Peter Galilee

Be­ing selected to take part in a Land Rover cel­e­bra­tion pa­rade at Good­wood was a huge hon­our for Peter – but the price was miss­ing out on a mas­sive sport­ing event

LRO (UK) - - Contents - PETER GALILEE

…is part of Land Rover’s 70 Years cav­al­cade

‘All those rac­ing cars, hot hatches, etc had ar­rived on trail­ers pulled by – yes, Range Rovers and Dis­cos’

Oh, no!’ The voices carry loud and clear through the dou­bleglaz­ing. I pause, hosepipe in hand, and glance across at the win­dow of the B&B where I’m stay­ing. Its own­ers are on their couch, star­ing hor­ri­fied at their TV. Just down the drive­way, the main road is si­lent – it’s the World Cup semi-fi­nal. That ‘Oh, no!’ tells me things are go­ing badly for Eng­land. Why aren’t I watch­ing? Well, I’m wash­ing my car. What! Dur­ing the World Cup semi-fi­nal, when ev­ery other man, woman and child is glued to the TV?? Yes – on this par­tic­u­lar oc­ca­sion wash­ing the car is more im­por­tant.

It all started a cou­ple of months ear­lier when I got a phone call ask­ing if I’d like to have my Freelander 2 in­cluded as one of Land Rover’s ‘Seventy Cars for Seventy Years’ an­niver­sary event at the Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed. Quite an hon­our, but the Freelander was still wear­ing some pre­vi­ous-owner paint­work scratches and hadn’t been prop­erly cleaned for ages. I said yes to the in­vi­ta­tion, but knew Land Rover would ex­pect a show-con­di­tion car. There was a lot to do.

Spe­cial­ist sol­vents

A friend re­painted the front and rear bumpers. Then, with spe­cial­ist sol­vents, a power pol­isher and fine cut­ting com­pound, he man­aged to re­move most of the hard-as-glass tar-spots on the lower pan­els. He got the wheels look­ing de­cent too. Next stop: an­other paint shop, to re­paint the bon­net. Things were look­ing bet­ter al­ready. When the paint had hard­ened a bit I treated the Freelander to sev­eral washes, tak­ing care to brush in­side all the nooks and cran­nies. Af­ter lightly rub­ing the up­per pan­els with cut­ting com­pound, I de-greased and pol­ished the glass. Then, fi­nally, Autoglym Su­per Resin Pol­ish.

In­te­ri­ors are a fid­dly job on any car and my Freelander 2 takes longer than most – its light­coloured trim shows up ev­ery de­fect. I spent an en­tire day get­ting its 12-year-old in­te­rior back to al­most-new con­di­tion. But, when fin­ished, the whole car looked so beau­ti­ful that for sev­eral weeks I hardly used it – with Good­wood’s date ap­proach­ing, I didn’t dare risk any dam­age. Ev­ery­thing had to be clean, work­ing, ready to go.

The day be­fore ’70 cars’ I hit the road south, head­ing for a B&B near Good­wood. But pretty soon a fast tick-tick-tick told me the rear near­side in­di­ca­tor wasn’t work­ing – bad con­nec­tion, it’s hap­pened be­fore. I didn’t have a screw­driver, and no mo­tor­way ser­vice sta­tions stocked tools. So I even­tu­ally turned off on to A-roads and bought a crummy kit of small hand-tools for £9.99. Two screws re­moved, but the light clus­ter still re­sisted – it wig­gled about but didn’t come free. There’s a tech­nique for re­moval, but I couldn’t re­mem­ber it. Slap­ping, push­ing, twist­ing, then I thought: ‘I can’t risk break­ing this light clus­ter be­cause the event’s to­mor­row!’ Time to send up a distress sig­nal. I phoned main dealer Har­woods of Bas­ingstoke, ex­plained my dilemma and asked if they could help. ‘Yes, just bring the car,’ was the an­swer. Re­sult: in­di­ca­tor fixed, and a big thanks to Har­woods.

The next prob­lem showed up at the B&B – the car was dirty and in­sect-spat­tered. That’s how I came to be wash­ing, cour­tesy of the B&B’S hosepipe, while Eng­land were go­ing down to Croa­tia in the World Cup. Never mind: ev­ery­thing was clean, work­ing and ready to go… again.

Come in, num­ber 67! Good­wood isn’t one place. There’s Good­wood House, Good­wood farm, Good­wood cir­cuit, and heaven knows what – mas­sive acreage, lots of en­trances. The perime­ter roads are closed or di­verted, so you’re soon forced to go where you don’t want to. A 15-minute drive took 90. At one point I was in a pad­dock with no way out – race-cir­cuit ac­cess closed be­hind me, hill-climb ac­cess closed ahead. Luck­ily, a Good­wood big-wig jumped into the pas­sen­ger seat and got staff to move bar­ri­ers and let me out on to pub­lic roads. I ar­rived at the meet-up point with lit­er­ally one minute to spare, to be stick­ered num­ber 67.

The ’70 cars’ drive was won­der­ful – Land Rovers and Range Rovers, stan­dard pro­duc­tion mod­els and spe­cial con­ver­sions. I didn’t ex­pect my or­di­nary-look­ing Freelander 2 to get any at­ten­tion. Well, I was wrong – Google ‘Good­wood Au­to­car Land Rover 70’ to see my car with a pho­tog­ra­pher in an Evoque con­vert­ible be­hind.

These pub­lic­ity events are de­signed to catch me­dia at­ten­tion and I’d thought Fes­ti­val of Speed pun­ters wouldn’t be very in­ter­ested, but I was wrong about that too. Thou­sands of spec­ta­tors watched in­tently as we rolled past, lis­ten­ing to Richard Bed­dall’s knowl­edge­able com­men­tary. After­wards, I found out why. All those rac­ing cars, hot hatches, etc had ar­rived at Good­wood on trail­ers, and the trail­ers were al­most ex­clu­sively pulled by – yes, Range Rovers or Dis­cos. ‘Seventy Cars for Seventy Years’: quite an event. And it was quite some­thing to have been part of it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.