Happy New Year! It’s going to be a wonderful year to travel our National Parks, thanks to the centennial of the National Park Service. To inspire your own travels, we have a guest blogger from Germany, Eva Maria Kindler. Eva tells the story of her love affair with a vintage Range Rover, and how a side trip from her family’s vacation to America’s wilderness areas resulted in some beautiful inspiration.
Today, I am giving you a free pass to my feelings. A story about true love and a passion that I am losing my head over. It’s, of course, about a car.
Only love makes a few thousand dollars annually at the repair shop and seven gallons per 60 miles tolerable (I know, this might not be much for an average American car, but for us Germans that’s A LOT).
But I have a few rational points in my defense, or you may call it self-delusion:
I bought it for only $1,000 and a bottle of Tanqueray Gin from the owner of Chelsea Farmers Club in Berlin, a quirky British Concept Store. Besides, the carbon footprint of this old car gets better every day.
In fact, it’s about something else: (under)statement, British lifestyle and the successful and credible synthesis of Salon and agricultural utility-vehicle. The Range Rover Classic (RRC). Many praises are sung of the Range Rover Classic as the first, true SUV on this planet. I am not dwelling on that. It’s simply a cool ride.
It has character: attractive, comfy, with plenty of room (again, for a British car) and a survivor. Perfect for pulling out bushes in the garden, which I’ve done several times. By the way, my car is from 1994, but looks 20 years older. Only a car is allowed to do that.
This year, I was up for something crazy. That is, taking out the door mats to see what was underneath. Long story short: it was painful and costly. But the whole six weeks in car rehab were all worth it. The RRC came back fresh and strong in a beautiful matte-green finish (it took me 2 months and 5 cans of spray paint to find the right tone).
While the car was having its face lift, we took a six-week family road trip throughout the American Northwest and the Rocky Mountains. We had a lot of time to think about the inner beautification of the car. The roof lining was hanging down. So we asked ourselves the question, how, from a design perspective, the iconic British fits together with something truly American. Or: do Native American-inspired patterns go with a British National Monument? Of course!
So we took a little detour to Pendleton Woolen Mills and bought 7yd 2ft of heavy wool fabric and took it back to Germany.
Typically, the fabric suitable for the roof and door lining is as thick as a t-shirt. We took a wool blanket to our local saddlery and asked them to do the job. What can I say! They did a great job. The result is better than we expected. We call it the Range Rover Classic Pendleton Edition.
Tomorrow, I am taking the car back to the repair shop. There are new things to be fixed. I drive the car to the garage, and jog back. Doing something for the Carbon Footprint!
Original post here: The Waldfrieden State