OUR CLAS­SICS

Calum's RR has been sus­pi­ciously re­li­able, David's T2 has been out and about and Keith gets his Lan­cia ready for auc­tion.

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Calum Brown WEB PRO­DUCER

1998 RANGE ROVER 2.5 DSE

OWNED SINCE Novem­ber 2015

MILEAGE SINCE LAST RE­PORT 2128

TO­TAL MILEAGE 180,868

LAT­EST COSTS My self-re­spect

My prob­lem-prone P38 hasn’t ex­actly dis­pelled the idea of the sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion Range Rover be­ing Land Rover’s un­ruly child. It’s be­come a run­ning joke in the CCW of­fice, with my 1990s relic tak­ing no end of ver­bal abuse. ‘I threw up and it re­minded me of your P38,’ was one cracker that left me de­flated. I haven’t re­ally helped mat­ters, how­ever, by re­port­ing back the string of mal­adies and me­chan­i­cal quirks that has helped ce­ment its rep­u­ta­tion.

Things haven’t re­ally im­proved since my last re­port ( CCW, 13 Jan­uary), with the ECU re­cently lock­ing down the car and leav­ing me stranded, the ra­di­a­tor hoses per­ish­ing spec­tac­u­larly while travers­ing the fam­ily fields in Scot­land, and an un­shak­able sus­pi­cion that the head gas­ket is slowly dy­ing.

How­ever, I’m not judg­ing it too harshly, as the long dis­tances and tor­rid sit­u­a­tions suf­fered would floor even a brand-new ex­am­ple, let alone my high-mileage spec­i­men.

It took a string of Nor­folk’s more gru­elling greenlanes in its stride – while on road tyres – but a sub­se­quent punt up the A11 in low range caused the trans­mis­sion to have kit­tens.

Fea­tures editor David Simis­ter, who was driv­ing at the time in the in­ter­ests of re­search, strongly de­nies he had any­thing to do with it.

De­spite David’s best ef­forts to de­stroy the car, it sur­vived the re­turn trip to Northum­ber­land with our sis­ter mag Land Rover Owner In­ter­na­tional, ended up as a track­ing car for Mod­ern Clas­sics in weather that would find ot­ters stay­ing in­doors, and lugged a Volk­swa­gen Golf home af­ter an ac­ci­dent. It’s also acted as ad-hoc trans­port for Mod­ern

Clas­sics act­ing man­ag­ing editor Nathan Chad­wick when his Mercedes-Benz W123 de­cided to take a break from be­ing a car and ended up serv­ing as an im­promptu re­moval van for one of his mates.

The fact that the P38 ev­ery­one de­rides in the of­fice for be­ing a bit rub­bish is sought af­ter by those in need means the darn thing has al­most be­come a bit of a car park hero. All while still be­ing my daily driver, of course!

Yet all of th­ese feats are noth­ing com­pared to what I put it through over Christ­mas. The jour­ney to Scot­land in­cluded vis­it­ing rel­a­tives in York­shire, cart­ing me and an axle-bust­ing fes­tive con­sign­ment through De­cem­ber’s flood­wa­ters, be­fore deal­ing with the heav­ily-rut­ted tracks I call home. Stupidly, I de­cided to go off-road on Box­ing Day and found my­self bogged down in an area so marshy that ram­blers were los­ing their shoes in it, nearly killing them­selves into the bar­gain. Road tyres didn’t help the sit­u­a­tion and soon the RR was stranded.

A phone call to a be­mused lo­cal farmer found sev­eral curse words sent in my di­rec­tion, but af­ter brib­ing him with a bot­tle of whisky, he trun­dled up with his trac­tor to fish me out, to no avail. The trac­tor heaved it­self through the marsh, un­able to so much as reach the P38, let alone tow it free.

Three days of heavy rain passed be­fore the Range Rover was fi­nally freed, by which point it was in a hell of a mess. Mud had seized the wheels, the brakes lines had been im­paired and the gear­box was dam­aged. Yet, with only home­made re­pairs, it then trans­ported me 400 miles through snow, ice and tor­ren­tial rain back to Peter­bor­ough.

Con­sen­sus dic­tates that mod­ern Range Rovers have be­come a sta­tus sym­bol for the nou­veau riche, and I can’t help but agree. While my P38 may not be as hon­est as the orig­i­nal RR or as ad­vanced as the mod­ern equiv­a­lent, you can’t deny it’s a class act.

It’s been full of weekly shops and wet dogs, keep­ing me mov­ing de­spite a few hic­cups. Last month, its fu­ture was un­cer­tain. Now, eye­ing it on my drive­way, caked in mud and bear­ing bat­tle scars that would cause a Land Rover De­fender to flinch, it’s clear that the prob­lem child has come into its own.

‘Af­ter brib­ing the farmer with a bot­tle of whisky, he sent his trac­tor to res­cue the Range Rover, to no avail’

Calum de­fended his Range Rover to the hills, where he promptly got it stuck. At least the Range Rover picks places to break down where there is plenty of wa­ter nearby for the ra­di­a­tor. The out­look for this de­monic P38 looks to be op­ti­mistic. Un­til the next break­down, of course.

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