The Rover Enthusiast     more than just a Rover Owner

Most of us know
there's quite a bit
more to it than simply
owning a Land Rover!
Do You have what it takes
to be a Rover Enthusiast?

. Rover Owners vs. Enthusiasts
Frankly I can't figure it out myself. What is it that has created this almost fanatical Land Rover enthusiasm within us? On a recent trip out of state with fellow Rover 'Enthusiasts' we were truly disappointed when other Land Rover drivers did not acknowledge our three expedition-ready trucks. We thought, "Well, they're just owners not enthusiasts." Or is it that we're totally insane!. That's a totally plausible explanation you know!

We've all seen the T-shirts, "I'd rather push a Land Rover than drive a J**p." Could this possibly be true?
. . . .
We want your take on it!
Take a moment out of your hectic day (I guess if you're reading this, you're already there), and send us your opinion (see form to the right) about what turns a perfectly sane truck/SUV owner into a crazed Rover spotting, Rover waving, Rover supporting, nutcase that many of us have become.

How it Develops!
In many cases we have memories somewhere within us of a movie set in Africa in the fifties, with the old leaf-sprung Series Land Rover featured prominently.

This all comes back to us, when we see one of the ever-increasing number of newer coil-sprung V8s on U.S. roads. The best part is when we actually acquire one, and hear from others, "Land Rover? Aren't those the trucks I see people driving in Africa on the Discovery Channel."






. . . .
It Gets Worse!
Yes, it really starts getting bad, when we come across the network of Land Rover activity on the Internet. That's also about the time that we find out that one of those 'African Safari' Rovers is actually within our grasp, and we finally have it - the original Daktari Land Rover, or at least our own version of it.

Need Spare Parts!
What really cements the relationship is when something goes wrong, and we face the daunting task of finding someone reliable to work on it. Very often, especially in the case of older Series Land Rovers, we beging tinkering with them ourselves, and find that there are many problems we can fix ourelves, and our classic car becomes our garage hobby. We talk to some order taker at Paddock's Spares or John Craddock's more often than to our neigbors, and Atlantic British and Rovers North sales reps become our best friends. We never look back!

Get Muddy!
You've more or less heard of the prowess of a Land Rover in low range in an offroad situation. But the crowning glory is when you take the plunge and actually get your own Rover all covered in mud - Man, that stuff sticks! There is a wonderful realization that it isn't just the Camel Trophy-equipped trucks that are highly capable expedition vehicles. Oh no, your very own mall-hopper is a true safari-mobile minus the Rhino dents in the side panels.

If you've reached this stage of being a Rover enthusiast, you're long past being helped. And if you're not there yet, you've got it all ahead of you. Of course, there are always Rover owners who never become Rover enthusiasts, just as there will always be people who buy Hondas, Volvos, and Buicks.

Let's hear from you!

Post Script: My wife (Discovery SII '02 driver) came home from yesterday, and promptly announced during dinner, "I want a brushguard on my truck." And I smiled and thought, it's starting again.

. . . .
. . . .
"WHY I'M A ROVER ENTHUSIAST: I am a rover enthusiast simply because they are the best and true 4wds avaliable. I love the extremely rugged construction of the land rover. I looked under my discovery and my mom's discovery series 2 and the frame is so huge and thick that what else could a person want. With all that safety I wouldn't want to be in any thing else. Plus the bodies of rover vehicles are light yet very strong like that of old rigs. Plus the amount of luxury and convience is top notch and off road nothing I mean nothing compares. Not hummers, land cruisers, and definetly not jeeps. Plus nothing out there looks like a land rover. As for safety rovers are know for being very rugged I was rear ended buy a 1997 ford expedition at almost 45mph The rover my discovery 1 only suffer a dent in the rear bumper the Ford was crush like a beer can. BULIT FORD TOUGH YEAH RIGHT. BULIT LAND ROVER TOUGH REAL DEAL that reason alone is why i'm a rover enthusiast."
Jarell Ellis, Union City, California

"WHY I'M A ROVER ENTHUSIAST: I grew up watching Tarzan on TV and dreaming of going to Africa in a Land Rover, of course! In '84 I had a wonderful Toyota SR5 4WD truck with all the goodies - big tires, etc. Then I saw a '67 109 SIIA 6 cyl. for sale in OKC. It was owned by a farmer and had 37K orig. miles. Paint was falling off, no weatherstripping left, oil leaks everywhere - I WAS IN LOVE! Sold the Toy, bought the old dog and put over 40K on it in the next 3 yrs. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I was in LOVE! Last 6mos. I drove it I had to hand crank it because I was a poor college student and couldn't afford a new starter - and the hand crank worked just fine... Well, 20 years on and many cars down the road, I still have the Rover. Now it's better than new after a complete restoration w/every option ever offered and many that weren't. I swapped the 6 for a 3.9 V8 (low comp. w/SU carbs), Ashcroft gears,GBR axles, locker and truetrack,RR pwr steering, full exterior cage, A/C, dual heat, dual spares and the list goes on... I think I'm way past hooked. But, I'm in LOVE and true love is FOREVER..."
Steven Saunders, Norman, Oklahoma

"WHY I'M A ROVER ENTHUSIAST: No other 4WD vehicle has the history or romance of the Land Rover (with the possible exception of the Willys Jeep?)!. Land Rovers were the first vehicle seen by numerous people in Africa, and is the vehicle of choice for the majority of expedition goers who travel that country (and many of the safari companies who operate there)...I grew up in Africa surrounded by Series IIAs and IIIs and have memories of them toiling through the harsh African bush...without faltering once. When old enough to drive I recall getting a SIII up to the floor boards in deep, wet volcanic soil and the only only thing that would move it was a large tractor. I have learnt to drive off-road somewhat better since then. Since those younger days Series and Defenders have been faithful companions through many trips in Africa, Australia, Europe and the US and they remain one of the few vehicles out there that actually still has some character."
Clive Bock, Vero Beach, Florida

"WHY I'M A ROVER ENTHUSIAST: I'm am sooo an enthusiast for Land Rover! A little to much obsessed. Friends are always getting tired of me screaming out when I see a new Range Rover or LR3 go by. They just aren't that common in the big ole' town of Bowling Green. I currently own a 03 disco, which is the second I have! Great vehicles all around minus cost for repair! :-D"
Cody Burgett, Bowling Green, Kentucky

"WHY I'M A ROVER ENTHUSIAST: It all started back in 1964 - My dad liked to explore the dirt roads of North Georgia with our old Ford station wagon. There was always a point where we would have to turn around yet the "road" continued. I always wanted to go farther up that road.

One day we were eating lunch outside at the Dairy Queen in Clayton and this big boxy thing pulled in right next to our table. The badge on the front said "Land Rover - Four Wheel Drive Station Wagon" and I was hooked.

The neat ads that Land Rover ran in the car magazines back then showed that they were a company with a sense of humor and I just went nuts over them. I bought my first Land Rover in 1971, a 1961 SII. I've had at least one Land Rover in the driveway ever since then except for a six month period in 1978 when I was negotiating with the owner of my 1966 109" diesel station wagon. I've owned over twenty Land Rovers (I've lost count) - currently own five Rovers and started the local Land Rover club Solaros to help infect others with this disease.

As we like to say - Real men drive Series trucks."
Jack Walter, Roswell, Georgia

"From my 64 Series IIA to my 00 Range Rover Westminster, there is NOTHING like a Rover. While very different from each other, there is no equal to each of these in their respective class!"
Aaron M. Ausland, Grants Pass, Oregon

"There is no better vehicle for the terain of the desert south west or the U.S. Rocky Mountains than a Rover. Moab, Navajo Mountain and the Rocky's have been traversed by my Discovery. We have been places that most Rover enthusiasts dream about."
Troy Vance, Edmond, OK

"Temp displaced to RAF Mildenhall, UK. Bought a SIII as a daily driver. Discovered the Real meaning of Land Rover on a trip to Africa. Caught the bug 'cause it is an inexpensive hobby here. Found my new love. Will never go back to a Jeep!"
Steven Taylor, Guymon, OK

"I became a Land Rover enthusiast a few years back when my wife kept getting upset with me for getting her new SE7 completely muddy inside and out. She wouldn't let me get it muddy anymore and "made me" get my own discovery. People wondered why I didn't wait to get the window sticker off from the dealer before trashing it deep in the Appalacian mountains.

We are now missionaries learning Spanish here in San Jose, Costa Rica. This is Land Rover paradise, and when I saw a 1980 diesel series III, I bought it that day. It was one of the last 5 Land Rovers built in a now defunct assembly plant right here in San Jose. They cleaned out the parts warehouse to build these last Rovers so mine has parts ranging from the 60's to the 80's. We've been all over Costa Rica. We've been to 3 active volcanos, rain forrest, the beaches, and high in the mountains to places I would not attempt to go in anything other than a Land Rover. We are moving to Caracas, Venezuela in two months and I must tearfully part with my Rover. She's too new to feasably import into the United States and the paperwork getting into Venezuela is too questionable. My only condolence is that they have lots of Rovers in Caracas!"
Bruce DeVoe, San Jose, Costa Rica

"I've just bought a 1997 Land Rover Discovery, but I've been an enthusiast since watching Land Rovers on safari on TV. I've been an off-road vehicle nut all my life and finally own THE off-road vehicle."
Chuck Asher, Salem, MO

"I just wanted to say why I am a Land Rover ENTHUSIAST... I fell in love with Land Rovers when I was a kid. It happened during an expedition in the Amazon forest of Venezuela. Since that trip I realized that Rovers were something completely different from other 4x4 vehicles...something that I could not describe until several years later ...After some time I started to learn and to appreciate the beauty of ecoturism and other activities that would involve LR. One of the best examples of all is the great Camel Trophy which was one of the most important and well known 4x4 competitions in the world. This is one of the many things that make LRs so special, and certainly what makes me drive them.:)"
Gustavo Moreno, Tulsa, Oklahoma

WHY I'M A ROVER ENTHUSIAST: "I had been intrested in Rovers for a couple of years before I knew the first thing about them. I would occasionaly see this boxy short wheel base little thing here and there that I knew was a Land Rover, and thought it looked like a real off highway vehicle. After finally seeing one up close I knew this was what I had to have some day, it was a Defender 90.

I have driven off road for years in full size 4x4 pickups but I always had turn around or back up before getting to the end of the trail. Well now that I have one (D 90) I have never regretted the purchase and I think I have become an enthusiast. I get a big grin when I see another Rover on the trail and just last week I saw a Series II in Wyoming for sale. I would make a great project car I thought...well maybe someday."
Randy Black, (club member)

WHY I'M A ROVER ENTHUSIAST: "Purchased as a work truck for my wife our 96 Disco had 52k miles and the most solid feel I had ever experienced. Two years of breaking and fixing a full size, lifted & locked, Bronco with 33" tires (my son's daily driver) had not really turned me into an offroad enthusiast....the drive home from the dealer in the Disco did. I knew the "bone stock" Disco would be incredible in the bush and it didn't disappoint me. It's the only vehicle I can imagine taking in to extreme terrain winch, no recovery vehicle, no cell phone (NOT recommended). After testing it's and my abilities and judgement everywhere from West Tulsa to the Alpine Loop in Southwestern Colorado, from Grand Lake below the dam to the wilderness areas of Southeastern Oklahoma I am very "enthusiastic" about Land Rovers. It now has 125k miles and is still my wife's daily work truck. It is not an SUV, it's an offroad vehicle. A tractor with air conditioning and leather.

To those who continuosly ask "How can you treat such an expensive vehicle like that?" the only answer that comes to me is "How could you not...." If you want an SUV with Land Rover on the front of the hood, buy a Freelander. Remember....'drive it like you're mad at it.'"
Jim Royall, (club member)

"My first LR experience was in 1972 when I accompanied a friend in his 109 Dormobile to an event put on by Atlantic British in up-state New York. At the time I had the typical Jeep CJ5 and after the event, was totally hooked on LR. We took that Dormie on trails I never would have considered with the CJ5. It took until Spring 1996 when a new '95 D90 hardtop appeared at the dealership for the LR bug to bite real hard. The dealer didn't even have time to "prep" it before I bought it. The D90 went on trails that the locals thought were almost impossible. Next was a LWB RR as the D90 wasn't that great for longer trips with 2 dogs and camping gear. Then the RR needed to be modified as it was going on trails almost as hard as the D90. Then the Series bug bit and an opportunity arose to custom build a NADA 109. The longer you are with the LR marque, the harder that bug bites. Then one day you realize you have a disdain for driving on pavement. Tire tread patterns and sizes become important. Protection from rocks you are encountering on the trails has become important. Knowing how to perform field repairs and having the necessary tools has become important. Maintenance has gone way beyond what LR recommends, as now having the highest reliability possible for the remote areas you're going has become important. Your "Favorites" section on your browser lists every LR related parts, club, etc. on the web. Yep, you now have gone from just being an owner to being a LR enthusiast."
Jim Thompson, (club member)

"It started in 1998. I wanted to buy a Toyota 4-runner, but my sons insisted I look at a Disco. Well four years later, 75k miles and countless camping trips with my 98 Disco, I now own two. A '98 disco I & '02 disco II. I've never had a problem, at least one I couldn't handle. I've been in "MAJOR" storms, deep in the Appalachian Mountains and always made it back. There were many times I was glad I had a Land Rover. So how does the transformation to a Rover enthusiast happen? It starts when you cross that stream you think you couldn't. You begin to appreciate & understand the design of the Disco. So when you see another Land Rover go by you know its not a social statement. If the driver waves back, you know they have been out there too"
Peter Clemares, Atlanta, GA

"I'm a Rover enthusiast 'cause I've driven all kind of 4x4's and believe that my "90 RR will do more than any other stock Jeep, SUV, or 4x4 Truck, and it will do without knocking your teeth out!"
Chris Jackson, Little Rock, AR

"Purity and simplicity of function over form. I make a point of saying I drive a UV, there's no "Sport" about my 109."
Tom Steinauer (club member)

Solihull Super Hero - Defender of Rovers
"I have to say I was a Land Rover enthusiast from 1994-2000. That all ended on June 19th, 2000 when I took delivery of my first Land Rover, a previously wrecked and now restored 1993 Range Rover LWB. I am not sure if I am a Rover enthusiast any longer. Maybe I consider myself a Rover defender now. Not defender as in a Defender 90 but as in a defender of Rovers. For I am often called to "defend" Land Rovers and my choice there of.

I am constantly defending my vehicle from the sharp jabs of my co-workers, who collectively own 2 pickups (domestic), a GMC Jimmy, and a Ford Explorer. The only documentable off-roading is when the Jimmy, with it's prominent titanium hitch, pulled the GMC pickup out of a ditch. To which we nicknamed the GMC pickup "The Ditch-Finder".

Every time my Rover is down due to failure of a part or a problem it is open season to tease the Rover guy. I average about 2 jabs a day with more when I report repairs. My problems with the torque converter that ate my rear seal made for a rough week at work. Vindication was mine recently when the GMC pickup had to be "rebooted" to get his transmission out of "limp mode".

My best friend bought a 1991 Rangie this year. He called me last week and said the honeymoon was over, his Rover left him at the side of the road. Alternator died, new bushings and he's back on the road. My Rover has never left me on the side of the road, (knock on Mediteranean Poplar) and I hope if it does it is when my wife is out of town. Because if it leaves "us" on the side of the road I will have to put on my Rover Defender cape once again to protect and defend Solihull's honor."
Eric Stephens (club member)

. . . .