Hello my favorite online community of jalops, car nuts, race car drivers, drifters, know it alls and assholes ( very small percentage of assholes but they exist) Here is an update on the saga that is my winter beater - a 2003 Land Rover - Range Rover HSE with the 4.4l V8 BMW Engine.
To understand how we got to this point in the story we must travel back in time just a bit. As some of you know, I buy and sell auction cars, specifically from www.copart.com. I’ve written a few stories about how much I love that place and how it makes me feel like Christmas morning finding a luxury car that has depreciated over $80k, its always provides an adrenaline rush, hard penises and wet panties. If you haven’t tried Copart, I would highly recommend it, especially if you’re a gearhead.
A few month ago I found not one but TWO Range Rovers in my price range, both of which actually started, ran and drove.
Excited about the Range Rovers, I took my typical inspection of the cars a day early. Here are more photos for reference.
Then auction day rolls around and both of the trucks are gone! I already inspected them and was ready to take the gamble but it would seem someone in the region would beat me to the punch every damn time.
This strange disappearance of decent - to basket case, Range Rovers within my price range continued to go on for a few auction cycles. I ended up with a few other cars in the meanwhile, never forgetting my ultimate goal, finding the perfect Range Rover Project that would suck me dry.
One day before a recent auction I ran into a guy like myself who buys and sells auction cars, however, I noticed he was almost exclusively looking at Land Rover Products. I watched from a distance as he started up each truck, went through his personal list of diagnoses, made a few phone calls and tagged the car.
I couldn’t help but strike up a conversation with this guy, His said his name was Sergei ( I would find out a little later that wasn’t true.) We got into a conversation about how much we love Range Rovers and we both got a laugh talking about the various forms of suffering through college just to own a p38. I came to find out he owns a shop and buys every single Range Rover off the lot before it goes to auction by sending a fair offer to the seller through an intermediary. He currently had regular HSE 4.6 to super charged, to a diesel (don’t ask me how he was kind of squirrelly about it) Range rovers, I mean this guy was the man to talk to if you ever wanted to buy a used Range rover from an auction or scrap yard he definitely knew his shit. So he asked me, “What’s stopping you from buying a newer body style Range” I sheepishly grinned and admitted the one’s I’ve found in my monetary range are alway on their last legs and I would like it to have enough juice left in it, to be a daily driver when I finally take in my poor poor Toyota Prius for the body work it’s been aching for.
Sergei asked me what I could come up with in 12 hours, which was about $16200 but I told him $3000. He picked out a dark blue 2003 Range Rover said he usually used it for camping and was daily driven for almost 2 years before he upgraded to the supercharged version. He let me test drive it and although the suspension was stuck in standard mode, everything else worked surprising well. The car auto levels its self back into stand mode once you park it. He told me the truck runs great and even offered a 3,000-mile powertrain and suspension warranty for $350 extra that’s the part that blew my mind, his confidence in how well the truck would run. He has all maintenance records and I could tell from driving it had been well maintained. Even the oil on the dipstick was pretty clean. Sure it had a few cosmetic problems, a PlayStation hook up in the back without a PlayStation, the hydraulic hinges for the trunk and hood are shot and frankly it could use a new paint job. All of these replaceable cosmetic issues didn’t even cause me to bat an eye. He gave me that title (which is when I found out his real Russian name and it definitely isn’t Sergei lol) he provided his ID and the truck was signed over into my name at the DMV for a total of $3350.
Let me put that in perspective, the last Range Rover I sold was a 99 HSE with 160K for $2800. My last Mac costs $3000 with accessories. My sister’s rent in Manhattan is $4950 A MONTH!!!
Let that sink in for a second.
After driving the truck like a baby for the first 1000 miles I decided to make a 600+ mile trip along the Columbia gorge (highly recommended if you haven’t before,) The truck performed wonderfully, here is a video.
Sometimes during the trip the cabin so was so quiet I didn’t realize how fast I was going half the time
The views of the river were amazing if you haven’t been able to watch the video, here’s a few more photos
Ladies and gentlemen, I think I just found the cheapest reliable Range Rover in America which is currently being used as my winter beater. Let me know what you thnk or if Im overlooking some critical problems which are typical of this make and model. So far I love it, well not the $180+ oil change
(bastards, I should’ve done the oil change myself)
Horrible interior shots coming soon. But if this can handle 4 hours of continuious intensive driving I think I’m set.