club – who’s stand I was parking the P38 (don’t tell them that I’m a little over 21 now...)
They offered coffee by the gallon to resurrect my face and speech after and I set off to explore the show grounds without so much as locking the Range Rover; after all, parked in between customised and bespoke attractions, the P38 was hardly likely to draw attention. It still remains, alongside the Freelander 1, as the unloved and unruly child of Land Rover's offerings.
I ventured through parts stalls and lapped up the various club displays for nearly three hours before returning to the U21 stand to not only find club members sheltering in the rear seats from the dense drizzle but also a small crowd of admirers gathered around its square bulk.
I thought they had foolishly followed the trail of leaking engine oil in a demented treasure hunt, and approached expecting an atmosphere of sarcasm in regards to its health, but the attitude from everyone was hugely complimentary.
They cast a nostalgic glance over the bodywork and were genuinely happy to find a P38 still in use. The cult following that the second generation Range Rover is beginning to enjoy was mirrored when event organisers began to ask enthusiastic questions about the vehicle and my devotion to it. But there was method in their madness: they were hunting down willing victims for the demonstration arena.
I politely declined their offer to ruin my P38 in standard form after discovering that the other competitors were all tuned beyond recognition - then, in the event of trying to escape, accidentally joined the queue for the demonstration arena. I thought it was the waiting line to exit the grounds...
Suddenly, I found myself at the base of Flatdog’s twist-off ramp, alongside other members of the Under 21 club. The ramp is more used to seeing large knobbly off-road tyres on challenge trucks than my fat, Eric Pickles-like road tyres, but despite being bog standard and suffering the indignity at being laughed at by the crowd, the P38 held its own and pushed itself up to 6th position overall – and that’s out of 16 entrants!
The P38 may be derided in certain groups, but I came, I saw and (almost) conquered. And I did all that in comfort!