I made what was meant to be a quick stop at the hardware store late this afternoon, because I was roped into a quick repair job for someone’s mother. In the parking lot was a ’66 Series Ex-Mod pick-up with its parking lights on. My intention was to hunt down the owner right away, but I ran into someone who I hadn’t seen in quite a while, and became distracted. Finally, someone came in to jog my memory by asking, “Who owns that Jeep?”
“It’s a Land Rover,” I said with disgust. “I don’t know who owns it, but I was going to try to find out.”
“It’s mine,” a voice calls from somewhere in the store.
“Well, your lights are on,” said the guy who can’t read name plates. He then left, after giving me the evil eye. The nitwit.
A young college kid comes up and asks about his lights, and I tell him that the marker lights are on. He then informs me that he’s not worried about it, because the truck has a crank start. That makes me chuckle a bit.
So I ask him questions about his Rover, and he’s more than willing to answer them. One of the employees asks what year it is and he tells them it’s a ’66. Then she asks me what year mine is.
“You have a Rover?!” That’s when the fun really started up.
We compare parts and upgrades and both of us had seen the recent ad for a ’67 that’s rotting away among the spruce south of Fairbanks a ways (see above). Eventually, the kid realizes we had met before when I describe my Rover. I remembered him then, but the truck was painted two-tone awful last time, and it’s looking sharp now in a more traditional desert tan.
I tell him that I had The Rover down in Mexico, and then he promptly tells me that his goal is to take his Ex-Mod down to the tip of Argentina. My eyes grow as big as saucers, and the entire contingent of hardware personel exclaimed various phrases such as: “Holy shit, there’s another one! How can there possibly be two of them?!” He looks puzzled, so I have to tell him that Mexico was the warm-up trip, and my goal is to drive The Rover down to Tierra del Fuego. Then another round of Rover stories and suggestions flood the store, to the point that we were now boring the hell out of the employees.
It turns out that he did have an idea for my running hot issue. He has an oil cooler that normally would run on the Ex-Mod, but he doesn’t need it, because he has no reason to install it. Afterall, this is Fairbanks. He suggested that we exchange phone numbers & email, which I promptly did because I know the first thing I do when I go home will be to google that Series oil cooler.
Kind of pointless in Fairbanks at all times, unless you’re towing (since I’ve been back, The Rover has been running around 180 when I’ve taken it on the road), and far from ideal at -50, but for a long trip south, it is worth looking into.