Owner: Chris Lesser
Location: Westport, Connecticut
Found on: Craigslist
Purchase Price: $4,000
Years Owned: Two
I picked it up on a hot summer night, and tried the a/c. Not only did it not work, but the fan resistor blew out, and the cabin filled up with electrical smoke.
Another time, the ignition switch failed in my driveway. Once, when I was driving to work, a pinhole leak in the transmission cooler bled pink fluid all over the windshield.
There’s a quote I found on one of the forums: “Land Rover: Turning drivers into mechanics since 1948.” That’s the anti-charm of these trucks, the myriad potential electrical gremlins on obsolete out-of-production components. But it’s all worth it to have a classic three-ton four-wheel-drive head-turner. Mine is a short-wheelbase model, with old-fashioned coil springs, a factory brush guard, and a front hitch I had welded on so I could fit a snow plow.
But it’s also luxurious, with power leather seats, power mirrors, wood trim, a sunroof, and vacuum-operated cruise control—which is currently the only thing that doesn’t work. I love it for the striking silhouette, and for the V-8. I recently moved to the burbs, a town where Porsche and Maserati crossovers duke it out for parking at the local Tiffany’s. I joke that I bought a Range Rover to fit in, but no one else on my cul-de-sac plows their own driveway.
This story appears in the May 2018 issue.