LittleCar is my first LandRover and Da and I have owned it since 1986.  I learned to drive in this faithful Rover and have now had it for almost half my life.  To fully understand the significance of Littlecar, I must embark on some rather serious explanation.  Owning series LandRovers in the United States is not a normal thing.  In fact it is pretty much crazy when you consider how much less reliable they are compared to a brand new Toyota truck (Forgive me Rover Gods).  Owning a LandRover requires incredible faith, dedication, and mechanical perseverance so there must be a really good reason why anyone would consider such an undertaking.  Devotion.  You love the car, but why or how could you love it that much?


In many ways I have always had a rocky experience with higher education.   As a poor hippie--public school kid who had to successfully deal with the academic rigors of a pre-collegiate high school, part of my mind was forced to rely on escapist fantasies.  Few objects besides sailboats connote these dreams as well as the LandRover (and you can moor it at home with no fees).  Though Da had been LandRover free since the late, late 60's, he still retained all his original LandRover "Review" magazines (including the infamous Mr. Zipkin goes on Tour article) and a 1964 factory repair manual will all options.  One day I dug these up and spent many an hour dreaming about the beautiful LandRover I would own and where I would take it on expedition.  In this way, from a therapist's standpoint, I could rationalize a successful and happy future existence outside of the tortures of school.


As a mechanically oriented kid, Da thought it would be a fun and rewarding idea for us to purchase a project to work on.  Remarkably, three Rovers existed in our small rural community of less than two thousand people--a red series III, a white series II and second green series II.  After some research Da found out that both of the series IIís were available.  The white one was a strange car with a mysterious history.  It belonged to the gas station owner of the neighboring town and sat unused behind a line of questionable vehicles in front of  the station.  He claimed it ran and that he had bought it on a whim with little if no documentation.  Not particularly attached to the Rover, in comparison to any of his other ten whims, he was willing to sell.


On a foggy miserable day, Da and I drove over and gave the it a test run.  It was the first time I had seen a rover and LittleCar was a peculiar beast at best.  It had clearly not been used for a long time and barely started.  Originally a white softtop, someone had found a crazy roof with green painted sides and a white top.  No tailgate top existed and the back of the car was open to the elements.  The firewall was covered with superficial rust, as were the rims.  An astoundingly huge driver' s side rear hit had left the frame outrigger bent almost 4 inches towards the wheel.


After experiencing regular cars, I thought the whole thing was mysterious, exotic, and hilarious.  Littlecar was so cheerful!  You looked at it and you felt good, down to the very core of your soul.  It somehow cut through your superficial worries and concerns and touched you.  Da and I were in stitches driving the car!  It made such a strange sound!  It started with a button!  It had a strange metallic smell.  It drove with this strange deliberate methodical pace that most Rovers do.  It had all kinds of strange levers on the floor on the passenger's side.  The heater and windshield wipers were exposed boxes!  It was so extreme and bouncy.  We were hooked.

Because of the rust and missing body parts, Da and I also went over to look at the other green Series II.  The owner claimed the car ran and we arrived to find the Rover driving around the yard on two cylinders with three completely stuck valves.  So much for that option.  We bought LittleCar the next day for $1,000.  (Almost ten years later I finally bought the green car as well but RustBucket is a different story....)

Next Rover:  MonkeyCar

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