PH Fleet: Range Rover Vogue SE

I’d like to think that somewhere inside the shed the Rangie was jiggling about like an excited Spaniel the moment the Met Office correctly forecast the arrival of snow.

Mileage seems no bother for the big V8
Mileage seems no bother for the big V8
It was last started in mid December, but after a quick battery charge the V8 coughed into life with little effort and idled like it was brand new. Are all 3.9 V8s of this era as healthy after 153,000 miles? I just can’t quite believe how smooth and responsive it is and how fresh it feels after extended periods of slumber. One day I must get it serviced. I think it had an oil change in 2010, but can’t be sure.

The exhaust has now completely separated from behind the centre box, and even though the demi-NASCAR grumble is lovely and I enjoy setting-off car alarms, a new back section was needed, so I searched the web and ended up using Rimmer Bros, mainly because of the Red Dwarf reference.

Instead of ordering it online, I thought I’d use the telephone, and wouldn’t you know it a very helpful chap confirmed what I needed and charged me £127.50. This is a vast investment in the Rangie by previous standards, so it had better be good. For the moment, the old one still hangs from its mountings.

Rangie unstoppable despite budget Forecums
Rangie unstoppable despite budget Forecums
In the snow, on its budget Forecum rubber, the thing is unstoppable – not just because it has grip to spare, but because its general tattiness and designated role as forest track nail mean one doesn’t mind glancing off the odd wall. Yesterday I reverse pushed a courier van up a hill by shoving the tow-hitch into the van’s metal bumper protector. It didn’t even wheelspin.

The problem I have with the Rangie is that it would appear that it might be increasing in value. This was never the intention. I wanted an old Defender when I bought it in summer 2009, but they were so pricey I though an old one of these would be nearly as useful and much better value. It hasn’t really corroded much over the past two years, and it would take a few quid to make it a ‘nice’ car, but as I bashed it down the side of a large, malevolent Hawthorn bush yesterday, I did wonder if I might need to retire it from such duties and begin a restoration process. But I just know that the moment I become precious over it, the motor will go pop and the bodywork will spontaneously combust.

The twin Kenlowe fans that a previous owner fitted will need sorting for the summer, but right now the motor is barely warm sitting in traffic.

I love the fact that the snotty old Rangie whose cost to me I now forget is currently the most popular car in the household. We squabble over the keys in the morning.

Range Rover Vogue SE V8
Run by: Chris Harris
On fleet since: September 2009
Mileage: 153,000
Purchase price: £1,800 (I think)
Last month at a glance: Removed from hibernation. Now full-time family wheels in the snow. £127 on new rear exhaust section.

Previous reports:
PH Fleet: the Harris collection

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (147) Join the discussion on the forum

  • 80quattro 23 Jan 2013

    Nice Range Rover, must be a real hoot in the snow !

  • Harry Flashman 23 Jan 2013

    Always wanted one of these - but potential repair disaster put me off. If I move out of London and have a nice, warm garage attached to the house with power sockets, heating and room to tinker, I shall have one. If they're still affordable.

  • pSyCoSiS 23 Jan 2013

    Epic cars, these.

    Love them.

    I had an LPG one last year, 1992, with a pre-soft dash.

    Unfortunaltey, the snow came a little late, and I didn't get a chance to see how good it would be.

    But always imagined it would take the snow in it's stride!

  • b14 23 Jan 2013

    They aren't expensive to fix at all, unless the fuel injection goes or the chassis dies. Literally everything else (engine included) can be bought and fitted for around or less than £500. Engines + gearboxes are cheap second hand and they really can be DIY'd so easily.

    Even the chassis isn't too bad to fix by patching unless it has gone rather terminal, but a fully fitted replacement galvanised chassis won't be too ruinous to replace.

  • V8 FOU 23 Jan 2013

    I had one of these, then a CSK, then an LSE. All fantastic in the snow. Now I have a P38 which is downright dangerous in the snow. Must be the 18" wheels/tyres. They are toyo H/T, supposed to be good in the snow. Now looking for some 16" wheels and chunky tyres so I can have some fun.
    Traction control? Pfft. Useless.

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