Ready to Sell ...?

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Back in the early 1990s I remember getting interested in Discos and RRCs, but never really thought I'd ever own anything like that. Then one dark night on I-5 between Sacramento and Weed, California, my mom and I were making an 18 hour drive to get back to Portland when I looked up and saw an odd set of lights in the distance. As we got closer, I could see that it was a Camel Trophy Defender just cruising along with all the gear hanging off it, and adventure written all over it. I remember turning to my mom and saying, "That's the kind of car I want some day."

Got to admit, I'm tempted to sell the Defender and start over. Here's why:

I'm tired of all the time and money wasted on it for no gains.
I'm tired of trying to get it to stop leaking water and oil and fluid.
I'm tired of being the guy who drives something so completely impractical that it makes me look stupid.
I'm tired of it not being able to keep up with traffic.
I'm tired of 19 mpg when everyone else is in the low 20s.

But mostly, I've put 13k miles on it since the engine swap, and all of those things above really boil down to the fact that I don't ever get to use it. The only time I have to use it is in the summer, but that's when I have to work on it to make sure I can use it, and that's also when I have to work on the house and the other cars, and all the stuff I've been putting off over the nine months of the school year. I'm sacrificing so much just to have the Defender, but I only get to go out in it once per year.

Since owning the Defender I've gone from 3-4 camping trips per year, multi day; one to two overland trips per year that last 3-4 days, and at least 3-4 off road day trips; down to just one day trip, and maybe one night camping in the local state park. Why? I keep coming back to the fact that the Defender is the thing that is keeping me from being able to live with a Defender.

So it's a thought that has been dogging me for a while. Including purchase, I've put about $32k into the car, which I know I can't come close to getting back. But maybe I could get enough to buy something I could use? Right now my son drives a pretty nice '98 Disco. The RRC is mothballed (which I hate having it just sitting there doing nothing) with a gamble of a 4.2 waiting to be put in. The Series runs fine, but is too dangerous and slow to take on freeways with a top speed of only 55 on flat. The Defender is my run about daily driver. But every time I drive it, I feel like I'm abusing it, and just making more work for myself in the future. My wife has a 2008 GL320 that we should probably sell some time before it eats another $10k in repairs per year.

Options:
  1. Sell the Defender, swap the engine to a working 4.2 on the RRC so that it becomes my daily, and keep the Series. (Probably can't actually do this because the RRC will then take up all my time just like the Defender is doing.)
  2. Sell the Defender and the RRC and get a Toyota that can be my daily, and I can outfit it with money to spare. (I'd get something like a 2004 Tacoma, and might have to change the oil some day.)
  3. Sell the Defender, sell the RRC, and get something cheap for daily. Just drive the Series on sunny days and give up on camping and such because I'm not doing any of it anyway.
 

rocky

Well-known member
I know a guy who sold his 95 Defender (owned since new ) and outfitted a Taco to the point his wife now goes with him on trips.
His retirement plans are coming together well.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Yeah.... other than it was my dream car (now I have it, what else would I want??) I bought it thinking I'd be able to go camping with the whole family without using a tent trailer like we did with the Disco. But it took too long to get outfitted, and now the family A: doesn't want to go in it, and B: the kids are too old now anyway!

I suppose another option would be to sell the Defender and the RRC and find a good LR4 to outfit. At least my wife would come along, and I could have a reasonable expectation of intact hearing, along with the assumption that I wouldn't need to be towed home.
 

AdamSanta85

Well-known member
LR3/LR4 or 4Runner for sure. Then you can enjoy the adventures and not worry about the truck the entire time.



 
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mgreenspan

Founding Member
If you aren’t happy driving it and using it for daily duty get rid of it. I loved driving mine everyday; however, I built it for that. It was a great daily and got around 25mpg with the SL35TI for my slight elevation commute up and down about 3k’. I enjoyed daily driving a 200tdi 90. It leaked just like yours and didn’t have power steering.

That said, the GX470 I have now is a superior vehicle to them and will never be sold. Move on if your heart isn’t in it. It’s not worth it if you’ve got a series to make you smile when you need to.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Part of my issue is that driving daily looks a bit like this: getting into the car in the dark, I drive 6 miles, the heat hasn’t even kicked in, and the engine is usually at only about 100 degrees, then I shut it dow till the end of the day. At the end of the work day, it has been sitting in the rain for 9-10 hours, the sun is going down, and now I drive 6 miles back home, but I’m all wet, and it’s dark, and I simply park it and that’s it. When the weekend comes, I have to catch up on fixing the car so I can drive it, or catch up on the sleep I don’t get during the week.

So I love driving it, but hate driving it at the same time. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s that it and my life are keeping me from being able to use it properly.

Basically, I’m just trying to think through how it would be to give up and live life as a traitor! I’m not sure I could live with myself for selling a Defender, and already feel pretty bad just thinking about it. Especially when I know there are a lot of you making it work! I don’t want to sell, then look back and realize that I could have just done a few things differently to make it workable.
 

1of40

Well-known member
I feel much of what you’ve expressed is how lots of people feel in small part. Life is too short sometimes so don’t spin your wheels and potentially wasting time you’ll never get back. We all somewhat approach this Rover thing differently, which is probably why it keeps momentum and stays inherently interesting. I’ve dabbled in other types of vehicles and when it was time to move on it was always bittersweet. For some these trucks tick off all the boxes and they’d be just as happy driving across the country as across town. Those types are few and a special breed.
 

blueboy

Well-known member
Interesting read. I am in a similar situation with my ‘96 Disco and ‘94 RRC LWB. Love driving both of them yet always in the back of my head concerned if we’ll get back without being on a flatbed. Have always owned a Rover of some sort since 1995 and just not sure how I’d feel if not having one in the garage. Look forward to hearing what direction you take.
 

Dan kemper

Moderator
Callsign: KK6ECF
Sell it and move on. Life is to short and if it is a weight on you ...get rid of it. You will have regrets but likely the positives will outweigh. I have daily driven mine for some time but in the last year moved on to a new car which allows me to enjoy working on the defenders again and not being reliant on them.
 

xplorutah

Well-known member
I suffered a similar conundrum. My interesting cars that were supposed to bring me joy, instead created anxiety and kept me from doing the things I wanted to do in those interesting cars. I love to camp and explore. My Defender was supposed to be the vehicle for that. And my first 90 was that vehicle. This latest 90 had a habit of acting up right before I was going to take it out camping, and so I either didn't go, or didn't take the 90. Then I had to work on it, or pay for work on it. Both circumstances kept me from doing stuff because 1) the 90 was in the shop costing me money(that could have been used for gas to go camping), or 2) I had to stay and work on it. It became a vicious cycle. So, the 90 was sold last month. I now have just my Series 2 and an 1972 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1300. Both require work - but neither fills the camping/exploring role - so I don't feel guilty leaving (like I should be working on them instead).

BUT, I have my 2015 Trail Edition 4Runner that I use as a daily and camping/exploration vehicle. I don't think I have checked the oil 5x in the 100K miles I have owned it. I have learned I love getting out camping and exploring more than owning Land Rovers. I will keep the Series (it is my first Rover) and will use it for short trips and maybe camp out of it once a year, but since I don't rely on it to fill that niche, it does not cause me anxiety. I found that I got the Defender because I thought it would be easier to use and get out in than the Series, it really wasn't.

Moral of the story. If your Rovers don't bring you joy, keep you from doing other things you love, or worse - bring you anxiety. Move on and find something else that will fit the bill. I have had my T4R for 4 years now, and for the first 3 years 6 months I liked it. Now, I think I love it more than I loved owning the Defenders. Not owning the Defender is liberating at some level. I miss owning them, but in reality I like this community and that is why I kept them. I have a Series, so, I am not leaving the community. The T4R makes doing what I love ridiculously easy. Good luck whatever you decide. Lots of folks are getting out of Defenders and into LR3's and 4's or even T4R's. No shame in that.

Edit: Maybe thinning the herd so you don't have so much LR stuff to work on will take some of the weight of ownership off your shoulders. Four LR products are a lot to keep up with.

The pic is from two days ago.
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IMG_6759.JPG
 
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waveridin1959

Well-known member
I sold my 95 and bought a 95 RRC I've been slowly bringing back to life. I miss my Defender every day but just makes since with wife and two small boys that I want to bring on the trail. Plus part of the deal was I get to find a place in a couple years.
 

DefendersNW

Well-known member
Buy an inexpensive reliable commuter or sell the Defender - I tell people almost daily that a Defender is a terrible car because it is a terrible car... good tractors, or adventure mobiles, or drivable Tinkertoys, or bad-road long distance mules; but for the things that most people want and need in a regular North American daily-use car; well the Defender sucks at pretty much all of them.

I daily drive one of four or five Defenders, or when the weather is spectacular I take the Series I - but my commute is 3 miles at 35mph, and I keep the trucks parked in the warehouse when the weather turns all PNW.

If one doesn't have the time, interest, and funds to keep an antique road-tractor in reliable ready condition, then you are better served renting a Jeep a few times a year or picking up a soccer-mom SUV that can handle freeway miles and forest roads.
 
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MountainD

Well-known member
Yeah, I hear you. I just picked up a "new" to me 110....and it is taking all my "free" time. I don't know the right answer, but I do know that if you get it wrong, you will have a lot harder time in the future getting a good one...
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Gotta admit, it feels a lot like failure, though. I am daily driving this truck, and even though it's loud and leaks water into the cab STILL!! (remember, I'm in Oregon, it rained 2" here yesterday.....) I really do love driving it, and would love to just keep it. But I'm in awe of you guys who can just get in and drive yours out to Utah or something, that's what I bought it for, and I just don't see that ever happening, even though I'd love to. (How do you even schedule that?... different topic.)

I suffered a similar conundrum. My interesting cars that were supposed to bring me joy, instead created anxiety and kept me from doing the things I wanted to do in those interesting cars. I love to camp and explore. My Defender was supposed to be the vehicle for that. And my first 90 was that vehicle. This latest 90 had a habit of acting up right before I was going to take it out camping, and so I either didn't go, or didn't take the 90. Then I had to work on it, or pay for work on it. Both circumstances kept me from doing stuff because 1) the 90 was in the shop costing me money(that could have been used for gas to go camping), or 2) I had to stay and work on it. It became a vicious cycle. So, the 90 was sold last month. I now have just my Series 2 and an 1972 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1300. Both require work - but neither fills the camping/exploring role - so I don't feel guilty leaving (like I should be working on them instead).
This is almost exactly where I'm at. Everything you say here could be a copy of my life. I don't think I could ever get one of the newer gen 4Runners, as good as they are, just never liked them. But a LHD 70 Series with the right engine, or a 2004 four-door Taco might do the trick. I'd love to have an Alfa. Have loved them since high school. Also, the Series was my first Rover, bought in 1998, sold in 2005, bought back in 2011 or so. I have been driving it every day this summer.

I've been thinking about this a lot. I've put a lot of time and effort into the Defender. I think it sucks. I'm afraid I may never be able to sell it because I'll never say anything good about it, and because I love it too much to sell it. So I might be formulating a plan...

I'm going to try to do at least one good trip in it. I've done a few short camping trips over the years, but they all felt like test runs. I have always wanted to really get out in it like I used to do with my Discos. My son now drives, so maybe it's time we go tandem, and risk a long run for at least three nights. This might actually have the effect of either making me want to keep the Defender forever, or of making me think, "Cool! That was awesome. Now I can move on." (Or it might break down, and I'll just leave it out in the desert.)

If I do decide to sell, I might actually pass it off to another Rover nut to sell on my behalf with a commission. I have no clue what it's worth, and I don't want to be one of those guys just stuck on a price, but insisting that it still sell.

I'm also going to factor in the RRC. I just brought home an unknown entity of a 4.2 engine to swap into it. One thing is for sure, when I had my first Range Rover LWB back some 12 years ago, my Defender envy left. This was actually a psychological event that I remember happening in the first few weeks of driving that thing. (Long story as to why I don't have that LWB anymore, kind of tragic, kind of a mistake.)

I might be able to break away from here and get some camping in next week. But the engine swap is going to have to wait till fall. I'm keeping this all in mind, and I may end up putting it up for sale this next month.
 

xplorutah

Well-known member
I consigned my 90 through a specialty dealer (high end lux and sports cars) that I bought my second (not the Arles I just sold) 90 from. I selected him for many reasons first being he is a "car guy" not just a dealer. He rejected offers from people that were the wrong person to be the next caretaker of my 90, it matters. Topic for another day.

I went the consignment route as I felt like I would accept too little for the 90 in order to end the pain of dealing with tire kickers and time wasters. They bug me at a high level, and I wear my impatience on my face (like a flashing light that says "URA Dumbarse"), my buddy says its because I am prior military. The dealer got me about $11K more than I thought I would get, although his services cost me about 5% of the sale price. Having someone else sell it for you might make sense. It took my emotions out of the deal. I was on the fence about selling, having it out of sight, and someone else dealing with the buyers made all the difference for me. Good luck with your decision.

I think I would own a RRC again before another Defender as the RRC was actually my dream Rover to begin with. RRC's seem to be rarer on the road these days too, and I like that. My heart beats faster when I see one, not so much anymore when I see a Defender. I think a RRC with an LS in it would be oh so sweet! Quite possibly my dream Rangie.
 

blueboy

Well-known member
I think I would own a RRC again before another Defender as the RRC was actually my dream Rover to begin with
Yes, it was mine as well and now on my second one.

With this one, ‘94 LWB, it is the auxiliary systems that are now troublesome and parts are getting harder to find.

We had it in Europe with us for 5 years and drove it extensively on off-Road trips with only small issues - we always got home though.

Within 2 weeks of returning back the engine needed work, wiring issues popped up, and then had a spat with bad distributor rotors that caused the engine to die without any warning. Hopefully that is now sorted with a Powerstroke rotor.

Yet in the back of my head is that nagging feeling are we going to get back.

Hopefully the more I use it my confidence will come back as the plan is an extended USA camping trip.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Still a bit on the fence about this, but not as worked up about it.

Truck has been acting nicely lately, so that helps.

To demonstrate what I was mentioning above, summer is coming to a close, I have managed to get the Defender off tarmac exactly zero times. In fact, it has been since Christmas. and it was a whole year before that. So in two years, I've been off road in the Defender one time. I did camp at a standard state campground for one night in June, but that's the only time in a year. My schedule is obviously messed up, but the fact remains that the Defender is the reason I missed out on three big overlanding trips in the past two years.

There is a slight chance that I may get out this week. But other scheduling conflicts, and in fact, a family emergency, may have different plans for me. Not feeling bad about it if I miss it this particular week, only that I was not on top of it enough to get out sometime before the last week of my summer vacation.
 

rlynch356

Well-known member
If you can I would just buy a Japanese commuter car or truck and just put the defender in the garage... it has taken a lot off my mind knowing I can jump in my Toyota and do anything I need to whenever. It doesn’t have to be expensive just reliable. My friend here bought a 2wd 15 year old Toyota Tacoma. For the same reason (he has an 88 d90 as well)

That makes the defender a fun truck and one that I can leave in the garage (as it is now waiting on a part) and use it for fun and when you feel like it take it to work.

If you sell it, buy the best Toyota truck you can afford that meets your needs (TRD pro Tacoma’s have a rear locker) and go from there, they are fun too.
 

Jeff B

Well-known member
I havent gotten offroad since April.

However, I drive the D90 at least once a week just to run errands or whatnot.

It's one of the only cars I really enjoy looking back at after I park and walk away...... if you can't say that about the vehicle you're driving then what's the point?! :)


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blueboy

Well-known member
I really enjoy looking back at after I park and walk away...... if you can't say that about the vehicle you're driving then what's the point?!
Exactly how I feel with all my vehicles. However, it helps that when you get back in, one can get back home.

I’m knocking on wood as I write this as both Rovers are behaving and my confidence level especially with the Rangie is improving.

The Audi and Saab I’d take any where without hesitation.
 
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