Reliving the glory days
As Trevor Cuthbert’s pals consider buying back their old Land Rovers he wonders if he should do the same...
Two good friends of mine – who I have known since my earliest days of Land Rover ownership – had the opportunity to buy back their Defender 90. Both instances were purely coincidental and both had very different outcomes. To further enhance the coincidence factor, my friends are brothers-in-law and both Land Rovers were red Defender 90 300Tdi models.
Firstly, my friend John discovered that the dude he had sold his 90 to was selling it again, some nine years later. He seemed quite excited about the prospect of being in Land Rover ownership again and was looking forward to the day when the three of us (Matthew, who subsequently bought back his old 90 came along, too) set off with my trailer to complete the deal and haul the Land Rover home.
The Defender was in a bit of a sorry state, but we could see the potential in it; we could bring it back to its former glory. However, John’s face told a different story and it wasn’t long until he muttered out of the vendor’s earshot, “I don’t think I can do this.” No sale. Matt and I worried that the owner would conclude that we talked him out it, but the truth was John simply was not ready to go back to Land Rover ownership, with all of the time and expense that his old truck would need.
Not long after this, Matt and I set off to buy back his red Defender. He had discovered that the owner had not been using it for several years, but wasn’t prepared to sell – despite numerous cold calls to his house by an opportunist keen for a quick bargain. However, when Matt approached the owner and told how he had always regretted parting with the 90, a sale was agreed – and at a very attractive price. We still have a lot of work ahead with Matt’s Defender 90, but now – two months later – he is still very excited and pleased to have it back.
This all got me thinking of my early days of Land Rover ownership, and my own first Defender 90. Most of these early days were spent with Matt and John and numerous other friends in the Northern Ireland Land Rover club – and I look back on them very fondly. Would I buy my old 90 back, if I got the opportunity? You bet I would! Although I don’t know if I would be just as excited as Matthew is about his (but definitely more so than John). The thing is I am extremely fond of the Defender 90 Td5 that I own now. I think I am probably more attached to this one, than any I have owned before and don’t imagine I will ever sell her. The trouble is that my son is insured to drive the Td5 and when he is home from medical school, it becomes Tristan’s Land Rover. So I won’t sell, but perhaps I will have to part with the 90 at some stage.
Looking back at the early days in Land Rovers is always fun and Matt has been digging up lots of old photographs of our exploits. Almost all of these feature his treasured red Defender, of course – even though his first Land Rover was a Series III 88in. It makes me wonder if my children will treasure their early days driving the Td5 90. While my daughter Emma is no big Land Rover fan, I believe that having no option but to learn to drive in a Defender has started her driving career in a very good way. There is no question that Tristan will look back fondly. Youngest daughter, Antonia? She says that she doesn’t even want to learn to drive!
A lot of work is needed to bring Matt’s 90 back to its former glory...
Will Trevor’s children have the same find memories of ‘their’ first Defender 90?
... but he’s getting there and is very chuffed with it