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Social Distancing With Your Land Rover

  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Apr 3, 2020

Range Rover Classic In My Garage

 

We're stuck in our houses for the foreseeable future, doing our part by social distancing to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus. For some of us, this has some upsides and some downsides. Of course, some of us are doing essential jobs to keep people safe and healthy in this difficult time, and for you, the noble work you are doing for all of us precedes more personal pursuits at this time. But for many of you reading this, there's a silver lining to our current situation: you have a lot of time to work on your Land Rover right now.

I have personally taken this to heart. Having spent the first two weeks of my social distancing doing things around the house that have dogged my to-do list, on Tuesday I pulled my long-term Range Rover Classic restoration project in the garage to use the time I've recently found myself with to try and get it done.

It's a time to stay at home and get things done, and if there's one thing that needs to get done, it's this truck. I brought it home in September 2018, hauling it home to New Jersey behind a Penske truck on a trailer from Atlanta. I saved it from a date with the crusher, and it's got something you just don't get that often with Land Rovers in this part of the country: no rust. I've gotten as far as I have, as fast as I have, because I'm not fighting rusty fasteners.

 

Greg With His New To Him Range Rover Classic

 

There was an engine rebuild that I dragged on for quite a while...an interior that I stripped out to inspect for and treat rust (that wasn't there, but I'm also keeping it from coming the first time it sees some east coast salt)...then I got a bit over the top refurbishing the upholstery...and there's wiring that I have to redo a bit. There's a new tailgate and lights to install, new bumpers, and a lot of rustproofing spray to apply. It's all a noble, doable project...with time. I just haven't had as much time as a rebuild like this needs when I have my life getting tugged in fifteen other directions all the time.

Time to work on my Land Rover is a thing I now have.

The Rangie's in the garage now, and I've got a laundry list of things to do. I'm working from home, so as soon as I log off, I can go into the garage and start working on the truck. In a time where there's a lot of things, a lot of hurting people, that I cannot make better, I can at least take the time to make this Range Rover better. It's therapeutic, a little thing in my control when a lot of other things are not.

Of course, one of the biggest things helping this endeavor at this time is Atlantic British -- we're open, and shipping Land Rover parts across the country, so as far as that goes, I'm covered for any parts in our catalog the Rangie needs.

For more generic things, like consumables, there are ways to source them via delivery or via curbside pickup from various auto parts stores, depending on your area's current guidelines. Best find an alternative to a new box of latex gloves if you can, though. Hospitals need them for PPE more than you need them for your Land Rover. You're already washing your hands all the time anyway.

There's been a lot of stress the past few weeks, and there's a lot more to come. We will all get through it, together and in our own ways. Social distancing is very hard for someone like myself, and many other Land Rover enthusiasts, who consider their Rover friends to be their second family. I've had a few group video chats with my different circles of Rover friends around the country, and it's made a huge difference in feeling closer to people, even as we're physically further apart than ever. If there's one thing I hope outlasts the COVID-19 crisis, it's the video chat happy hour.

There is a long road ahead of us as we all work together to get through this pandemic. But long paved roads are the necessary evil that lies between us and a great off-road trail. They are the long ribbon of anticipation that leads to the joy of seeing friends again in beautiful places.

I'll be spending my time at home on my Range Rover. And when we're safe and free to do so again, I'll load it up with my gear, back it out of my driveway, and steer it on a most excellent adventure from New Jersey to the west.


  • Written By
  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Adventure addict. '90s Land Rover daily driver. Historic preservationist. Personal vehicles: 1994 Discovery I, 1994 Range Rover Classic, 1961 Series II.
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