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Old October 26th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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Larry Walton
'97 D-90 ST #2066 UK 4X4
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Portland OR. USA
Posts: 107
What seized your attention originally???

We all have Defenders or Series rovers. We all had some sort of initial experience or exposure to these fine vehicles that caught our attention. Exposure that led to eventual ownership and in the case of a few of us...fanaticism.

So, share with us your story of how you originally became a Series/Defender enthusiast.(I prefer the term nut personally)

My story is this.....

I grew up in Alaska and my parents were founding members of a 4X4 club. There were the usual assortment of Jeeps and Broncos etc. A few Toyotas and Nissan Patrols. I remember at one of their meetings they had someone come and show a 16mm film of some off roading experiences in some foreign land....cant recall where ... could have been Africa, or the Amazon or Aussie outback. Who knows.The thing about it that grabbed me was there was footage of Series II's tackling this rugged terrain.

One shot in particular of this guy with the side of his hat tacked up like the Aussies do moving through muddy brown water up to his neck with just a pipe sticking up out of the water in front of him. He seemed to be quite casual about the whole thing and then he approached the far bank of the river he was crossing. As his vehicle went up the steep bank this Series II just crawlled up out of the muddy water. Steaming like crazy as this muddy water poured out like waterfalls from both sides of the vehiclle it popped up onto level ground and simply continued on its way.

My jaw dropped.....I was dumbfounded as I had never seen any vehicle drive completely submerged. The outrageous sight of this vehicle effortlessly emerging from this brown stew was mind blowing. From that day forward whenever my dad and his friends would argue about their Jeep being best or such I would say...Yep your Jeep is really good, but a Land Rover is better. Then one day a new member arrived with a Series II. I was all over that vehicle whenever I could be. I was hooked.

I never owned a driveable Series vehicle but once I had the finances in order I got my D-90. And yep... getting a snorkel on it was a top priority.


Visit the Land Rover Beer Bar,"The Best Beer Bar X Far!"
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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:18 AM
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Tom Pritchard
1997 90
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Ocean Grove, N.J. USA
Posts: 58

My wife and I had a series lll for about eighteen years. We would use it less and less as the speeds on the roads aroun us got higher and higher. 60mph with overdrive and 16"wheels was its top. I had to explain to my wife that a D90 was the same truck with a few amenities. We got a 1997 ST a few years ago and she has learned to live with it. It's truly the lap of luxury. The dogs don't like the FG hard top as the windows don't open.

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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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steven melnyk
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: racine, wi. USA
Posts: 318
when i was a sophmore in college i had a job at this cool point of purchase company doing design work. the owner my boss was also a designer and he had the sweetest toys!!

a 45 ft scaarab a vette a harley and many other toys, but the one toy he had was a 94 yellow st!!!
and i feel in love!! he would let me wash and drive it to college like it was mine and i could cruise around town!
that was it from the first day i drove it, it became my "dream car"
lots of people want benzes or porches or whatever, but i have my dream car after 12 years i got it two years ago!! if i ever win the lottery! i will always have a d90 in the driveway, not that i wouldn't get a porche, but i can live with out it! i need the d90!
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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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1995 SW #487/500
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Old North State
Posts: 7,404
hard to say. a RR classic popped my LR cherry when i was a young kid and I had alway liked them ever since. A british car mechanic my dad used to take his TR6 to would always have a Series parked out front. I never thought Id be lucky enough to have a Defender, I drove my first when I was a freshman in college. 1994 Conniston green ST with 75k miles. Found my SW soon after and the rest is going down in history. I couldnt imagine what it would be like to not have a Land Rover.
Poor gas mileage gets you to the best places on earth
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Old October 26th, 2006, 09:23 AM
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Jack Walter
1966 109 SW Diesel
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Roswell, GA, USA
Posts: 782
When we were kids my parents would pack up a picnic lunch, load up the old Ford station wagon and haul the five of us up to the North Georgia mountains to explore back roads and find a nice spot on the side of a creek somewhere to eat lunch. We ran a lot of the forest service roads in those Fords but we'd eventually come to a point where we'd have to turn around because the road was getting too rough to go any further. I always wanted to see where those roads went.....

Some times we'd stop at the Dairy Queen in Clayton or Cleveland to get an ice cream cone on the way home. It was back in about 1964 - I was 13 years old and we were sitting outside the DQ in Clayton at one of the picnic tables when this big boxy marine blue 5-door station wagon pulled nose in right next to us. I looked up and saw that oval grill badge that said "LAND-ROVER FOUR WHEEL DRIVE STATION WAGON" and thought "that is the coolest car I've ever seen".

I was totally smitten and have remained that way ever since. Tried to get Dad to buy one - no luck. A friend of mine and I tried to talk his mother into buying one when we were 15 years old and looking forward to getting our hands on the family wheels when we turned 16 - still no luck. Finally bought a 1961 SII 88" wagon in 1971 and have had at least one Land Rover in the driveway ever since except for a six month period in 1978 when I was switching from a '67 88" to a '66 109" wagon.
I still have the wagon and wound up buying the '67 88" back fifteen years later.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Ernie Novey
1995 D1 and 1991 RRC SWB
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: East Hartford, Connecticut USA
Posts: 69
My story has been a lifetime one. My dad had an early series IIA and when I was growing up we would always stop to look at them when we would see one. He would always tell me about the fun times he had off road and how it made it where none of his buddies could go. When I was about 16, we were in NH at my Dad's property and down the road was a guy who had 3 88"s in rough shape sitting in his yard. When me and my dad talked to him, the man said I could take them all! I begged my dad but he told me I didn't have the ability or the funds to fix. Well, from that day I swore I would have one. I loved the looks, the challenge of fixing and also the uniqueness of the vehicles. I had always been mechanically inclined, and I am now an engineer. When I got my first job, I bought a series III from a local guy advertising and immediately began the tear down to start a full rebuild. It was then that I discovered ECR and the coil chassis. I knew about defenders and always thought they were out of my league. Before I knew it, I was on my way to building my Series III into a D-90. To keep this relatively short, I was obsessed and when I was evaluating my expenses I realized I should have just bought the 90. I sold my project series III and bought a D-90 never looking back. Along the way I purchased a 1965 series IIA 88" that I intend to fully restore someday... but for now I tinker with it and drive it around my family's farm.
Anyways, I love the real land rovers and I think I will always be obsessed like many of you.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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Jim Cheney
NAS 110 #145
Site Team
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Posts: 7,115
Rovers really build up on me slowly-
Like most here I saw Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom when I was a kid, and of course Marlin Perkins rolling around Africa in a series truck always represented adventure.

Then when I was at college, the 75th Rangers performed a simulated assault on the mess hall during the week before the Navy game. The helicopters came in NOE, and immediately stirred up all the snow on the ground. When the snow cleared, there were 50 Rangers on the ground with 2 RSOV WMIK 110's. I didnt know exactly what they were, but they were a lot cooler than HMMWV's.

A few years later some buddies and I were joking about how cool it would be to roll around in one of those old Rovers with the tire on the hood, so I started looking into them. Then, fatefully, I met a guy named Kermit and his TDI 110. From that day on I had a mission.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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93 NAS 110
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Monument, Colorado
Posts: 1,359
It's Marlin Perkins fault! I used to watch Wild Kingdom every Sunday night as a kid. Loved that show and the Rovers in it. Saw my first NAS D-90 in 1994. Was driving down Sunset Cliffs Blvd in Ocean Beach (OB) and a AA Yellow ST pulled out in front of me. My Wife to be was with me at the time and I told her "I gotta get one of those!". Well it took ten years, but I got one.

"Fossil Fuel Rapid Disposal Unit"
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Old October 26th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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jimmy salmon
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jimmy salmon
94 D90 AA Yellow
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Methuen MA USA
Posts: 1,343
How to know that You're a Land Rover owner:

If You go to get the Sunday paper and You come back on Monday without it.
If You use a hose to clean the inside and the outside.
When the best route from point A to point B is through the mud.
When a scratch or a dent is a beauty mark.
You roll Your Rover over and look for it's thingy.
Your mom and sister can't get in without help.
You judge every hill You see by how much fun it would be to climb.
You search for trails in an RAF helicopter.
You puke when You see a Geo Tracker.
You get custom pin-striping from trail brush.
If it takes more than 6 hours to get donuts.
When You pull into the unplowed parking spots on snowy days.
When You take Your friends wheeling and they say "What trail - I don't see a trail!".
Your friends won't ride with You 'cause they don't want to wind up in the moors in the middle of the night.
When Your boss's secretary calls to "recommend" that You wash Your Rover.
When You finally wash the mud off, everyone thinks You bought a new Rover.
You carry emergency supplies and clothing because You never know where You will end up.
When Your Nerf bars battle rocks and win.
When it rains and You don't care that Your tops and doors are off.
When You drive around to look at Christmas lights topless.
When You change Your plugs in the parking lot at work on a break.
If Your "Parts Dept." is on blocks behind Your house. (YAY ) MY FAVORITE!
When You take Your Mom wheeling and she has to help You flip the Rover back onto it's wheels again.
You use an ice-scraper on the INSIDE of the windshield.
You get more heat from holes in the floorboards than through the heater vents.
Every page of Your repair manual has fingerprints.
Passengers scream "DON'T ROLL IT!" when You take them wheeling.
You spend more time under Your Rover than under Your significant other.
Winter comes and you can't remember where You left the roof.
You spend more on car washes than on insurance.
Even worse the car wash won't let You in.
You complain about everything but smile when You fix everything yourself.
When You think Mud Brown should be a factory paint color.
When You feel sorry for someone with a 30000 Toyota Land Cruiser.
When You have all Your credit card numbers memorized.
When You slam the door and part of Your Rover chassis crumbles to the ground.
If You get asked to pick up Your co-workers in a snow storm and get paid for it.
Your wife/girlfriend refuses to get in it.
You are the only one on the street that doesn't plow their driveway.
You try to run the plow trucks off the road when it snows.
You have a high-water mark INSIDE the Rover.
The first word out of Your 2 year old's mouth isn't Mommy or Daddy, it's rover!
3rd low and BOOT IT
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Old October 26th, 2006, 01:59 PM
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Donald McDowell
Black 1997 D-90 soft top
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Delray Beach, FL/ Bequia, St.Vincent & Grenadines
Posts: 221
I grew up in the Caribbean and for many many years the ONLY vehicles on the island were Land Rovers. There were no paved roads with the exception of a few tracks where there were 2 poured strips of cement but most of the island was gravel road at best. These vehicles were easy to fix for the local "mechanic" and parts were available from England or neighboring islands.

I loved the Series Land Rovers and the Defenders in later years and I always knew I would own one sometime. My family owned a few over the years and they were always breaking down for one reason or another, but despite being on a tiny island with no garage or qualified mechanics, I was so impressed how easy they were to fix and get back on the beaten track.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 08:51 PM
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Stephen Whitaker
1994 D-90
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bruceville, Indiana
Posts: 145
For me it began when I was a kid in March, 1961. We were putting in a patio in our home in Cleveland and when putting bricks in the bed of our 1957 Plymouth station wagon they promptly went through the floor - rust is such a nasty thing. My dad went out to buy a more rugged vehicle and took us to a car show where we saw a Series II 109 up on a steep ramp. I recall vividly my dad laughing at the ungainly monstrosity as the salesman came over and started talking to him about Land Rovers. The next day he went out and bought it - pointing out how the aluminum body will end the rusting problems. It soon became a workhorse and a part of the family (we named it "Monst"). When we moved out west in 1963 that Land Rover came into its own and wowed us, and everyone else with whom we went offroading. Just being with us encouraged 8 other souls to purchase Land Rovers of their own and in a way started a little garage that became British Pacific. Over the years I have experienced the usual battery of silly, funny, ridiculous Land Rover stories due to this one truck. I still have Monst in my garage where I am attempting a bit of a restoration. Losing patience, I bought a used '94 D-90 to allow me to indulge in some offroading while I continue my barrage of Anglo-Saxon verbage aimed at the various aspects of restoring a vintage Land Rover.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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'95 D90 SW#106
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Highmount, NY
Posts: 835
Grew up an American overseas, and travels thru the East, Middle East, and Asia, exposed me to Land Rovers back in the late sixties. But really, Daktari clinched the real influence for me.. and it's been a 30 year love affair starting with a series 2A, a 109, a 110, and then the D90 SW.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 04:41 PM
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97 D90 #1345
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nashville,TN
Posts: 167
when I was little my mom took her RRC into the dealer to get serviced and someone had just taken their 110 in for service, It was love at first sight and to add to that they had a 94 ST in the showroom, I was climbing all around the car and told my mom this is what I wanted to drive. From that point on a Defender was my dream car, and whenever someone calls it a Jeep, I always have to correct them.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 10:04 PM
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Tim Brown
'95 D90 ST '99D2
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Perkinsville VT
Posts: 231
I was 1st led to rovers due to some crappy coverage of the Camel Trophy in one of my 4x4 mags. I was amazed in a time of show trucks and neon colors that people were wheeling the crap out of these trucks for weeks on end. I was hooked. After I had some money I got a RRC, and had a lot of fun with it (currently being parted out). After I got some more money, and ran across Jase, I found a way to get a D90, and have been happy ever since.
I got your JEEP thing, now it hurts when I pee!!
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Old October 29th, 2006, 04:15 AM
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chris snell
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Chris Snell
87 Ex-MOD 110
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,414
The first Defender that I ever saw was my truck. When I was a college sophmore, my uncle bought AA Yellow #63 from a local used Rover dealer with a few hundred miles on it. PO was a lady in Florida. He drove the truck by my parents' house and I was immediately awestruck. This was the first "road sign yellow" vehicle that I had ever seen. He let me drive it a little that night, out to a guy's house where it was left to have the rear safari seats installed. It took me five minutes to get it started because I couldn't figure out where the ignition key went or why it didn't want to "turn on". When I finally got it rolling, I felt like the coolest kid in the world for the ten minutes that I got to drive it.

I lusted over this truck but I was a poor college student and it was totally unobtainable for me. For the next eleven years, I was a very jealous nephew. NAS D-90 #63 spent most of those years sitting in his garage, going out for the occasional weekend trip to the Texas coast. How I longed for that truck. After college, I had some good jobs, moved around a bit, and pretty much forgot about the D-90. On a trip down to the coast with my cousins, my younger cousin mentioned that his father no longer drove the Defender and was looking to sell it, to make more room for his motorcycles. "Tell him to talk to me before he does anything," I told my cousin. A few weeks later, my uncle called me and told me that he was going to put it on eBay. I called my bank, got a sweet deal on an auto loan and the next day, drove to his house with a check in hand. "Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked. "Why don't you drive it for a few days and think about it before you get into this. It's a money pit, not a reliable vehicle. You really don't want it," he cautioned me. I promised to evaluate the truck for a few days but by that evening, I was hooked. The next day, I brought the check back to him and bought my dream truck.

The rest, as they say, is history.
1987 Ex-MOD 110 Tithonus LHD
2013 LR4

Utah Rovers 2015 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011 / 2010
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Old October 29th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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Randy Black
'95 D 90 SW
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Tulsa Ok USA
Posts: 753
I had been casually looking at FJ 40's and thinking about buying one for a fishing/hunting/exploring truck. In 1999 or 2000 I saw a Defender near where I lived and thought it was the coolest sUv that I had ever seen. But I had no idea what it was. After seeing it up close in a parking lot I still wasn't sure what it was, I knew nothing about Land Rovers. I did a little research and decided someday when the kids were out of the house and on their own I had to have one, and then I pretty much just forgot about it because they were still young.

While on a house hunting trip for a move back home to Tulsa, I saw a 95 SW sitting on a LR lot. I whipped into the lot and showed my wife and kids the vehicle I had dreamed of someday owning. We talked to a salesman briefly, looked it over closely and went on our way. Two weeks later we were back in Tulsa on another house hunting trip, I met my wife at the airport and the first thing she said was follow me, I have something to show you. She led me down to the Rover dealership, pulled in near the D and said "it's yours but you have to make the deal".

I came so close to saying no, the practicle thing, and at first said we really can't spend that kind of money on a "play thing". Well she insisted so I got on a computer and the phone and tried to get an idea of what it was worth. I probably ended up paying about 2K more than what I should have but it has been a great truck, no leaks, low mileage, dependable and it's been a pure hoot to fish/hunt and explore/wheel in. And hey, it even keeps me out of the pool hall !!!.

Every time I think about the Defender I also think about what a sweet wife I have.
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. -Thomas Jefferson
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Old October 29th, 2006, 07:09 PM
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Robert Dassler
1994 D90
D-90 Source Vendor
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA
Posts: 987
I first became "Defender Aware" about 1992 with the press coverage of the NAS D110s. I lusted after a 110 for a while but it proved to be an unobtainable dream at the time. Then about mid 1993 Four Wheeler had a news blurb in one of their columns about the D90 coming to the US and Road & Track or somebody got to test one and wrote it up. I remember the tester calling the Defender "a fast tractor for people in the hostage rescue business." Cool. I went down to the local Range Rover dealer to enquire about them...it was about 6 months before they hit the US shores. They took my information as an interested party and Land Rover sent me a cool pre-launch promotional poster, which I still have. It was a photo of a red D90 in front of a waterfall with the caption "Put this in your garage until you can put THIS in your garage." I waited patiently and stopped in to the dealer whenever I was in that part of town. Towards the end of 1993 I really made a pest of myself..."are they here yet?" Finally about December they got the first ones on the lot. I test drove one immediately. I wanted it REALLY badly! I worked a few things out and on February 9th 1994 I became the proud owner of #391. It was one of the first D90s sold in the US. I should mention that at the time I was working for Honda as a technician and I definitely did not fit the demographic of who Land Rover thought their customers would be. It was my first new vehicle and I really technically couldn't afford it...and I almost had to sell it a few times...but managed to hang on. I met Bill Burke about this time as he was the ARB dealer in Denver. He and I have become good friends. By the time my Defender was 2 weeks old I had one of the first ARB bumpers in the US, and by the time it rolled 3000 miles I had one of the first Air Lockers for a Land Rover sold in the US. It was an RD26...anyone else remember those? By September of 1994 I had left Honda and went to work for Land Rover. By 1999 I was a Land Rover Master Technician. At the time Land Rover held an annual contest for technicians where they invited the top people from around the country to compete in a hands on troubleshooting contest. I went 3 times but 2001 was particularly noteworthy. I took 3rd place and got to go on the Marque of Distinction award trip. It was there that I met my future wife. She worked at the Albuquerque dealership. We were married in September 2003 and went on honeymoon to Telluride in the Defender. We stayed at a nice B&B and spent some time exploring the area & off roading. Our first anniversary was spent at the National Rally in Moab in 2004. Now here it is almost 2007 and I have been in business for myself for a couple of years. My D90 now has almost 180K on the odometer. I still love driving it and it still turns heads. From day one it's been rock solid reliable...never seen the back of a tow truck or left me stranded. Truly a great vehicle!

Almost forgot....at our wedding we had 2 cakes...a regular wedding cake and a grooms cake. The grooms cake was shaped like a mountain with a muddy road going up the side and for a cake topper we had a toy D90 with a bride & groom inside. I'll have to see if I can find a picture of it.
Rob Dassler
SWR Automotive
505-872-7818 (shop)
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Old October 29th, 2006, 08:41 PM
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1995 SW #487/500
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Old North State
Posts: 7,404
Poor gas mileage gets you to the best places on earth
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Old October 29th, 2006, 10:06 PM
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95 d90
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: california
Posts: 660
I remember seeing the 110`s and 90`s when they first arrived in 93-94, there were quite a few in my town, but I didn`t think much of it considering how I was 8. Well, I went to a school that was junior high/ high school in one, and when I was in junior high, there were a good 3-4 D90`s in the parking lot at any given time (Arles Blue ST, 2 different yellow ST, 1 white SW and a LE SW). For one reason or another, they caught my more so than anything else.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 11:27 PM
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Hans Haase
The D-90.com Lab Rat
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,385
It's pretty easy for me, and can be summed up in three words, Tony Napolitano Senior.

I grew up being on and off friends with his son (Jr.), sometimes a good friendship and sometimes a rather nasty rivalry. But his Father and mine were pretty friendly toward each other for quite a long time. And Sr. had a pair of Series trucks that occasionally ran. I got the occasional ride in them, and thought they were the COOLEST things around. I also saw them every day while riding on the school bus. I even tried to buy one from him when I hit driving age. Thinking back, it's probably a good thing he talked me out of it at the time, but the urge never went away.

Then, the Defenders hit the US market and I read every magazine article I could find. I WANTED one, I REALLY wanted one. I also was working at Taco Bell at $6.50 per hour, so I 'settled' on a cheap 67 Bronco that I was able to get ahold of. But time was on my side, and that urge was still there when I saw my '94 sitting on a ramp display at a Nissan dealership of all places. And the rest, is a highly enjoyable nightmare of mechanical engineering.


My oil line fix

My 100k stopped odometer fix

Brace for impact, I'm in a "modifying mood". Massive thread count inbound.
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