Here’s part three of the ongoing update of the SCM Fleet.

In Part One, we discussed the coming and going of the 1965 Volvo 122S automatic. There just was not enough engine to make up for the archaic Borg Warner autobox.

The 1971 V12 Jag coupe has plenty of power, so this cat stays.

I couldn’t bond with our 1991 Porsche 928 S4. Even though well-suited to the 4-speed automatic, the combination of nascent digital with mature analog technologies just never floated my boat. So away it went.

Then SCM contributor and Turtle Garage founder Philip Richter pounded on me to buy a Mercedes SL55 AMG, and I gave in to his relentless texts. I’m glad I did. It sits in the garage next to the Jag as a keeper. It’s proven its mettle on two trips to Montana with Bradley, as well as performing admirably on the recent SCM 1000 AMG Invitational.

I had a 1959 Citroën ID19 when I was in San Francisco, and have always wanted another. When SCMer Greg Long posted a restored DS21 Pallas for sale on Bring a Trailer, it was quickly mine.

Bill Warner and Ken Gross drove it on the SCM 1000. I’ve scratched that French itch (demangeaison) and Greg is listing the car back on BaT.

Last week, in Part Two, I discussed the 1971 Mercedes 250C that is taking the place of the DS. It’s a solid car with a good history. It’s currently being attended to at Burback Motors, and I plan of driving 200 miles to Bend, OR, this weekend with Bradley for the Oregon Festival of Cars.

The CDs I’ve ordered of hit songs from the ’60s and ’70s have started to arrive, so I’ll have tunes for the trip.

Now, let’s get to Part Three.

Our beloved 1984 Land Rover D90 turbo-diesel has gone to an enthusiast neighbor. It was just too tall for me to get into after my stroke, and even then, I would have had trouble working the clutch.

Both Alex and Bradley declared it to be a favorite. I think it was the raw authentic experience that attracted all of us to it, and we had many once-in-a-lifetime adventures.

However, while finding a D90 turbo-diesel in the US was once difficult, more and more European-market D90s with 200 and 300 Tdi engines are becoming available in the U.S. Defenders were never legally sold in the U.S. with anything but the Rover gasoline V8s, but now that many of the diesels are more than 25 years old, they are eligible for importation.

If down the road either of the kids decided they had to have one, it would just be a matter of picking one from the many coming up for sale. And there is always the hope I will regain coordination with my clutch leg.

However, I wasn’t about to abandon the Rover Tribe. Over the years, our family has had adventures with an S3 88, a Disco S1, and a Ranger Rover Classic, as well as the D90.

Rover guru Doug Shipman of Ship’s Mechanical came to my rescue. He mentioned in passing that he had a client’s 2002 Disco S2 available. He had attended to the rig for many years and wasn’t concerned about the 225,000 miles showing. It quickly became mine, and I immediately spent $5k or so replacing worn suspension bits, as well as fitting Rovers North steel bumpers and rock sliders front and rear.

Most important, we had Doug install the proper linkage so that we could mechanically lock the center differential. I’m sure that will make a difference as we off-road.

Bradley required we have a “ladder to nowhere” installed on the rear, and we put in a high-capacity power outlet in the back so we could use a portable electric pump to “air up” after a run.

All we need now is another club outing to put the Disco through its paces.

Next week the saga continues, with Lotus and Alfa updates.


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