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  #1  
Old July 11th, 2006, 08:09 AM
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Chris Davis
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Solihull trip and more

I just got back from England on holiday. On it we took the Home of the Legend tour of the Solihull plant to see how Land Rovers are currently made. Boy, was I impressed. They have totally automated (or rather BMW did) the factory--more robots than humans! Totally state of the art, with (admittedly) most all their cues borrowed and copied from Toyota who, in the automotive world, run the tightest ship in the building industry. Very good tour--you can see why the quality level has been steadily increasing since 1999. The tour takes about 3 hours or so, then a break for lunch, then they take you on their "Jungle Track" and driving tour if you care to. Very fun.

Also went to the Goodwoods Festival of Speed which I highly recommed! Main, what an amazing, fun event, complete with all the GP motorcylces, Formula 1 cars, antique racers, everything! They even had a off road rally course, a test drive G4 Land Rover obstacle course with tetter-totters and such, a driving test course for Toyota, Nissan and Porshce Cayanne S, and a ride along off road (complete with jumps) Bowler course (for about $25). I will post pics after I download them (got back last night...).

Oh, and get this, my uncle (lives in England) wanted a Colorado license plate so I brought him one. I was going to pick up a European plate, but they don't sell them there. When driving down one of the roads, I spyed a plate laying on the ground (and yes, it really was on the ground--I have 3 witnesses!)--they have two styles, one sort of square which is found on most trucks including the Land Rovers, and one that is long and rectangular. This one was square--it looked like it may have been held on by sticky tape and fallen off. Here is the best bit--plates over there are typically supplied by the dealer when you purchase the car with their logo on it--THIS ONE WAS FROM A LAND ROVER DEALER! Even has the Land Rover green oval!!!!

What a trip, I will tell you.
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  #2  
Old July 11th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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whats teh defender assembly line like?
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  #3  
Old July 11th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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SWEET!!! Chris! Can't wait to see the pics! I am jealous!
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  #4  
Old July 11th, 2006, 02:51 PM
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It probably fell off the Land Rover because of some mechanical defect in the bumper. Either that or the Land Rover OEM bolts that held it to the truck fell off.

In any case, what a great find! I'm jealous too....
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Old July 11th, 2006, 03:40 PM
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plates over there are supplied by the dealer when new, they then stay with the car till it is scrapped, totalled or whatever. They are never returned to the RMV. You don't even have to inform them the car is no longer on the road. As to what you do with the plates is up to you. The one Chris found would be no problem the the driver that lost it, he/she would just go to a local garage and get them to make another with the same numbers ect. I just painted the number in black straight onto the body of an old rover i had when i lost a plate.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 05:20 PM
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If you had said you were coming i would have put the kettle on!
I live right next to Goodwood!!!
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Old July 11th, 2006, 11:48 PM
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Goodwoods festival of speed

Mandy,

It's nice to know some Rover owners near Goodwoods. That is an event that I need to attend because I am a international racing nut. Can't wait to go back to 24 heures du Mans and meet up with the Club Arnage crew as well.
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  #8  
Old July 12th, 2006, 04:04 AM
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Badgerman
Its called GOODWOOD.
part of the Goodwood Estate owned by the Earll of March.!
i was there last year playing wih the Bowlers (for free) its a good event, i am glad you enjoyed it.
You should have prolonged your stay... Billing is nearly upon us!!!!
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  #9  
Old July 12th, 2006, 09:39 AM
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More later, but I like this orange bowler...

Follow-up Post:

pristine series 1, (the have both the 437 DEL and 436 DEL at their place), rare D147 stretch "limo" only made for their facility and a South African tour company, Judge Dredds truck (did not get to see it uncovered, though) and some other stuff.
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  #10  
Old July 14th, 2006, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy salmon
You don't even have to inform them the car is no longer on the road
Actually this isn't quite correct. You do have a legal obligation to report when a car is no longer on the road in the UK, whether it's been permanently exported, laid up or scrapped. It's known as SORN - Statutory Off Road Notice - You'll carry on getting tax invoices if you don't and those are going up year on year for anything with an engine bigger than a hairdryer motor.

Sounds like a fun trip Chris!! I'll be over myself in August.

Cheers
Luke

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbilly Raider
Badgerman
Its called GOODWOOD.
part of the Goodwood Estate owned by the Earll of March.!
i was there last year playing wih the Bowlers (for free) its a good event, i am glad you enjoyed it.
You should have prolonged your stay... Billing is nearly upon us!!!!
BTW, hello Mandy !
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Old July 14th, 2006, 05:59 PM
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hi sixpot

Hi sixpot!!! are you stalking me??? LOL! NICE TO SEE YOU!
XXX Mandy

do you mean the UK? IF SO WHEN AND WHERE???
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  #12  
Old July 14th, 2006, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbilly Raider
Hi sixpot!!! are you stalking me??? LOL! NICE TO SEE YOU!
XXX Mandy

do you mean the UK? IF SO WHEN AND WHERE???
Stalking?!! Of course...

Re: the UK, yes, we'll be over for a couple of weeks in August. Basically a road trip around southern and middle England to visit the relatives, show them how much the kids have grown, and hopefully avoid the usual questions as to when (in reality 'whether'...) we'll be coming back.

I'm already starting my cache of spares to bring back. $46 for a Series I fan belt over here. "To you my son, from JR Wadham P4 spares... eight quid."

Cheers!
Luke
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Old July 15th, 2006, 04:16 AM
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Passing my way?
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  #14  
Old July 15th, 2006, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbilly Raider
Passing my way?
Not really I'm afraid - my sister moved from Hove to Tring a few months ago so no need to go that way now. We're down in Southampton for a couple of days with a brief stop off at Portsmouth to go to HMS Victory (got to show the kids that Ol' Ironsides wasn't the only ship that could kick butt in those days... ) and then off to Northampton, the Midlands and the Welsh borders. Sadly we've timed it perfectly to miss Billing, Sodbury, Malvern and everything else worth going to. Ne'er mind, we'll be back....!

Cheers
Luke
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Old July 15th, 2006, 08:29 AM
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well i am 15 minutes from Portsmouth! so depending on the dates i could pop over and say hello BUT if i do you mustnt tell Trev and the boys what i look like!
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  #16  
Old July 17th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbilly Raider
well i am 15 minutes from Portsmouth! so depending on the dates i could pop over and say hello BUT if i do you mustnt tell Trev and the boys what i look like!
You're secret would be completely safe with me... but isn't that a photo of you on your website?!? I'd have far more than that to worry about though - I can just imagine the scene at home "Well Mrs. D, I've met this girl on the internet and would like to see her when we go home..." yes, I can see that going down well.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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Which website? and its ok just tell her i am 42... 5 ft nothing married with 2 kids and ITS A LANDROVER THING!
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  #18  
Old July 17th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbilly Raider
Which website? and its ok just tell her i am 42... 5 ft nothing married with 2 kids and ITS A LANDROVER THING!
Maybe not then!! Illusions shattered.... http://www.alpinerovers.com/Alpine%2...s/P1010059.JPG

Re: the Land Rover thing - you're missing the last few words. "You wouldn't understand". Exactly RAOTFLMAO...

Cheers
Luke
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  #19  
Old July 17th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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sorry no thats not me! am the one hiding in the truck!
and yes you are right about the LR thing!!
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  #20  
Old July 18th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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Hey Chris, I just got back from London yesterday.

Did the Solihull factory tour but didn't have time for the jungle course. Kinda got a woody watching all of those Defenders roll off the assembly line. I was the only person on tour and I told the guide that I had a D so we spent more time than usual on the Defender line.

Something sort of bothered me though. After watching those robots cranking out RR's, LR3's and Freelanders and then watching the guys assemble Defenders by hand. I couldn't help but think our Defenders are doomed. It looked like a 1950's era assembly line (because it is). They might have a LHD 90 with a RHD Wolf 110 right behind it on the line.

I appreciate the way the D's are built and I hope they never stop but with Ford in control I just don't see things continuing the way they are. The guy that gave the tour was great. I asked him what he thought was going to happen to them in the future and he said they plan to build them as they are at least until 2012.

I just can't stand the idea of a Defender with a stamped steel unibody and IFS. I just hope someone keeps making parts for the NAS 90.

I almost forgot. When BMW bought LR and began using their quality control on the Disco and RR's there was a joke at the factory: To test the door and window seals on the RR, put a cat in the passenger compartment and close the doors and windows, if in 15 minutes the cat is dead the car passed the test. To test the Defender, place a cat in the passenger compartment and close the doors and windows, if in 15 minutes the cat is still in the vehicle, the vehicle passed the test.
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