Good Char­lotte

Land Rover AFRICA Magazine - - LETTERS -

I don’t re­mem­ber the first time I saw a Land Rover, and I also don’t re­mem­ber ever NOT be­ing in love with Land Rovers. Grow­ing up in Kenya, my life was full of Land Rovers. I re­mem­ber bounc­ing around in the back of the Novak fam­ily’s dark green Se­ries III sta­tion wagon, on our way to church in Ma­sai Land. But I never had one I could call my own. Now, I am 34 and liv­ing in Gaborone. Late last year, I de­cided it was time to get rid of my age­ing Prado and I told my friend Tim Race from Lotec to start look­ing around. A few weeks later I got a call. Tim found one – a ’95 De­fender 90 that was a bit worse for wear. It was used to trans­port a doc­tor in Tan­za­nia be­fore mak­ing her way down to Botswana. I was unim­pressed, but Tim as­sured me this was the one. We climbed in and took her out into the bush for a test drive. She didn’t look like much but she was all right. Ev­ery­thing un­der­neath was good and de­spite all she had been through, her sweet lit­tle Tdi heart was still go­ing strong. Af­ter the bush drive, I was sold! Since then she has been stripped down to the bolts and put back to­gether with all the love and sweat Tim and the guys at Lotec can muster. We swapped out the man­ual gear­box for an au­to­matic one, added air-con­di­tion­ing, new al­loy rims and tyres, all new springs, bear­ings, belts, lights and checker plates. Even­tu­ally, I set­tled on a stun­ning colour, dubbed ‘Frus­tra­tion Green’. When I look at the pho­to­graphs of where she started and where she is now, I can’t be­lieve it’s the same Landy. She is beau­ti­ful. Tim and the Lotec crew have done an amaz­ing job. Nam­ing a car is a del­i­cate thing. It can’t be forced. One day I walked into the shop, and it hit me. She was chris­tened Char­lotte. When I got home, I looked it up. Char­lotte means ‘Free Man’ – per­fect fit for my Landy. I can’t wait to get out on the road and fully emerge my­self into the ‘Landy Lifestyle’. If you see us out there, give a wave or join us for a sun­downer – I prom­ise to have some good sto­ries to tell.

Derek Work­man

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