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Building enthusiasm

by Bill McClelland

A most fortunate month! While Bill was murmuring under the influence of scotch, celebrating his future Land Rover filled life, I managed to copy the following from his diary that lay open upon his desk.

March 3/94

Dear Diary: It seems possible that Dixon (aka The Guy From Stats (aka TGFS)) may have been slightly stretching the limits of veracity and historical fact when he said that Land Rovers were regularly used as tractors in England. An engineer from Coventry who grew up in the Devon countryside said he had never heard of any such use of the Rovers. He did volunteer to help research the topic however because it seems one of his hobbies is British eccentricities and he said this would qualify in his books.

March 7/94

Dear Diary: When I told my magical mechanic ( and anyone who could nurse my old Lada to over 300,000 kms before it finally died must be a magician of some sort) about my desire to get a Land Rover his face paled, his voice faltered and he turned to his bookshelf. From behind old invoices and a starter motor on the bottom shelf he pulled a 1968 Land Rover parts catalogue and a 1971 supplement. He gave these to me and said that if I ever got a Land Rover he DID NOT WANT to see it. Ever. Period. I gathered from this that he must have had some traumatic experience with these machines at some point in his youth. He was strangely reluctant to discuss the topic any further from which I deduced it must have been a very bad experience indeed.

March 14/94

Dear Diary: It has now become an almost daily topic of conversation with TGFS. It seems he will never rest until I have bought a Land Rover of some sort or description. It is almost as though, but no, I am probably just paranoid.

March 20/94

Dear Diary: Every lunch time now TGFS gives me regular injections of enthusiasm for this strange looking vehicle. With the approach of spring it seems this Land Rover fever becomes more virulent. His talk now is all of parts arriving from the U.K. and rebuilding projects that will see 1 at least of his machines road worthy for the summer. By thinking real hard I can remember almost the same words being said a year ago. When I remind him of this he shrugs it off and launches into another flowery description of some projected off-road trip through the wilds of down town Hull.

March 26/94

Dear Diary: Well, I have had my enthusiasm supported and built up to the point where I can resist the siren call of these Land Rovers no longer. I am going to do it and who cares what comes after actual ownership. Maybe they never actually move from the driveway or garage where they get parked when you buy one, but there is a certain something about just having one in your yard that is proving to be too much to resist. I think this weekend will be the end, or perhaps I should say the beginning.

Reprinted from the Ottawa Valley Land Rovers newsletter, April, 1994
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