Full Fat Range Rover
As I wrote in my last LRM column, I am now the proud owner of a Range Rover MKIII, or I could call it an L322, or even an FFRR, which is short for Full Fat Range Rover. DE06 CXH is a Vogue, which means it has all the bells and whistles. I’m not into bling that much, and if I had been buying the vehicle new, I doubt if I would have chosen the chrome trim, but when you’re buying secondhand you often have to take what you can get. In my case I wanted LPG already fitted – made by Prinz, which is thought to be one of the best systems, in the case of mine – so it came despite all that chrome stuff.
I have to say that I rather like it now. The car is a dark blue and the chrome grille, half mirror covers and door handles do look good. I must find out if what others have described as the ‘chrome package’ was a dealer option or added on afterwards.
When I bought my P38 I described it as the finest Grand Touring vehicle I had ever owned... well, this motor has moved up into another world completely.
Some years ago me and my beloved Marjorie, along with former LRM editor Richard Howell-thomas and his wife Cathie, drove a Range Rover halfway across Europe to what had been the old East Germany for a meeting of the Deutsch Land Rover Club. Richard and I, in turns, drove at well over 100 mph for hour upon hour on the wonderful European autobahns and the car never missed a beat. I can’t be bothered to look through my files to find out the exact year, but it couldn’t have been much off 2006 – the year of my new ’un – and I really can’t see why I couldn’t repeat the journey in this one.
It’s comfortable and smooth – so powerful that I need to drive with one eye on the speedo to stay within the limits – and so very, very quiet.
So, what is wrong with it? Well, there is an intermittent misfire that I need to get sorted. Hopefully it will be no more than the ignition pack and maybe even less; just a new set of plug leads.
My Marjorie reckons that the ride, on 20 inch wheels, is a bit bumpy. We’ll have to see about that, if she learns to live with it. I’m not completely against the idea of swapping the 20s for the other when-new option of 18 inch wheels, which have bigger sidewalls on the tyres to soak up some of the bumps if she continues to moan about it. I have to say that I don’t feel it is a problem myself.
We collected the vehicle in the pouring rain and the rear wiper didn’t do much at all on the motorway. Less than a fiver got me a new wiper blade and it’s just done very well this morning in a snowstorm.
One of the rear mudflaps has a split in it. Usually I would stitch it, lorry style, with a handful of black tie-wraps, but after writing this I’m going to price up a new pair. If they come in under my pension payment I may just do that
The driver’s seat has a worn patch, just where you slide in. My P38 wore through and looked pretty bad, so I suppose I’ll have to talk to an upholsterer about that. I admit that the probable cost worries me a bit, but as the saying goes, you have it to do.
We’re not talking serious here, folks, everything else seems to be fine – the air conditioning and climate control system all seems to be working properly.
I’ve already updated the Satnav to 2015 – very simple with a DVD I bought off the internet. I paid via Paypal (could have used a debit card) and it arrived the next day. Good service, I thought. And the update was simple: take out the old disk and pop the new one in. I’ve only had the vehicle a few days as I write, so I’m still working my way through the owner’s manual – things like auto-heating wing mirrors are still a foreign country to me!
So what on earth is a Full Fat Range Rover (or FFRR)? There is some disagreement about when it came about and from who, but one story is that owners of L322s on the Rangerovers.net website described the (then) new model Range Rover Sport, which was smaller and less luxurious, as Range Rover Lite.
Range Rover Sport owners on the forum retaliated by christening the bigger car as the Full Fat Range Rover – and L322 owners rather liked it!
By the way, in forum-speak the Range Rover Evoque is BRR or Baby Range Rover. Just so you know.