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RIP Land Rover Defender

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by Tiki Tom, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. I was at the club a couple of nights ago and there, parked in the members' lot, was a MG sedan. I'd never seen such a beast before and it was immaculate. I complimented the owner and his wife and was told that if I wanted, he had another just like it he was looking to sell. I can't. Such a treasure deserves proper care and my garage is full of woodworking machinery. Pity, that. 14829227631512642104_large.JPG
     
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    That reminds me of the Alan Partridge scene where he calls two Luxus together Lexi. I would say 'Lotuses'.

    Would say the unreliability of British Leyland was behind on export issue as I know they continued to produce plenty of those vehicles, as I always thought the Triumph Dolomite and MG MGB looked awful in a really horrid mustard brown colour (similar to filled baby nappies) and black plastic bumpers that seemed to be around during the mid - late 1970's as my father had an Austin Princess in that colour but it had chrome bumpers and they started those square headlamp design too if I remember correctly.
     
  3. IMG_2340.JPG

    Oldsarge, that reminds me a friend of mine has just purchased an Austin Healy and due to our winter weather I won't get a spin in it until next summer. Hence my love of landrover, it looks just as good covered in dirt and grime.
     
    Oldsarge likes this.
  4. MGs got the plasti-bumpers here in '74 due to the new-at-the-time U.S. regulations. They also jacked the cars up on their suspensions to meet the new headlight height regs.

    I wanted a B or Midget so badly when I started driving in the mid-to-late '70s, but they were relatively rare even then, and the only ones I could afford were a few years old which meant pre-'74, which I preferred anyway. And those older cars were not like cars that are a few years old today. Basically, they were hot messes. They all leaked, smelled, and rotted away pretty quickly. I never got one.
     
  5. Is that a 3000 or a 100/4? Those are super-rare here, and one of my most desired cars ever. I know I'll never have one, though.
     

  6. I would have to ask him but I am sure he said 100, that and the smell of petrol when he opens the garage doors:)

    We have a classic car event every summer on the common where I live, called classics on the common and you get some really great little groups of cars together like the jeeps, VW campers, MG's etc. I always seem to have other things on so never really get to see them, although I made it this summer, wow it was only three months ago!

     
    scottyrocks and Oldsarge like this.
  7. Gosh, not just jeeps but a fully operational five ton. I'm impressed!
     
  8. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Well, I somehow missed them, although I did buy a Renault Le Car ("La Cinq"), oh, sometime in the 1980s. But I don't recall seeing any of those other cars new, except for Peugeot, which the same dealer also had. Came close to buying a Peugeot wagon but bought a Volvo instead and had it for 18 years, which was followed by another Volvo, which was only had for about ten years or so. But I don't recall seeing any new British sports cars after I moved to Northern Virginia except for a TVR, which I actually went looking for and anyway, it was in Maryland.

    Looking back, the 1970s and 1980s went by pretty fast.
     
    Oldsarge likes this.
  9. Years tend to do that, don't they?:D
     
  10. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Life is so short and money so dear that one can only hope to have one or two, maybe three dream cars in one's lifetime. As I've mentioned before, I have a list as long as my arm of cars I would have loved to own that I had actually seen on showroom floors. There were many more that I had no interest in owning and some that, although not dream cars, were still unusual, yet practical and relatively affordable for a new car. One such car was the Renault 16. I even had two of them. I also had a Volvo V-40, a really nice car but it became unreliable after about 120,000 miles.

    Among those that I desired but which was never fulfilled was the Citroen SM, Triumph Stag (not sure if I actually saw one new at a dealer), Triumph GT6, Jaguar E-Type and S-type (I'm being greedy), Steyr-Puch Hafllinger, etc., etc., etc. I never saw a new one at a dealer but I drove two different Citroen DS sedans. I've seen a couple of Unimogs and a Bristol sedan, but they weren't new. Aside from the 1965 Land-Rover, the only real dream cars I had were Rovers, a 2000 and a 3500. I managed to get a hundred thousand miles out of the 2000 somehow or other.
     
  11. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    The safety and emissions restrictions snowballed in the early 1970s. In many some cases the first generation of required changes wiped out the budget for the second. Europe was doing the same thing and so manufacturers got caught between dealing standards. Many of these car makers served significantly smaller domestic markets, where they could be assured of sales, than the American companies. It was a chaotic era followed by a really down beat time as everyone was recovering. Even when companies still imported certain models they pulled others because of lackluster sales or to save certification fees. I expect there was a labor/cost issue too because the Japanese manufacturers flourished in this era. My 1973 Alfa GTV was nearly as expensive as a Jaguar when new; a lot of $$$ for a car that contained no more materials than a Datsun B210. It feels to me like many manufacturers didn't get back on top of their game until computer design and microprocessor technology was implemented all through the design to dealership chain in the late 1980s. Land Rover, in particular was always inhibited in what it did by lack of funds to gear up for new designs.
     
  12. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Interesting observations. I think some manufacturers simply abandoned the American market because their sales were relatively small and the American market could be rather fickle. Another thing was that some of them simply did not have cars that were suitable for American tastes at the time. Their cars were too small and too slow. At least they were seen that way by consumers. Labor troubles at home and happy with the market they did have may have been other reasons.

    I may have mentioned that I had been living in a small college town that today actually has a Morgan dealership. When I moved to Northern Virginia, where I live now, I noticed a lack of the smaller cars that I had seen when I was in school.

    But the Japanese persisted and the Koreans came along, too. Remember how small the first Subaru's were? They were tiny.
     
  13. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    Subaru has the remarkable ability to LISTEN to what the US market has said over the years and to adapt to leverage our attitudes. Their all wheel drive platforms made them popular in cold country, their turbos made them popular in the mountains, all places where many of the last hippies hung out. Their small size as a manufacturer made them popular with people who didn't like big business. All this caused them to gain counter culture (or the people who think thus of themselves) cred. At the end of the day, they build a solid reliable car (and certainly not a small one anymore!) and they could have tried to sell themselves to nearly any constituency. But they saw their niche as a "nice, green, progressive" car and darn near ripped this identity from Volvo's claws. It was brilliant. They really are the only Japanese car company that has really bothered to learn and then act on what they found out ... or maybe the others are just distracted with their greater share of the rest of the world's markets to focus so carefully on the US.
     
  14. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Well, even Subaru does something silly now and then. Remember the little pickup truck with the seats in the back?
     
  15. fireman

    fireman Familiar Face

    The Brat? I would love to find one for hunting.
     
  16. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    The Brat was just before the real brilliance began. But I have to say that the "helicopter collective" handgrips for the rear seats that made it look like you were at once in a video game and also that the truck was so fast and agile that you needed both a seat belt and pistol grips to stay in, was INSPIRED!
     
  17. The Brat's seats faced the wrong way. In southern Africa, where the Toyota Land Cruiser (pickup, not SUV) has essentially replaced Rover the seats are high enough to see over the cab and face front. I like that a lot. Add a winch under the hunters' seat so you can pull a carcass into the bed without hernias and you have the ultimate elk buggy.
     
  18. I do like the style of the old Asian version of the land cruiser, never really liked the UK style though.
     
  19. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    One thing about the Defender model is that the market for such a vehicle is not what it once was. I mean as a real off-road, back road kind of vehicle. True, you still see a lot of huge 4x4 pickup trucks, some of which actually get used off-road, sort of (construction sites). But they're all much larger than the original Land-Rover and, anyway, there were few Land-Rover pickups imported into the States. Never saw a Land-Cruiser pickup. The original Land-Cruiser was about the same size as were the other small 4x4s, like the Nissan Patrol, the Ford Bronco and the International Scout (I hope I'm remembering the names correctly) and of course there was the Jeep, which actually had three or four models. Remember the Jeepster? The Chevy Blazer wasn't that small.

    The current market seems to be for luxurious SUVs, whether or not they are four-wheel drive and Land-Rover has that market covered. Besides, I don't think there are as many places to drive off-road as there used to be. You don't see beach buggies anymore, either, by which I mean I don't.
     

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