Land Rover has a reputation for being one of the most unreliable brands on the market. And yet, people still drive them like they’re going out of style. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Freelander is a Land Rover that has actually gone out of style, but will its price have you bringing it back?
Reading through the comments on yesterday’s accident marred 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage caused a song to pop into my head. It was the No No Song as recorded by Ringo Starr and Harry Nilsson. It seemed perfectly fitting with the former Beatle and the Aston both being British, and each having notable noses.
It was also an apt indicator of your general opinions on that wrecked Aston and its $17,950 price. No, no was the most common answer to the combination of car and price and both fell in a substantial 77-percent Crack Pipe loss.
That Aston wasn’t a cautionary tale simply because of its obvious—and less obvious—damage, it was also a product of the flagging British auto industry. Now, loathe be it for me to denigrate any of Great Britain’s automotive products, after all I’ve owned a slew of them over the years. But that doesn’t mean I’m not cognizant of their inherent shortcomings.
One major issue with British cars has been the quality of their parts. Whether it be design, material, or build, there’s a lot that can and will go wrong with almost every British car or truck. That doesn’t stop me or a lot of my friends from buying them though.
Here we have a true Brit, a 2004 Land Rover Freelander that happens to be the super rare and funky two-door removable backend model. Think of it as a Suzuki Sidekick for the warm beer and Broadchurch crowd.
The Freelander two-door is both a model and a class that Land Rover has, for the time being at least, abandoned. The closest thing in size these days is the Evoque which is more car than truck and is targeted squarely at the Paris Hilton party crowd. The Freelander was renamed LR2 when it was refreshed, and was eventually replaced in the lineup by the larger and four-door only Discovery Sport.
Like the Evoque and Disco Sport, this model was based on a transverse-engined platform with AWD. In the case of the Freelander that platform was from the Austin Maestro. Here that comes with Rover’s 2.5-litre 24-valve V6, an engine also used in various Rover cars. That small-ish V6 is good for 174-horsepower at a heady 6,250 RPM. Paired with the mill is a five-speed automatic and full-time all-wheel drive.
The black on beige two door sports handsome alloy wheels and a leather interior that’s impressive for its intactness. Everything seems complete with the exception of a missing lug on the right back wheel. The engine bay seems drama free aside from some weird corrosion creeping across the air intake. It looks like battery acid but it’s hard to tell from the pics.
I’m also not sure what to make of all of the front clip fasteners and hood latch having been painted red. What’s that all about? The bodywork on this 84,000 mile Freelander looks good, as does the interior. I’m not sure who at Land Rover is to blame for putting the cup holders on the top of the dash however, but placing them in the hottest and most splash-inducing position on the car seems a fireable offense.
The title is clean as is the Carfax, according to the ad, which also states that it’s been state inspected, serviced, and is ready to rock. That is of course, for the right rocker. If you’re going to own and drive a Land Rover then you’re going to have to be okay with a few things. You’ll have to accept that a Land Rover—even a brand new one—will have personality. And by personality I mean it will sometimes be reticent in doing what you ask. Maybe it will be the wipers failing in the midst of a monsoon. Or perhaps the transmission fluid and coolant will decide to mingle thus wrecking the gearbox. Whatever the eventuality, with a Land Rover, or pretty much any British car of a certain age, it’s not a question of if but when it’s going to give you some kind of grief.
Of course the question we’re more concerned with right now is whether or not this cool little Brit is worth that $4,499 asking. What do you think, for that much would you plunge into this funky Land Rover crossover? Or, does this Freelander’s price need to be far closer to, you know, free?
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!
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