This Bahama Gold Range Rover of early vintage sat unused in a barn in Leicestershire, seemingly close to the end of its days as a car to enjoy an adventure with. It had spent the last couple of outings being coaxed along a green lane hear Oadby by a friend of mine Nick and I remember being shown a picture of it temporally stuck in some deep ruts.
He was never one to miss an opportunity to make a penny or two, and he knew of my desire, to own one of these timeless machines from Solihull. During one of our lunches at Palmersport, Nick suggested that for a small sum of money, I should have it and use it in Morocco as an Impala Support car – I was excited at the prospect but also knew that I should look at and drive this Range Rover before parting with my hard earned cash.
The next day I drove at speed round the test track at Bruntingthorpe for half an hour or so and what fun it was. The V8 purred and the mechanical bits worked without any noise or clonks so my mind was made up – £500 later and JJF431N was mine.
I had but three months to get this Range Rover, (that had a certain “patina” of age) ready for Morocco. I parked her outside the workshop at Bruntingthorpe, which just happened to be beside the entrance to the canteen, so everyone passed by more than once a day. I spent every spare minute that I had, checking wheel bearings, hoses and welding a hole or two in the floor. I even managed to get the paint shop to freshen up this car below the waistline. Mechanically I did not do a thing.
Almost everyone who saw my pride and joy, had heard through the grapevine that I was going to wander off to Morocco and Libya with this “old car” and almost to a man, could not believe it!!
“Won’t get past the ferry, let alone to Portsmouth” they often laughed as it was said.
“You must be mad Neil” was often followed by “only you would do such a thing”
Well – I just smiled and do you know, this car worked without any mechanical problems for many a trip into the desert, much to everyone’s surprise but not to mine. I always knew that this Bahama Gold Range Rover would make the grade; after all it was designed to work in such environments by those skilled and proud men at Solihull.