Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Land Rover Woes

Mini tows Land Rover
Mini tow starts Land Rover at Monte Carlo

In previous years our trips to the start and from the finish of the rally have been almost as eventful as the event itself. This year, with a fantastic sponsorship deal (thanks again, Justin) we were thinking that we would simply load the Mini on a trailer and drive back to Blighty in the relative comfort of long wheelbase Land Rover*. A prosaic but low stress journey was welcome after the rally but it was not to be. The Land Rover turned out to be about as reliable as a drunk on New Year's Eve. After suffering the indignity of being tow started by the Mini on the quayside at Monaco after it refused to fire up, it threw a major tantrum on the motorway at Aix-en-Provence and refused to proceed. As far as I know it's still there awaiting repair and my fingers are crossed that the Mini and trailer haven't been stripped bare like like a dead wildebeeste on the Serengeti plain.  I used to drive the exact same model as a student 40 years and I thought it was an antiquated, wallowing, alcoholic back then. Clearly nothing has changed since those days: a reflection of the £1000 development budget that Leyland, Rover, British Aerospace and Ford have lavished collectively on the vehicle in four decades. If I had my way I'd have the bloody thing melted down and made into garden gnomes. Oh, well! Next year we'll get a panel van and possibly a 4x4: both will be of German or Japanese descent.

* MD wishes to stress that the choice of the Land Rover was made collectively by the team and was nothing to do with the sponsors who suggested a different and entirely more sensible vehicle.

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