26.07.2009

Finally found myself a cheap 4×4 to buy. I looked at everything from Discoveries and Range Rovers through to Troopers and Hiluxes. In the end, a cheap 2l diesel 3 door Freelander came up locally so I bit the bullet and bought it.

It’s about as cheap as they come, so it was inevitably going to be a bit of a shed, but I’m fairly happy with it. They’re slated amongst Land Rover circles as not being a proper off roader but, having taking my first venture off road, I’m actually quite impressed. Being a lowly pre td4 L series model, it’s not exactly going to be street racing, but I’m also quite happy driving it on the road and surprised how well it pulls in the 50-70mph range. I actually overtook someone yesterday :)

The urge to buy lots of cool toys for it has already kicked in, but I’ve managed to stay sensible and ordered various maintenance bits for it first to overhaul the bits which might need attention. I’ve also had to spend several hours and a small fortune attending to the plastic trim, which some muppet has painted at some point in the past – the main issue with this being that they’ve used a black trim paint on grey trim, which has peeled and left the whole thing looking patchy and ruined the appearance. 2 litres of white spirit liberally applied and left to soak, followed by a pressure wash is getting this off nicely, but I ran out of change at 12 quid, so had to give up pressure washing it off before I’d completely stripped it – as can be seen in the picture below!

Freelander

It may be a bit lightweight compared to a series, Disco or Range Rover, but it has already opened up a whole new world of exploring for me – which was really the reason for buying it in the first place. First full day of ownership and I’d already made it out and discovered a load of byways in the local area which I’ve driven past daily, but never knew it was legal or possible to drive down. Driving down green lanes yesterday evening, I was beaming from ear to ear, loving every minute of it and I can see a good number of days being spent this way in future. I wish I’d bought something like it years ago!

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