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  #1  
Old July 23rd, 2004, 07:43 AM
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Nicholas Orros
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Very Unique Item...

Good morning.

Now, I'm not one for kids toys, or models for that matter, but I came across this in the MAY Issue of 'Land Rover Enthusiast' and I thought it was killer. <attached pics>

It's made by this native guy in Africa COMPLETELY out of local wood. He carves them by hand... it's held together by wire... notice the insane detail in the tires, rack, wing-protectors, etc...

The writer of the article left his email address and I emailed him a couple of months back on 'how the hell can I get one?' and he just emailed me back last week saying he's 'on safari' in Africa and is making his way back over to the 'dude' to finalize some orders. He hasn't asked for any money from me... 'yet'... but says he's going to be in contact soon.

In any case, have a look. I'll post exactly how much they are 'when' I find out and 'if' anyone is interested.

I think it would look great sitting on top of my monitor at work.

Hmm....


Nicholas
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  #2  
Old July 23rd, 2004, 07:45 AM
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I'd get in on one providing he's not asking some crazy price. Please post back details when you hear them.

Thanks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
[/size]
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  #3  
Old July 23rd, 2004, 08:26 AM
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Nicholas Orros
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Chris,

Will do.

The article states:
"...It takes about three weeks to complete a single model and they are sold from around 500 Rand each"

I just checked xe.com's currency converter and:
500.00 ZAR South Africa Rand = 80.8759 USD United States Dollars

I'm probably going to contact the 'guy' or 'manufacturer' directly, there's a phone number listed for Africa. Just haven't gotten around to it, and it slipped my mind until early this morning when I remembered and posted for you guys. I hope they speak English...

I will let you know as soon as I find out. In addition the article states: "...If you'd like to buy one, or several please contact..."
I did email and will try to call today... SO... if anyone's interested in a 'Group Buy' on this one, let me know, that way I can get a better idea of what it's going to cost. I'm going to see how much it is for ONE, and probably FIVE or TEN.

And just so you guys know, I'm not looking to make ANY money on this, I just thought this was 'too cool for words' and thought you guys might like it. I figure, if they're around $80 (and it says 'from' ... so that may be for the base model...who knows...) or a hundred, I'd pay it.

Nicholas
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  #4  
Old July 23rd, 2004, 08:39 AM
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I'm in.....
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  #5  
Old July 23rd, 2004, 11:14 AM
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Nicholas Orros
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Well, I just called the guy in Africa about the wooden D90's and I've got to tell you it was the most un-nerving conversation I've ever had.

He kept saying 'chop' or 'shop' which I kind of think he said meant 'yes'.

The phone call lasted about 20 minutes, all of which could have been done in 2 minutes if he and I could understand eachother. It was insane.

Anyway, he said he could complete one in 5 days... and if 5 were purchased he'd do it for 450 RAND, and if 10 were purchased he'd do it for 400 RAND.

Not bad.

But here's the probem.

First, I couldn't get him to 'verify' if it was the 'complete' Safari/Camel Trophy lookin' one's with the alpine windows, all the doo-dads on top of the rack, ladder, wing protector's etc... WHICH is what I want.
And second, after asking him 'how much to ship' , 'fedex?' , 'air cargo' ... (1/2 of the conversation) I finally blurted out the word 'Postal' and he understood that.

He told me to call back tomorrow afternoon and hopefully he'll have a price for me.


Whew...

Nicholas

<EDIT>

P.S. OH, and if anyone knows how to speak in the 'African Tongue' please call me and I'll give you the information. 850-322-3508
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  #6  
Old March 2nd, 2005, 09:34 AM
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Nicholas Orros
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Ok, if anyone is still interested in one of these ... (see pics in original post)

Well, got an update. After perusing through the February issue of LRE, there was another article about the wooden models.

I emailed the writer and finally got some information... he said he tried to email me back at my work email but it kept getting refused so I created a Yahoo! account just for LR 'shtuff'.

In any event, this is what he wrote:
---
"... Guess I'll soon know. All the models we received at year-end are gone; the demand is just amazing, and the young chap who makes them is not on a mass production format! Guess this is one of the greatest attractions. However, we are collecting definite orders for a July consignment, if that still interests you. Price is GBP60.00 each, plus p+p. That's the element that seems to vary to some degree. If you have access to a DHL international account, then they can be shipped with DHL in "bulk", but the models are quite fragile and need very careful packaging/handling. So far none have been broken. Let me know if/what you want. The Defenders are 90's, in full safari equipment! ..."
---
Well, 60 pounds is 'about' $115 U.S. (exchange rate is crazy right now... 1 GBP = 1.91118 USD).
And I don't have access to a DHL International Account, but possibly a FedEX International.

So, I'm seeing who else is still interested, because I think I'm going to get one for myself, regardless.
If we do ship them in 'bulk', say 3 or more they'll probably come to Tallahassee, FL 32308... then I'd have to repackage (no biggie) and send. Which 'may' be cheaper than if all 3 were sent separately from Africa or the U.K.

I'm going to email him back with a few questions, then probably again if I know that other members are interested.

k?

Nicholas Orros
feel free to call me on my cell if you wish... 850-322-3508
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  #7  
Old March 2nd, 2005, 09:56 AM
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how big do you think it is?
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  #8  
Old March 2nd, 2005, 12:32 PM
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Nicholas Orros
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I really don't know... If I remember correctly I think they're about the size of a basketball... There was a picture in the original issue where the guy was standing near it but I cropped the damn thing after I scanned it in and now I can't find it.

The detail is pretty intense... The new issue where they posted about them again had the guy with an outfitted Disco... but I'm not even going there.

In any case, if I find the pic I'll post it.

N
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  #9  
Old March 2nd, 2005, 01:22 PM
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I'm interested, keep me posted about your progress. I will most likely jump in the order as long as the cost is reasonable. I live in Toronto, Ont. Canada is that a problem for you?
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  #10  
Old March 2nd, 2005, 03:07 PM
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Nicholas Orros
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You know... on second thought... It might not be a good idea to do a bulk order. Why ? Because we'll have to first split the shipping cost from the U.K., then YOU'LL have to pay the shipping from Florida to Canada/where-ever... And on top of that, if you're not happy with the quality I won't want to hear about it. Just saving myself the worry, that's all. Unless you really want me to and can pay up front, when the time comes.

So, what I'm going to do is give you all the information you need to be on the 'summer shipment', if you will. Remember, these things aren't going to come in anytime soon. I missed out on the 'xmas shipment' due to just being too damn busy to contact him, AND I just plain forgot until I saw the Feb 2005 Issue of LRE.

In any case, the gentleman's name (the writer for LRE) is Christopher Race, his email address is and the last correspondence to me is as follows:

"MAEVE race" ck.race@btinternet.com

Nick, Will put you down for the definite; let me have further if necessary. A FedEx account is fine by me; pro rata shipping costs per unit should reduce if a batch is sent in one package. Purchase price would not
change for multiples. We are merely helping the lad in the bush out. He's a deserving chap. The GBP60 is the sum of what it costs to get them here (UK), added to what he charges for each model. we add nothing. We've not noticed any downshift in quality. But each is individually made and therefore there are variations, and some it has to be said, just are better than others. This is a strictly relative observation; we think they are all damn good, especially given that he has only a penknife, 2 bits of broken glass and a dodgy pair of pliers at his disposal. Happy to call you, but where are you in the US? Question of time zone differences; you could be 8 hours behind me!
Hope this helps.
Christopher

This should be all you need to get in on the orders for the summer.


Nicholas Orros
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  #11  
Old March 2nd, 2005, 03:09 PM
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I'm interested as well. Keep me posted.

Follow-up Post:

Check this out...
http://www.lrfaq.org/FAQ.6.model_RSA.html
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  #12  
Old March 2nd, 2005, 03:58 PM
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I'm in. I can do the bulk route if it helps anybody out (And that means I don't have to worry with the logistics since Nicholas has already figured it ). I don't mind paying up front either and hell, if it breaks it'll be just like fixing my defender now, held together by duct tape, glue, and dental floss!
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  #13  
Old August 30th, 2005, 08:29 AM
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Nicholas Orros
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Well, it took a year but I got it, and I feel like I've been ripped off.

Pics to come... Just got to work & opened it.

Nicholas Orros
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  #14  
Old August 30th, 2005, 09:37 AM
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Someone won one of those at the Solihull Rally this year--I got to see it, it was kind of neat, if it was like $20. I sure would not pay too much for it, though. It was donated by one of the rally sponsers--I will try and find out which one.
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  #15  
Old August 30th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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Nicholas Orros
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Davis,

I haven't had a chance to take pics because our company just got bought out by a major Fortune 200 company and we were having the 'nothing is going to change' meeting.

Yeah, it wasn't like the pictures I posted in this post... It's much 'cheesier', a 'generic' version if you will. And I'm really anal when I buy something, so I remember SPECIFICALLY asking all the right questions. Man am I glad I didn't buy a bunch for everyone on this one... Live & learn. I mean it is neat, but it's not what was pictured, I think I'm going to try and get my money back. Good luck right ?!

Nicholas
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  #16  
Old August 30th, 2005, 11:35 AM
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make sure you send your feedback to the author of the article too as a buyer beware.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
[/size]
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  #17  
Old August 30th, 2005, 02:21 PM
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Nicholas Orros
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I would but... He IS the author. I sent him my complaints.


N

I think I'm going to contact the magazine... LRE... and complain and try to get my money back... I'm pissed, the more & more I look at this thing I can't believe I spent over a hundred bucks on it... And the time I had to spend getting an international money order in GBP was insane.
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  #18  
Old September 7th, 2005, 03:00 PM
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pics...

I apologize to some who have emailed me about pics of this thing, I really didn't think that many people were interested.. But I'm kind of glad no one else purchased and I got to be the test pig on this one since it was originally my post.

In any case, here are a couple pics (taken from a Treo650, so the quality isn't all that)...

If you're interested, compare to the pics I scanned from the magazine where this guy wrote an article about it and was selling them. (Land Rover Enthusiast).

Notice how the pics in the magazine show that ALL THE DOORS OPEN, and the HOOD OPENS with tiny details in the engine and rear cargo area; The one I was shipped is just a block, nothing opens whatsoever!! If you look at the pics I took of the one I purchased, you can look at the side view and see that everything isn't even put together properly, looks sloppy, like they have a bunch of immigrant workers working at 5 cents an hour putting these things together. I mean seriously. Notice how there was a little 'gas filler' inlet (just like our 90's) and mine literally has a little chunk taken out of it and looks nothing like the original I saw. And I think what really got me were the TIRES... Look at the picture from the back, the tire is freaking bald and looks 'machine' sanded... Even worse, look at the lettering on the rear spare tire.

Another thing is the body... It just doesn't look like a 90, maybe a 100... it's longer and flat like the 'Wally Wagon' from National Lampoon's Vacation. Unlike the picture in the magazine which it looks tall & stout like it should. And everything is really out of wack on it, things don't match up on each side, this thing was made from a 'generic kit' ... blah, blah blah...

In any case, my Hump Day rant.



I can take close up pics if anyone wants, and I'll just email them to ya'.

Thanks for reading.


Nicholas Orros
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  #19  
Old September 7th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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Oh my that is hideous. That doesnt look anything like the first pictures. Sorry about that, did you email LRE?

BTW, kudos on the monitor sticker.

Follow-up Post:

Hey.. I found the picture they must have been using to the new models:
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Chris von C

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
[/size]
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  #20  
Old September 7th, 2005, 05:40 PM
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Nicholas Orros
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Yeah Chris ... I knew you'd like that.


I haven't had a chance to mail/email LRE... I'm probably going to just give them a link to the post.

On top of that the wood just seems like some cheap stuff, there's no way this wood could have survived 'hand carving'.


N
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