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  Bert the Rangie

1985 Range Rover 3.5 V8 Auto

This 'Bert' the Range Rover.

Now, he was called 'Bert', because he's the (now ex) wife's car, and she decided that HE had to have a name, because she was fed up with men always referring to cars as women. And I think that 'Bert' was the first thing to come to mind, because all I could blurt out, every time I looked at it was "Burt, iz gotta Vee Eight".

Which was slightly surprising since I suffered a 109 with a two and a quarter wheezil engine, and had just gone out and bought HER not only something with a LOT more power, but also THAT noise!

Any way to the story. We needed a car to replace the wife's maestro, in which the gearbox was beginning to play up, and it was probably cheaper to get her a new car, than try and fix the one she had. It had to be an automatic, because she has a restricted licence, and it would be nice to have more than five seats, because we have six kids, and she'd been stopped twice for trying to cram them all in the Maestro all at the same time

Now, she tried a few cars, and she didn't like the big ones like my old Granada, or the little ones like the driving school Corsa. Then a neighbour mentioned that his Disco was an auto, and she jumped in, had a go round the block, loved it, and said, "Buy it me?" At over ten grand, I wont repeat my answer, but started looking for an old Range Rover.

Bert was that car. I found him on the internet amongst a host of others, but not on any of the usual forums or car sites, he was just a casual entry on a local community message board, but he was local, so we went over to see him.

His owner was selling him on as an unfinished project, and he had no tax, mot or much interior. But, he ran OK and drove not too bad, so I decided to take a chance, and offered the chap not a lot of money at all. Well, it was more than he could have expected from a breaker, but no where near what the car would have fetched with a little work and an MOT. And to be honest, if some-one had been looking for a Rangie to chop about for off-roading, then they would have bitten this chaps arm off.

I merely figured that if I tidied the interior up, and it passed an MOT, then the wife would have a nice car. If it didn't, then I had an engine, transmission and axles to fit to the 109.

Unfortunately, after about a week of messing around cleaning up and recovering the headlining, and working out how the grab handles and sun visors fitted, it all went back together a treat, and sailed through its MOT, so it wasn't going to give up its vitals in support of the 109, then.

So all that was to be done, was to add to add a boot mounted bench seat, and that was it, one very nice go any where people carrier for the shool run, except that she doesn't do the school run, she uses it to go to work, and she's THINKING about taking it off road, but I have a sneaking suspicion that that's so that she can use the V8's power to sail up climbs then laugh at me struggling in the Wheezil!

Update: 

See the report on the Snowdonia Adventure. - Bert was used for this particular off-road adventure, and BOY is it nice having permanent 4wd and V8 power! Comfy too. It was a shame that the run killed the rear offside hub bearings though, we'd been wondering what the wining noise was for some time, but couldn't work out what it was. A bit of green-laning, though put paid to that one, when the bearing collapsed - and of course, SHE blamed ME for breaking it!

See 'Hubs Inspection, Maintenance & Overhaul' - Berts back axle gets some attention after the laning expedition

See 'Range Rover Headlamp Switch Relaying' - Berts illumination problems are tackled with a permanent fix to stop the headlamp / indicator switches breaking - well almost - couldn't do anything about the missus swinging on the crook locked steering wheel getting in and out and smashing them!

See Berts Transplant & From Dead, to RED!. Bert's engine did in a cloud of steam on the M6. Attention was needed. He first got an engine swap, then while that engine kept him going, his original mill was completely stripped and overhauled before being put back.

Final Update

Well, Bert has moved on to pastures new. There are times in your life when you just cant find any answers. Last time I saw Bert was one of them. He was being reversed rapidly of the drive by the wife in one of her homicidal episodes, with me attached to the aerial!

Luckily I managed to swing up onto the bonnet to avoid being dragged into the front wheel, and then extricated myself and leapt into the safety of the verge, behind a tree while she attempted to change from reverse to drive. All within a month of fitting that beautiful engine. Such is life.

Any way, my marital problems, and believe me there were many, and she is now under court order to have psychiatric help for most of them, saw Bert transport her out of my life, never to return.

He did make one brief appearance outside my home about a fortnight later, weeping oil horrendously from the engine bay, and with bumpers that looked like he'd been shunted backwards and forwards between two bollards until something broke, and for all I know he probably had!

Incredibly, I was told by a social worker that my wife had left him there and asked if I could be asked to fix him for her, after she used him to try and kill me! Err......... No. I DON'T think so.

He was removed a day or so later, and local gossip would have it, was sold for scrap for about half of what the engine cost to build - well some-one got a bargain!

And that, I suppose is that, and kind of closes the chapter on Bert's time in my care. But..... read on my friends... better things were to come......... and I'll tell you all about them in Jumpin'Jack's story

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