Range Rover Classic

Once upon a time I rather fancied a nice V8 Range Rover. It never happened.

This weekend we went to look at one.

It is a Range Rover Classic, year, 1991.

Naturally it is a V8 – 3.9. It sounds wonderful. It has a good chassis and seems rust-free. It has a beautiful walnut dash and a somewhat bizarre small sport-style steering wheel to match. In terms of colour and interior it is slightly faded, or worn, or however you want to describe it. It also has a crap new head-lining that in no way matches.

It costs 200€ a year to road tax in Spain (no road tax in Gib).

It has a few faults. Apart from anything else the ITV (Spanish equivalent of MOT) expired at the end of the month.

The water jets for the windscreen don’t work. One doesn’t even eject water, and the other sends out a pitiful trickle that doesn’t hit the windscreen.

The support for the split upper rear door doesn’t work. If you don’t hold the glass up it drops down and hits you on the head if you haven’t realised.

The small indicator lights on the side of the front wings don’t work. Fuse?

Nevertheless they are not big things in the overall scheme of Range Rovers. Adrian drove it out of the underground car park where it lives so that we could have a decent look at it in daylight – where we discovered the above faults.

We also discovered as I was trying to get in – that it is not a five door. Or rather a two door as one can hardly describe the boot bit as a door. Now while I may have passed my lithe agile peak, I am not entirely immobile and it was hell to get into. It was the sort of situation where you open the door, dive headlong onto the back seat through the narrow gap (even allowing for pushing the front seat forward) and hoping the rest of your body clambers in after the first part. Not that I wear them, but it is no good for anyone who chooses short skirts or stilettos. Nor is it any good for anyone who wishes to look remotely elegant – woman or man.

I could see very little out of the front as the seats are high. I contented myself with looking out of the rear window. They are slidey windows so I opened it a tiny bit and decided I didn’t have enough strength to manage more than a couple of centimetres. I leaned over to the other side and couldn’t open that at all. Still, if we bought it, I wouldn’t be sitting in the back. Neither would anyone else.

It sounded very nice as we drove a short distance down the road. We checked out all the usual suspect areas for rust. Think the owner was a bit surprised when we went through the routine of checking all the lights – like why would you not? Because we don’t drive very much these days, checking all the lights are working (as well as oil and water) has now become standard practice before we set off anywhere – usually to Spain, as there is little point driving around Gib.

So. Verdict.

A good drive. Condition: good rather than very good, and defo not mint – chassis and engine were plus points, and they are what matters. Desirability: two doors, crap colour, and appalling new head-lining detract from it. Oh, I keep forgetting, it had air-con and a newish Blaupunkt stereo. I keep forgetting to mention them because they don’t interest me but the owner seemed to think they were important. Mileage: 240,000 kms. Price: too much. Had a quick looky on eBay and couldn’t find anything over a grand – he wanted more. He’s not been able to sell it in at least the last six months if not more. What could we realistically expect for it if we wanted to sell? A few hundred?

So ……. whatever happened to my dream about Range Rovers? Guess I’ve been a leaf-sprung woman for too long.


Anonymous said…
hey you ought to start reviewing cars, this was an excellent review.

20 JUNE 2009 14:01

Avoiding San Pedro – the toll road

Cruised up to the finca this weekend. Round trip is around 350kms.

Here we are at Chilches. We usually stop here to let the dog out for a walk.

For the first time ever we used a toll road in Spain for the section between Marbella and Estepona, to avoid San Pedro de Alcantara.

Cost – two euros 55 cents (one way).

Reason – roadworks that are apparently going to last for the next 18 months and are causing huge delays.

Verdict – very nice. Worth two euros 55 cents. Possibly made up for in fuel efficiency by not sitting in traffic jams.

Note – toll road costs go up over the summer period so according to Via Michelin this goes up to five euros 72 cents. Probably still worth doing to avoid delays which will be even worse in summer.

The stretch of toll road is around 23km with a rest area/filling station/shop/cafeteria/toilets/parking etc on both sides of the road. Note, the shop prices seemed somewhat dear, but they maybe don’t get a lot of punters. Loads of space and great for dog walking. Clean toilets.

On non-toll roads in Spain the slip roads are terrible, you have to go from a standing start to meet traffic travelling at minimum 80kmph. Here, you actually get a decent slip road to get up enough speed to pull onto the motorway, plus there isn’t too much traffic anyway.

Another observation, the tunnels on the toll road are so much better lit. How bizarre.

It was pretty scenery and a great bit of road. Naturally, less traffic, as we all want to save two euros and 55 cents. Not any more. We’ll be using it again.


Around 350 kms


Around £23 for diesel and €5.10 in tolls

As a comparison the bus trip is around €26 for one person (both ways), before you even think about getting something to eat, and takes around twice as long.


Anonymous said…
again lovely pics. I envy you the sunshine. When is our summer here in the UK going to start?
20 JUNE 2009 14:02

Tarifa – one more time


The Santana hasn’t been to Tarifa before, although the Series III went there some years ago.

So after visiting Parque Centennial outside Algeciras we headed off to Tarifa.

Parque Centennial looking across the Bahia de Algeciras towards Gibraltar.

Parked up opposite the beach at Tarifa.

Costa de la Luz. Atlantic Ocean and beautiful beaches. Love it.


Gibraltar to Tarifa via Parque Centennial and a trip round the nearby housing estate when we couldn’t go back the same way we came in – 117 kms. Also includes driving past Rio Jara camp site in a fruitless search for somewhere to get some tapas on the side of the road…….


Around £10 – in Gibraltar.

Brake (stop) lights

Travelling up the coast last weekend back to the finca, Adrian noticed the electrics seemed to be playing up.

He couldn’t tell whether the dashboard lights were coming on and couldn’t see if the headlights were working in the tunnels.

As the tunnels are pretty well lit, it’s virtually impossible to tell whether your lights are working or not.

Plus, the ammeter seemed to be swinging around a bit. Maybe it was a fuse somewhere – always nice to hope for something simple.

Anyway, we got there ok, but before setting off on the return journey, we went methodically through the light check. It seemed the brake (stop) lights were the culprit and weren’t working.

Now – some two years ago, we had a problem with the brake lights. We had been checking everything before we took the vehicle for the Spanish ITV – and, the brake lights weren’t working.

At the time, we had no idea which was the fuse for the brake lights. In fact we didn’t know what any of the fuses were for. There is no manual with the vehicle and we have not been able to find anything remotely resembling one.

Santana fuse box

So trial and error was called for, and we methodically went through the fuses, trying to identify what each one was for. Out of 14 fuses, we managed to identify nine of them. But even with a full set of working fuses, the brake lights still weren’t coming on.

We posted on LRUK asking if anyone had any idea about the Santana fuse box – hoping it might be similar to a Defender one, because it certainly is nothing like a Series III one. We discovered it is nothing like a Defender one either.

But, help came our way, with a suggestion that we needed to check the brake light switch and see if there was any current going through it. There wasn’t.

Brake light switch – really convenient position…..

The next day Adrian cycled into town to see if he could get a switch. He did, at a cost of 9€. So far, so good.

Then all we had to do was to work out how to replace it. There was no way we could do it without a dismantle job, so off came the wing, out came the pedal box, the reservoir, servo, brake master cylinder blah blah…… All for a nine euro switch.

Everything out

Pedal box on kerb complete with new switch

Anyway, job done and back in and on. Auto-electrician was well impressed with our efforts and he told us it would have cost hundreds because he would have needed to pay a mechanic to do the dismantling job.

All back

So back to the present, and when the brake lights still weren’t working we had that nagging feeling that the switch might have gone again.

But, after the fuses, the next step was the bulbs. Checked those, no, not working either. Not looking good at this point.

Adrian jumped in the Landy and shot into town to see our favourite auto-electrician.

“Arranque,” said the auto-electrician. Adrian started it up. “Ponga los frenos.” Adrian put the brakes on.

“Muy bien,” said your man. “Funcionan.”

Adrian jumped out looking puzzled, so the auto-electrician duly demonstrated to him that they were working.

At which point the penny dropped. The second time we had tested them – after changing the fuse – Adrian had turned on the ignition, but not the engine. So the brake lights didn’t come on. Everything else did – but not the brake lights.

Anyway, he made up a really cool story about how his useless woman couldn’t even tell which lights were brake lights……… and drove happily home.

At least we know which fuse is for the brake lights now.