The Land Rover Owners Ex Wife

……becoming me again

Happy Birthday Annie


Annie today

Annie today

On 13th February 1985, my long wheel based, series III Land Rover ‘Annie’ was first registered with the DVLA. We have no idea what colour or specification she was when she left the factory and we can only speculate from clues found around her bodywork, on her initial employment (which we believe was as a tow truck) but these days, she is a much loved marine blue, truck cab with a 3/4 length tilt (canvas) over her load bed

I still remember my misgivings when, back in 2011, Mud announced that after careful consideration and much trawling of the internet, he had come to the conclusion that the ideal car for me was a Series Land Rover. 

Now please bare in mind that I had been car less for some 6 years or so by this time and had been primarily relying on the increasingly infrequent and unreliable bus service to get into town. So when the idea of getting me my own little run around was first broached I, not unreasonably so I thought, envisioned a nice little Corsa, a Fiesta or maybe, at a push, a little Mazda: something warm, modernish, with the usual sort of things one would expect to find in normal cars like, you know, power steering, heated windows, a water tight passenger cabin!

Never in my wildest dreams nightmares did I imagine for one moment that I would end up with a vehicle that required the muscles of Popeye to steer, an extendable ladder to access the drivers seat and I was blissfully unaware at this point that it was possible to be rained upon even in the (supposedly) enclosed cab area of a vehicle.

Annie the day after she was delivered: 2011

Annie the day after she was delivered: 2011

However, whatever my dreams and aspirations were, they were sadly waved goodbye when I realised that the occasional forays Mud had made into the realms of modern hatchback, during the search for my car, were simply a way to pass the time until the ideal Land Rover came into view and so it was that Mud, the Mudlets and I found ourselves on the road, early one June morning in 2011, to go and see half a dozen hopeful candidates in a dealership near York.

Annie caught my eye almost immediately. She wasn’t the prettiest Land Rover there by any stretch of the imagination, in fact imagination was exactly what was needed to see beyond the faded and flaking paintwork and slightly tatty looking interior. Added to her woes was the fact that she was a long wheel base (109 inch in Land Rover parlance) and this wasn’t what Mud or I had in mind at all. So I watched as Mud cast his experienced eye over the other shiny, nicely painted and restored short wheel based models.

“Chassis been patched and painted,” was uttered once or twice.
“This so called ‘full’ restoration is not on a new and/or galvanised chassis,” about another.
“Prop shafts knackered on this one!”
“Oh my! What have they done to this poor Series?”

Definitely a little rough around the edges

Definitely a little rough around the edges

One by one he discounted every other candidate, feeling that the money being asked was too much for either restored vehicles missing important items such as galvanised chassis, or that had had just too many modifications done for his tastes.

Eventually we were left with two options one of which was Annie. Mud gave her a thorough inspection and realised that whilst there was work needing doing, quite a lot of it was superficial and the main area of concern had already been addressed by a previous owner in the shape of a new, galvanised chassis. The asking price was far less than we expected and so after a quick discussion with me, Mud sealed the deal and a few days later, my lovely Land Rover was delivered……… not that I got to drive her for a few months though and the reasons behind this can be found in an earlier post “Beware the gift horse …”

You wouldn't think it was the same vehicle

You wouldn’t think it was the same vehicle

So nearly 3 years on and I wouldn’t be without my dear old car now and at 29 years of age, she really is quite old for a vehicle (I’m guessing 60-70 human years equivalent). Yet she hasn’t let us down and trundles on regardless of worn gearbox and tired old engine. She starts first flick, even after several days sitting on the drive and doesn’t seem to notice standing water, ice or snow. Last week she passed her MOT first time through for the third year running and I had planned to take a picture of her basking in the sunshine and her own glory but it was raining by the time I picked her up from the garage.

Today is her birthday and the sun is shining and I have managed to stop and take a couple of shots of the old girl, on the way back from town, bathed in sunshine and looking every inch the star that she is.


13 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Annie

  1. Gosh!… I’m soo sorry that I missed Annie’s birthday (which also means that I must have missed YOUR birthday) 😦

    Still, I really enjoyed reading about your history with Annie… it’s funny how we can become so attached to these silly heaps of scrap!

    I wish you both many more happy years together!

    ps… if you and your youngest mudlet have another “Baking Day”… try this for me (it looks delicious!) and I’d love a review 🙂

    • Lol, when you get to my age birthdays tend to pass virtually unnoticed 😉

      I’ll have look at the link later as Mud is hogging the PC and I prefer to read blog entries on the big screen rather than the tiny phone screen. Typing on the mobile is bad enough as I keep hitting the full stop rather than space 🙂

    • Lol, I’ve made caramel slice (also known as caramel shortbread and millionaires shortbread over here) before but I really like the sound of the variation in that link, so thanks for that 🙂

      Also, Mud suggested that I should explain that (sadly) there is no correlation between my birthday and Annies birthday. Annies birthday relates to her the date of first registration in February1985 which was when she was bought by her first owner. Mud did buy her for my birthday in 2011 but I DIDN’T get her on my birthday, in fact by the time he’d finished fiddling with her and actually deemed her safe and suitable for me, she was very nearly a Christmas present!!!

      • Ahh… as you’ve guessed, I mistakenly assumed that you set Annie’s B-day as the day that she was presented to you (near about your birthday).

        I forgot that, over there, the initial registration can follow a car throughout its life – how nice! Not so here… I have no way of learning Gracie’s history 😦

        Regarding the Caramel Slice… I expect a review the next time you make some. Food, Family & Travel posts I enjoy… Knitting, Decorating & Gardening – sigh – not so much 😉

        • Lol, I’ll make a point of adding the ingredients I haven’t got to tomorrows shopping list and I’ll tell Mud it’s an important foreign relations exercise 😉

          I’m pretty sure the girls won’t mind if there’s some chocolate spread left over to have on breakfast toast 🙂

  2. What a great post. Happy Birthday Annie! 🙂

  3. They really do look like great cars. The modern ones just don’t look the same. How many miles a gallon do you get out of her?

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